SRS I just found out my dad has lung cancer.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by mg, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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    During the past couple weeks, my dad has been coughing and feeling chest pains so he started getting some tests ran at the hospital. I didn't think much of it and was naively optimistic about it not being a serious issue.

    Monday night, my mom and dad sat me down and told me he has lung cancer :wtc:. The doctors have given him 6 months to survive even with chemotherapy, which starts tomorrow :wtc:. The cancer has spread throughout his body and is inoperable at this point. I'm almost 22 and have never seen my dad break down, let alone cry :wtc:.

    I'm a second-generation immigrant from South Korea, and the only thing my dad has done for the past 22 or so years is worked graveyard and overtime shifts for the post office to support me, my older sister, and my mom. My mom has been a housewife her entire life in the states (~25 years), gets by with bare minimum English, and doesn't have any post-high school education. My dad is stressing over how my mom is going to live on without him. I'm on track to graduate from college this year, and my older sister is off on her own so I know my sister and I can support my mom together; but my sister doesn't even know of any of this :wtc: and it kills me inside. My parents decided to wait until next week after her last CPA exam.

    My parents told me that with treatment, there was something about a 5% chance that my dad can potentially live up to 5 years. My dad acts like he's in good spirits and uses this possibility to portray his positive attitude; but I can see how hard it is for him to hold his head up. My mom never sugar coats anything and said the doctors stood by their 6 month time line :wtc:.

    I'm stressing out like crazy right now. I'm mid-way through the quarter. I constantly feel like I have to vomit. I'm losing so much sleep because of the amount of anxiety...

    It breaks me down knowing that my dad doesn't have a support group other than me, my mom, and eventually my sister. My parents are the stereotypical first-gen immigrants who came over to provide a future for me and my sister, and nothing else. They don't have close friends here in the states, and most of my family are back in South Korea.

    I feel like a strong support network would help my dad. I know my dad got along with some of his coworkers, but never had a relationship with them outside of work. Would it be inappropriate for me to visit my dad's work and try to gather some of his closer coworkers to help my dad through this? My dad told me he didn't want me to do anything out of the norm because it would make him sad to see how his condition is affecting my life.

    He knows in the past I revolved my work and school schedule around winter because of my obsession with snowboarding, so he was BEGGING me to get as many days in this season and not to let his condition hold me back on doing the things I want to do even if it's snowboarding this season; but there's no way I can do that. What do I do?

    The only thing I won't put a pause on is school; it's my last year and hopefully I can get this out of the way in time to adjust to the changes in all of our lives.



    I needed to get that off my chest because I haven't really shared this with others, which is probably why I feel so anxious. I just don't want to bring anyone else down. :sad2:
     
  2. Bacardi 151

    Bacardi 151 New Member

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    It isn't easy to see someone with it. Good luck to you. :hug:
     
  3. itchypony

    itchypony New Member

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    Sorry to hear your dad's prognosis. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer over 3 years ago. It was in the early stages (had not spread anywhere else) so he just had one surgery to remove a portion of one of his lungs. No chemo, no radiation. He is healthy today, and gets checkups every 6 months.

    Think and act positive. Negativity can be a cancer in itself. Good luck, and make the most of your lives.
     
  4. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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    My dad started chemo today :wtc:

    I took my mom to the cafeteria to get her away from the scene while my dad was getting drowsy. I couldn't stay for the entire time because I couldn't hold back from crying. I could tell my dad was trying very hard not to either, but I didn't want him to see me cry because it would have broken him down :wtc:
     
  5. I am very sorry for your current situation. I have an idea of how you are feeling because I am in a similar and have been in similar situations in the past. I was once in your Dad's position, receiving chemo and was told at my worst condition I had a 35% chance to live, which was then later brought up to 50%. I am still here today and living 5 years later. :) Staying positive and being surrounded by family/friends helps a lot. Never treat him like he is dying though or being overly-protective. When I was sick, and people would do this, it was actually detrimental to my feelings and made me feel like I was going to die and people were saying goodbye or something. Now my boyfriend's dad has a brain cancer which the doctor's say has put him with now about a month to live, but who knows what that means. Could be a day, could be 10 years. Cancer is very tricky.

    All I can conclude with is stay positive. There is that 5% chance of survival rate because there are people, just like your father who do survive and beat the cancer. I hope he can be one of them. If the day comes though where he does not, I hope you, your mother, and your sister can all cope and continue to live on. Family is the best thing you have and never let anything come between you and your family.

    Your father will be in my nightly prayers. :)
     
  6. lick wid nit wit

    lick wid nit wit Official OT Oracle

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    hon, I can relate. I just posted a thread about my best friend. It sucks.

