This is topic Cancer experiences in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Squish (Member # 9191) on :
From knowing Juxstapose and Erosomniac in real life, I know this forum is filled with knowledgable people. But I have a question related to experiences.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I found out my dad might have cancer. I found out today that he is in the process of dealing with gall bladder stones, has liver and bone cancer. I guess knowing that he might have cancer stressed me out so much that I've ended up in the ER twice in the past two days. I'm not sure what to do really. He's at home in Hawaii while I'm stuck in Seattle.
He has to be going through a lot of pain but I don't know what to do or say. I can't physically be there for him at doctor's visits. I can't call home to just chat really (First generation parents from Vietnam so we're pretty distant to begin with).
I guess I just don't know how to deal with the situation. What would help him? Anyone?

[ August 11, 2006, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: Squish ]
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
Squish, people react differently to news of cancer and they want different things. It's hard to say what your dad would appreciate. I did appreciate people calling me to find out if I was okay, and letting me talk about the situation. If you can't call, send him letters or notes telling him you're thinking of him and hope he's feeling okay. Find out what makes his pain better - I loved soaking in a tub when the chemo drugs caused bone and joint pain, so one of my dear hatrack friends sent me some therapeutic bath soaks and it was heavenly.

Find out what types of things he can eat and send them to him, it's important for chemo patients to stay nourished, but it's hard to eat when you feel so lousy. Send him a care package of foods that he can tolerate.

Above all, just be his daughter and love him.

Edit: sorry bout the gender mixup

[ August 10, 2006, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Belle ]
Posted by Squish (Member # 9191) on :
(So I'm going for the record on how many times I can edit this post in 5 minutes.)(Just fyi, I'm female.)

I really, really appreciate such a quick response. For some reason, it made me feel a little better. Thanks for the info, Belle. I'll try to find out what he's allowed to eat or can use.

He's getting spot treatment for bone cancer at the base of his hips. I guess that's what's hurting most.

[ August 10, 2006, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: Squish ]
Posted by MyrddinFyre (Member # 2576) on :
[Frown] I don't have any advice... Sometimes I wish there were instantaneous teleporters for situations like this, where you would like to be somewhere but it would be either innapropriate, awkward, or impossible to go through the whole plane-ticket-sleeping-arrangement-etc thing. (edit: I don't mean to pretend I understand your situation, that's just a tangent my brain went on. I'll be thinking of you and your father, it's a sucky thing, cancer).
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Do you have any siblings, or are you closer to your mother than your father? It's possible that you could turn to them for advice also, as they would know both of you better than we do. Beyond that, I'd just say that Belle's suggestions strike me as excellent ones.

I'm sorry that you're having to experience this, Squish. I'll be thinking of you and your father both.
Posted by B34N (Member # 9597) on :
My Dad was also in the hospital a lot when I was going up but never for anything as unfortuante as cancer. I wish there was something that I could tell you that might help but I am at a loss for words right now, I hope everything turns out fo rthe best though and that you feel better, as well as your father.

Best wishes and prayers!
Posted by Squish (Member # 9191) on :
My dad was in and out for diabetes and he opted out of surgery on his pancreas since they told him it'd leave him in a wheelchair. He's always been the very strong silent type. I guess hearing about how he's getting weaker is a surprise to me. I do have older siblings but none of them are emotionally closer to my parents. Physically, yes, one of them lives at home. She's been the one giving me the updates since its hard for my mom to translate medical terminology in broken Chinese/Vietnamese/English. But she's kind of where I am. She's going with him to visits, but that's all she can do.
Posted by Squish (Member # 9191) on :
So I tried talking to my dad but he keeps saying that he feels great. My sister tells me he's lying through his teeth. I can't get anything out of him. Any other suggestions?
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
Keep calling him, and let him lie through his teeth if he wants to. The fact that you spend time talking to him communicates your concern. Don't feel like it's your responsibility to get him to "confess" to how sick he is.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
What dkw said.

What are some of your father's interests? I'm asking both because it occurs to me that you could send him something, and also because it strikes me that if he were interested in some things you could read up on, it could give you something you could use both to connect with him and have relatively light conversations about.
Posted by Derrell (Member # 6062) on :
Never give up hope. My mom has had cancer twice. Attitude plays a big part in recovery. I'd also encourage you to make the most of the time you have with him.

I hope he recovers.
Posted by Squish (Member # 9191) on :
I hope he does too. I guess what's going on is that the liver cancer didn't originate there so we've been waiting weeks for a biopsy result. They said they can't trace it and they haven't explained what that means for him.

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