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My Brave Dad here in Ireland


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HI everyone,

I have been reading your posts the last few days, and can I first say thank you for your honesty in how you are coping with the god awful disease.

My Dad was diagnosed with a Pancreatic tumour in May, he was very jaundiced and had tummy pain, he had an ERCP fitted and seemed to be doing ok.

In early June, he started vomiting one day and got very confused, he was shaking and was very cold to touch, it turned out the stent was `in transit` so he had the plastic one replaced with a metal one, he is taking Creon to help his appetite.

He started on Gemcitabine (affectionately known as Jameson in our house as the treatment bag comes in a green sleeve)for 9 sessions and had a CT scan last week only to be told that the tumour had enlarged significantly and that he had secondaries in his liver.

He is starting Xeloda (capecitabine)now and hopefully it will stop this cancer from spreading further.

My Dad never complains, never moans, he just gets on with things. He is amazing, I know to look at him he is in discomfort, but won`t admit it. I don`t know how to start the conversation of - "If you`re scared you can talk to me" because he must be scared, anyone have any advice on how to open that door in case he needs to talk.

We all seem to be going on as `normal` as possible because that is what he is doing.

Thank you all so much for all the help and support you have given by sharing your experiences here, I thought I would share mine here too. Linda x

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Hi Linda

I have been in a very similar situation with dad and with mum also. Dad had an early pc diagnosis and operation 5 years ago and continues to fight and strive to this day to not let it beat him. 2 years ago we lost mum to an aggressive form of breast cancer. In that time I have also lost 3 friends and colleagues to pc, all at varied stages and complications when diagnosed. Earlier this year dad had to have a lymph stripped out and this last round of scans shows liver spots and a growth on or around the celiac artery. Dates for surgery are being determined now. Mum was the strong one and in both cases they had the other around to talk with and support. Dad is on his own now and he misses mum even more as a result. He is trying to be strong but I know it is tearing him up inside. Mum was the same and I really only saw the frustration and emotion manifest when she was bed bound and the cancer had taken hold in the liver. So strong and just wanting to protect us all, her boys, not wanting to make a fuss or worry us. I think a lot is about holding back the anger and frustration, not wanting to vent that on loved ones. That and we feel, or at least I do, that if I cannot hold it together how will everyone else. That last point of view I have come to disagree with of late and I don't care when I am a blabbering wreck or crying as I type!

When dad and I talk on the phone I can hear him wobbling and he tries to finish the call, emotion has never been an easy topic but you have to take the initiative. I decided to do that with dad telling him it is alright to let everything show through and that my brother and I are always here to talk to, breakdown to (and with!) and just let it out whenever and not worry about it. Life as we know is too short. I wanted to appear strong with mum but I say to hell with that, what I really wanted to do was sweep her up in my arms and say, it's ok, I know, I love you, look what you've achieved and how you brought us up and your wonderful grandchildren. It was only in the final days that we talked like that. I am glad we did but really wish we'd done more.

I think you provide your own answer 'Dad, you can talk to me." A simple sentence that starts it all. He's your dad, he is going to want to protect you, so you have to be strong and take the first step in talking and tell him it's okay to talk to you about it. You'll all be stronger through it together if you can discuss how you feel.

Take the good days as they come and remember you are never too old to cuddle up with your parents.

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Hi Linda and welcome. Sorry to hear about your dad but lol at Gem being called Jameson, Ray used to love a drop of that!

It's difficult to start those conversations but if you feel the time is right start it with the words in your post. It will probably get emotional but there's nothing wrong with that.



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Linda. Hi. It's my husband who is ill. Tell me, what part of Ireland? We are north and attend the xx in xx. What about you, north or south? Wouldn't it be lovely to meet an actual person in the waiting room?

June W

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Hi All

I'm very lucky to have no fear of death and have stated this quite clearly to my family, friends and the professionals caring for me. I do qualify this with Woody Allen's words"I'm not scared of dying - I just don't want to be there when it happens!"

We decided at an early stage that we would have no tears but would all stay strong for one another whilst adopting what I call "positive reality". My tumour, although too far advanced for surgery, and accompanied by lesions in liver and lungs, has stabilised after my first cycle of chemo and I feel so much better so able to get out more and take more exercise which in turn has improved my appetite beyond recognition so that I am slowly regaining some of the two stones I shed while waiting for diagnosis earlier this year.

Love one another hug one another and take strength from one another. My excellent GP did stress that with this foul illness we do at least have plenty of opportunities to tell people how much they mean to us and how much we love them, unlike those struck down by strokes, heart attacks and suchlike. We all treasure the good times we are sharing and I pray these and happier days will be the basis of good memories in the, hopefully not too near, future!

Love and Peace


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Thank you so much everyone for your helpful suggestions and support x. You are so right James, we are never too old for a cuddle, my Dad and I are very close my Mam calls us "Darby & Joan" (btw I don`t know who these famous people are)LOL and I will just start the conversation with "I`m here if you ever need to talk"

My father-in-law passed away last year on the 14th of October from lung Cancer, so it`s been a horrible time for us all.

Julia I`m glad you smiled at Gem renamed Jameson - if we can`t laugh in these situations, we would go mad :)

June W we are in South East Ireland. Dad is attending the XX Hospital for his treatment. We know the North quite well as we would spend most summers travelling to Pipe Band Competitions all over.

Thank you for your honesty Mike, and I love your quote!

God bless you all and hope you have a peaceful weekend, I`ll check back and let you know how it goes x

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