    :grouphug:

    I am sorry you have to go through this. No matter what anyone says, it doesn't make it any easier. Give your dad hugs and tell him how much you love him, trust me.
     
  7. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    god damn dude...sorry to hear that
     
  8. Two toys

    Two toys New Member

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    i read your thread and lickwidnitwit's,

    i didnt want to say anything because its still so close to my heart and I dont want to give you a negative hope, but

    7 months ago i found out my grandfather (helped rasied me, my greatest role model and the only man I've ever really respected unquestionably) had lung cancer. about 10 years ago a good friend of my family was diagnosed at an early age and died a few months after, i was there by her side when she died. My grandfather was given 3weeks-6months. I decided that first day in the hospital after his diagnosis to quit work, and move in with my grandparents to help out where I could and help support my grandma. I basically gave up everything, my job doing what i love, my friends, my apartment (even though i still paid rent for 5 months until my lease was up), and my bicycle and racing team, i'll get back to this later. He lost about 35 pounds in just a few weeks at the hospital. He made it out of the hospital after an operation and everything was looking up. he was walking into chemo/radiation and getting all of his weight back. after a few months we thought we were free and clear, then all of a sudden his breathing started getting a bit harder and he started having some backward progression. we attributed it to the chemo and radiation finally catching up to him, because up until that point he had done great with all the treatment, way beyond anything doctors had imagined. as his breathing worsened i started to suspect something was up, then one day he just got really really bad, he and I decided we needed to go to the hospital so we called the ambulance. he fought hard for a few weeks in the hospital but ultimately his lungs just couldnt handle anymore stress and couldnt absorb anymore oxygen. his body was in great shape but without the ability to absorb the oxygen he started slipping away. he went fast one night he died just about 6 months after being diagnosed. the final verdict was that it wasnt the cancer, his cancer was actually 99% better, it was a combination of stress on his lungs from the cancer, severe COPD after 60 years of smoking, and inflamation from the radiation.

    so now back to my input in all of this. now just over a month after he passed away I have no job and lost all my contacts, I'm depressed from his passing as it felt like I lost a best friend after growing so close to him over the 6 months, i'm way out of shape from sitting around, and my savings are absolutely dried up. Although its hard to be happy right now, I wouldnt have traded any of the time I spent with him. I'm so glad I grew so much closer to him and became not just a loved family member but a friend. I miss him so much now, but everytime i get down I can look back at one of the funny moments we had and bring a smile to my face.

    basically what i'm saying is that I hope your father skims by in that 5%, its happened, but dont bet your time on it. spend as much time with him as you can, love him and learn from him, do the things you've always wanted to do while you still can with him. and when the end comes whether it be 5 months or 5 years dont allow any room for regrets. on thing that sticks out to me is it was strange living with him and seeing family members come a lot in the beginning and slowly stop coming until they hardly even called then freak out when he died because they didnt get to say goodbye.

    always stay positive but dont allow yourself to fall into denial about it.
     
  9. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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  10. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Please respect as much as you can the wishes of your dad, try as others have said to remain positive,vent as much as you can in here but for the rest of the day try not to think about it and occupy yourself with events that can distract you from thise whole odeal, doing schoolwork or listening to music just to calm you down a bit,remember, even if the worst happens, if you all stay positive it will be better for yourself and your entire family thru the entire process. In severe cases they might remove an entire lung, even after that or chemotheraphy it would be unlikely that if he survives he'd be able to work again.

    You need to create a plan together with your mom and dad to save your family from possible financial disaster.So, If anything set up a financial plan on how to survive the possible financial crisis that might ensue after this whole odeal. Hopefully your dad has a life insurance that can be used to help your family out if the worst of worst happens , please watch out its a big gap one can fall in, you might want to take a part time job to help support your mom and dad.
     
  11. James Hook

    James Hook Never trust a government that doesn't trust its ow

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    My Grandmother just died from this and I'm sure my dad will end up with it.
    It's heartbreaking to think about so I just try not to but in your situation I would spend as much time as possible with him.
     
  12. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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    The chemo is taking its toll on my dad. He's so fatigued, aching, etc. My mom is constantly on the brink of crying. :sad2:
     
  13. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    :hug: we are here for you
     
  14. Xen0n

    Xen0n New Member

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    sucks dude. Hope he makes it.
     
  15. Redbeard

    Redbeard OT Supporter

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    My mom was given 6 months to live 6 years ago, she has been through 2 rounds of Chemo and is doing ok. Stage 4 Breast Cancer.
     
  16. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    I am so sorry. I've never had a parent get sick but I have lost grandparents and I can only imagine how much harder your situation is. The only advice I can offer is make sure he knows how much you care for and love him before he passes on. Tell him daily. I regret not telling family members such things before they died and it eats me up inside to this day.
     
