Struggling2 Feb 2023 09:04
Okay so I thought I'd write a post on here as we all can relate and I need to talk.
So as of May last year my Dad was diagnosed with plural mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos when he was younger. He decided not to have any kind of treatment as he has seen the negative effects of chemo/radio therapy on two people he knew and believes that it makes things worse. At first I was angry because it's like he was giving up without fighting but I've come to respect his decision.
So obviously it's terminal and he has probably got months to live. What makes things worse is that he lives abroad so I can't see him whenever I want to. I Visited him at the end of last year and was shocked to see how he's deteriorated physically, also due to the pain he's in he was very angry and this made spending quality time with him difficult as he would snap and shout at me or his girlfriend at the slightest thing (I can understand this of course). At the end of my time being out there I just wanted to go because being around him was so difficult. I had to keep telling myself that it was because of the pain and it wasn't him being 'himself'. After the visit I felt awful for these selfish thoughts and very guilty. I speak to him regularly on WhatsApp and his pain meds have been adjusted, now he's on morphine to manage it which in a way good because it's managing it better but hearing him out of it is scary because he's always been in control and never drunk etc, also I know that morphine is stronger which indicates that his pain is worse.
We've always had a good relationship (ups and downs like any I suppose) but we've not yet had what I'd say is a proper deep conversation about how he's 'feeling'. When I say that I mean his thoughts and feelings. He's never been the type to talk about his emotions and I think he definitely isn't going to change now. I think he's doing it to not make me worry or stress but I'm scared that he's going to deteriorate and I'll loose him without having connected and made peace with everything.
I lost my Mum in 2010 from lung cancer and she was the same, very strong even up to the end but I don't know how to approach my Dad and have this/these conversations, maybe he doesn't want to talk about it because acknowledging it in this way is too scary for him?
I've also been considering my own mortality as of late, exactly as I did when my Mum passed. I give the impression that I'm coping but things are slowly starting to break down, It's getting harder to motivate myself generally in terms of my job, getting up in the morning etc, my relationship with my live-in girlfriend isn't the best anyway and even now she doesn't bring it up to ask me how I'm doing etc. I don't have any other family aside from my sister who I don't get on with. I don't have any real support network or anyone I can just talk to about this.
I know everyone has a story, a situation and cancer has touched everyone's lives, I guess I just need to vent...