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This seems to be all happening too fast

Dereks Daughter

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Dereks Daughter


My father was diagnosed with PC three weeks ago and in that time I’ve found this forum extremely helpful.

As is possibly the way, as a worried daughter I have spent a lot of time researching possible treatments and finding hope in some of the stories I’ve read online.

However, following a biopsy last week, we’ve today had a meeting with the oncologist who has said the cancer is aggressive and she could see the deterioration in dad within two weeks. Despite anti sickness tablets, dad is still being sick frequently and has now been put on an IV drip for his medication (including anti-sickness and a steroid for inflammation). The oncologist thought the sickness might be related to an obstruction to the duodenum. They are keeping a close watch on his sickness to see whether he needs to be admitted to hospital. He has a liver stent scheduled for early next week. The oncologist has said we can’t talk about treatment plans (implication was if at all) until all of these symptoms are under control which makes sense.

My sister asked where we were in terms of timescale and the oncologist nodded when she mentioned weeks/months.

I guess I am posting here because I am finding it so hard to accept that we could already be out of time to fight or even slow this down. When only three weeks ago we were unaware of what was even happening and it seems that there are positive treatment plans possible. My father is an otherwise fit, 69 year old man and I want, maybe need to believe that if we can resolve these current symptoms that there might be something we can do (if that’s what my father wants to do).

Is this crazy wishful thinking from a very desperate daughter? An impossible question but maybe I’m trying to find a positive right now when I need to accept the brutal truth of what is happening.

Any wise words much appreciated (and sorry for the rather long post..). xxxx

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Hi Derek's daughter, please don't apologise for the length of your post, this is the place to let it all out.

I am really sorry I can't answer your question, this disease is horrendous, it can strike so quickly, we were lucky my husband was well for about 18 months and had 22 rounds of chemotherapy but the decline when it came was rapid just 6 weeks. Hopefully when your Dad's problems are sorted treatment might be an option, but just make the most of what time you have and be guided by the doctors. Our nurses on the forum are amazing, please give them a ring as they are very knowledgeable and so approachable. sending you love and strength sandrax xx

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Hi Derek’s Daughter

My dad was recently diagnosed too and has rapidly gone down hill so I completely understand where you’re coming from. My dad has no treatment options which perhaps makes things easier as we only have to concentrate on making him as well and as comfortable as we can although it breaks my heart to see him a shadow of his former self already.

It seems from what I’ve read and experienced so far, PC is very changeable and difficult to predict. I’ve been in tears numerous times wondering if ‘this was it’ only to see him unexpectedly bright and chirpy the next day! I’ve never experienced such a long rollercoaster like this, and I’ve no idea what tomorrow will bring, let alone next week or next month.

I too have trawled the Internet, looking for some kind of understanding or answers to unanswerable questions, and of course hope.

I wish I could offer you something more useful, but you’ve got my understanding and cyber support and I’m sure others here will echo that.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for all of us 😊 x

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Dereks Daughter

Thanks so much for your replies.

Sandra - you’re right about making the most of the time we have and not second-guessing what is going to happen. My dad played cards with my nephew today and such a simple activity suddenly becomes very special.

Elle - I am sorry to hear you’re also going through this with your father. Found your thoughts really helpful and I think rollercoaster sums it up. It’s exhausting. I hope you have good support around you.

I’m working up to telling my young children what is happening over the next few days. I’ve read the Macmillan leaflet which was helpful but worried about the impact on my eldest (6yo) who is close to my dad.

Really appreciate the kindness, consideration and support on this forum xxxx

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If you've read quite a few stories you will gave seen that we call this disease a roller-coaster. It seems to go from the sublime to the ridiculous: an awful day can be followed by a much better one.

Just try to make the most of the good days. Take all the help you can from MacMillan and use your own judgement about what you tell your kids, you know them best.

We're all thinking of you.

Love, Mo

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Derek's Daughter,

My wife is currently undergoing chemo for PC and she has gone from a seemingly healthy wife and mother with a career to a shadow of her former self. She previously survived breast cancer, but that was nothing like this. Everyone uses the words 'fast' and 'roller coaster', but never have they been so apt.

This may sound like empty words, but your father is lucky to have such loving children in such dark times. As others have said, make the most of the good days and support each other through the not so good ones.

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I too believe you should make the most of every day. Chemotherapy when he is already feeling pretty rotten, will just make the remaining time miserable...there really is a lot to be said for quality over quantity. My husband fought hard and had 2 reasonable years. My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer last summer and died exactly 6 weeks later, he was too poorly for any treatment...I don't honestly know which situation was the worst.

With regards to telling children, I've always believed honesty is best...Grandad is very poorly and unfortunately the doctors won't be able to make him better...then you are led by whatever questions are asked. Children are remarkably resilient and accepting. My daughter was 8 when my husband was diagnosed...she was always told what the doctors had said and only once did she ask if Daddy was going to die. At that point I was able to tell her that he was going to try his best to get better, but we couldn't promise anything. The worst thing was sitting her down and telling her that there was nothing else the doctors could do and that her Daddy was going to die...she cried, said she loved him and she didn't want him to die and then went out to play. The day he died, she went to her friends party...she really has been amazing in how she's dealt with it.

You never know...he may well rally with his current medication and be eligible for some treatment, it's not unheard of, but you do need to be realistic in what this actually might achieve. I hope you've got palliative care team on board as they will be a great support.

Much love


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Dereks Daughter

Thank you so much for your replies. I’ve found them so very helpful at a time when I feel so ill equipped. I guess nothing prepares you for this.

Saxon, Mo - thanks for reiterating the point about taking the good moments when they come. I know there’s something to be said about ‘normality’ but I’ve been encouraging mum to head to the nearby beach with dad to sit on a bench rather than to the supermarket (which can be stressful at the best of times!!).

We had a tough day today because the scheduled stent didn’t happen (due to the growth of the tumour) so he’s in hospital tonight waiting to find out when he can have the PTC drain. But I thought about the rollercoaster and that tomorrow might be better. We found a spot in the sun outside the hospital (albeit by a dual carriageway!) and had a lovely chat.

Veema - thanks for sharing how you told your daughter and you’re right to encourage me to trust in the resilience of children. I have started to be very open about where I am going and why which has helped as it doesn’t feel like I am hiding anything.

Thanks again. I am genuinely so touched by how kind everyone is on this forum.


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