  17. Pride43

    Pride43 New Member

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    im sorry
     
  18. ExegiMonumentum

    ExegiMonumentum New Member

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    did your father smoke ?
     
  19. tacompton

    tacompton Guest

    All I can say is prepare for the worst. The only thing that can make things worse is optimism.
     
  20. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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    he hasn't smoked for 10+ years
     
  21. mg

    mg OT Supporter

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    i'm currently taking a foreign language class, and attendance is mandatory; the class is 5 days a week.

    i found out about my dad's condition on a monday night, and went and stayed home tuesday-friday. after e-mailing my teacher right away before tuesday's class, i missed the following four days.

    then the following week, i emailed my teacher and i missed 2 more days for my dad's first chemotherapy session and the day after to be with my family at home.

    then last week, i told my teacher after class i would be absent another day for my dad's 2nd chemo session.

    so i have 7 absences total. i've still submitted all the assignments, taken the exams, compositions, and even managed to participate during classes.

    i just found out my 7 absences have not been excused and have dropped my grade 5% + the lack of participation points from those days (participation is 10% of overall grade). :hsugh:

    all of my other professors (even another foriegn language teacher) told me to take as much time as i wanted off and that my absences wouldn't count and i wouldn't lose participation points in section because of what's going on.:bowdown:

    i asked my spanish teacher if my absences could be excused because i've been at home with my family (she knows that my dad's terminally ill), but even though she apologized for being obligated to ask, she asked for some sort of documentation. :ugh::ugh::ugh: she said she needs to submit proof to the department to "go back" and clear my absences. (i know it's complete bullshit, but i complied).

    i asked her exactly what type of documentation would be appropriate to verify why i've been absent. (on a monday) she said she would contact the department head and e-mail me back. on friday, she still didn't e-mail me or mention anything to me during class, so i copied the letter that my dad's oncologist wrote for my dad's employer and to collect social security (it completely broke down my dad's condition).

    i took the letter directly to the head of the spanish department, and explained to her the situation. i said multiple times that i had nothing against my spanish teacher, but i just didn't feel comfortable passing around this sensitive information (the letter). since my teacher told me she had to submit the documentation to the department, i told the department head i wanted to skip the passing along and submit the information myself, which made me feel more at ease.

    she looked at the letter (didn't read it), and said, "i don't know if this is you or not." i quickly handed her my student i.d. card and had my driver's license in hand ready to hand over as well and told her that i understand students might try to forge this type of information, but here's my family's social worker who said she'd provide any information legally to provide further proof. and i handed her the business card.

    the department head apologized and told me that my teacher was actually doing me a favor because absences can only be excused if the medical condition applies to the student. she recommended that i apply for an "incomplete" for this class this quarter because my dad's condition is affecting my grade... :hsugh:

    i told her that i'm trying my best to pass this class (for graduation requirements) and it'd feel like a waste to opt out of the class when there are only 2.5 weeks left in the quarter. plus, my dad's condition is only getting worse. his cancer is inoperable and incurable. so winter and spring quarter, i've already set my classes up for only twice a week so i can be at home more. i basically told the department head that i'm trying to graduate before my dad dies. my mom can't survive without me, so graduating on time is crucial (which isn't a problem if i pass this class)

    she said, "i understand what you're going through, i mean, my mother is dying right now; and i'm not trying to sound insensitive, but it's affecting my life yet i've still shown up to work here." :ugh:

    anyway... the department head told me she would talk to my teacher and make sure that if my attendance grade could make the difference between a pass and no-pass grade, that my absences wouldn't count against me.

    even though i got what i wanted, i'm surprised i was able to keep my cool during the entire meeting and not curb stomp her on her desk.


    if it really came down to me not being excused of my absences because it wasn't MY medical condition; is there a way for me to meet with a psychiatrist or physician and express how fucked up i feel, depressed, anxious, stress... and consider that as my medical condition and why i skipped classes?
     
  22. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

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    I am sorry to hear. I hope everything turns out for the best.
     
  23. lauren

    lauren Active Member

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    absufuckinglutely. get on paper with a shrink, and any future absences will be excused.


    id go ahead and make an appointment now. they may/may not be able to do it retroactively, for the past ones, but the sooner the better.


    good luck :hug:
     
  24. squid

    squid braap

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    Sorry to hear. I went through this two or three years ago. She passed. It's a hard road, and you have many life changes in store.
     
  25. MissKitty

    MissKitty If squats were easy they'd be called 'Your Mum' OT Supporter

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    Don't hold yourself back from your own father. You are both grieving and it is okay to cry and feel helpless

    Nothing I can say will change what you face and my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
     

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