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Something You Carry With You Always

I lost my dad to non-hodgkins lymphoma May, 1998. Then, my mom died from lung and brain cancer. Shortly after, my dear aunt died from colon cancer. It is hard to watch the people you love slowly suffer to death. I was 18 when my dad died, and I had to quit school to be his in-home care provider. He suffered thru multiple major surgeries, including a bone-marrow transplant. My dad was my hero. When I was 11, he went into treatment and became clean and sober. Then he went back to college and became a domestic violence/drug & alcohol rehabilitation counselor. He had just got recognition in the community for the advances he was making in his field. I could not have been more proud of him. Then he got sick and he just kept getting sicker and sicker. He had lymphnodes removed, his spleen removed, even his prostate. He had a very selfish spouse who was not the type of support system that he so desperately needed. Even tho I took care of my dad, giving him his injections and medications and changing and cleaning him....we didn't talk a whole lot about stuff. We had a couple deep heartfelt conversations, but mostly we tried to distract ourselves in anyway possible. Watched a lot of comedies...read joke books and such. Played with the dog. Then dad went up for his bone-marrow transplant. Of his 6 bros and sisters...ALL were perfect matches! This isn't too common, and it was a big hurrah for us. My dads oldest brother wanted to be the donor, because he was my dads big brother. He still feels like he could have done more some how, but the sacrifice he made is so special to me even to this day. After my dads transplant he was actually declared "cancer free". He had zero immunity tho, and his wife insisted on taking in stray cats...and she refused to go thru the stringent cleaning (handwashing, etc) that they required in the cancer ward. My dad contracted a yeast infection from her, and it resulted in pulmonary embolism and successive organ failure. We had to take him off life support. His wife climbed up on his bed and sat with his head in her lap and wouldn't let any of us kiss him good-bye or anything. He fought even tho they said he wouldn't.....it was the hardest thing to watch ever. I felt like if I lived thru the experience I could live thru anything. I did what I could. I held my dads hand that was tied down to the bed, and I told him to go be free. I know he did. It still hurts to this day tho. Sometimes its hardest when I think about how much he would have loved to see me have my kids. I try to keep him in their lives by telling them stories about him. I lost my Mom to cancer in 2002. She had lung cancer from smoking and it quickly spread to her brain. Amongst other problems she ended up having an aortic aneurism burst and she bled out after 21 hours of surgery. My mom was the worlds best mom. I say that with the utmost respect to all moms everywhere, being one myself. She was the most selfless person you could ever know. Her heart was bigger than anything of this earth, and she ruled with an iron fist. I adored her, and I can only hope to be half the mom she was. Mom didn't want to tell me she had cancer, because I had been selfish and told her that if I ever found out she had cancer it would kill me (after losing my dad). When she finally told me, she died 2 weeks later. What I wouldn't give to just have one more afternoon with her. My Aunt Dean was really old when she finally passed on, 98. She was a cancer survivor of 10 years before the colon cancer finally got her. She proudly served in the service for most of her life. She outlived 5 husbands! Her 6th husband died shortly after her, most likely of a broken heart. He loved her dearly and every moment without her was painful for him. I admired my Aunt Dean a lot. She was a very strong, independent woman who loved nature, and never gave up. I have to say that as a result of losing these people in my life, my only family -- I carry a huge fear of loss, losing someone else I care about. I know there is nothing I could do about these things, but the uncertainty keeps me up at night sometimes. I sure miss my mom and dad and aunt. As I'm sure everyone here misses their loved ones who were so unfortunate. My thoughts are with you all.
growlygrrl growlygrrl 26-30, F 24 Responses Jan 31, 2008

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I am so sorry for your losses, you are quite clearly an amazing, strong person.

My sister is also battling breast cancer. We have both found that others stories have inspired and helped us through this difficult time.

I hope you don't mind me asking but if you'd like to share your experience with others, I am collating stories to try to bring to others the comfort that I have received from them. If this is something you feel you would like to do (or anyone else who, or a loved one, has experienced cancer), please email me at abihappygirl@yahoo.com and I will tell you more about what I am trying to do.

With love and connection, Abi x

Death is a part of life something that I personally always thing about pretty much all the time, I have also lost someone to cancer and I know someone with cancer but I try not to think about it when there around. Try and find a hobby or something to take your mind of the world and people. I watch a lot of anime and play video games as well as photography.

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My MOM passed away in 1984 and I still miss her. I am here if you need a friend

Wow I know completely how you feel exspecially seeing someone on life support. My cousin was in a coma for over 3 months and turned 12 while she was in the hospital. The doctors made one mistake which caused her to be brain dead and her mother had the decision of keeping her on life support or letting her go. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever been through exspecially seeing her siblings suffer. This happened in 2007 and I still think about her everyday and wish I had done more to make our bond stronger or I wish I would have simply said I love you more. I've lost so many other people in so many crazy ways, but thank god its only made me stronger. Don't worry about your fathers ungrateful spouse, god see's evil and I'm sure she'll get all that she deserves. I know your probably a very strong person exspecially after loosing so many people dear to your life, you inspire me and I bet you inspire many others.

omg that is just too full on for me, I feel for you mate, and I don't even know what to say but I am here to help.

I can feel this pain i am going through with this.

I have had many die from cancer in my family as well. Its such a terrible disease to watch someone slowly decay from. I think about my Mom all the time. Life doesnt make sense sometimes.

thank you all so much for your kind, encouraging, sympathetic and empathetic comments.

I used to feel so sorry for myself because I grew up without parents. But when I hear about the horrific pain people like you have, dealing with letting these wonderful people go, I guess it balances out.

I can't say I know how you feel, but I know what pain is. I know it isn,t much comfort, but tell yourself how wonderful it was that you had such a great mom, even for such a brief time. Focus on those moments, it will carry you through. She wouldn,t want you to be filled with pain.

I'm sorry I'm not much help.

im sure your kids look upto you the same way you did to your mom, you should be very proud of yourself for being so strong. take care x

lost my dad from cancer.i was a grown lady with a family.still hurt a lot,then my hubby of 40 years died from multipul myeloma,he was 62.never had a chance to see greats and great greats,i feel,oneday we will all be together,life is sweet,but a trial for even a better one,i truly beleive this,so sad others dont,it would make things so much easier to bear.for non belevbers ,i pray this lirf you are living is the brightest,blessed,one you can make it.certainly dont condemm you for yor feelings.you are doing your best.even of you dont beleive in an afterlife,i feel God reads our hearts,you may be in for a surprise(I hope)

I always want to know why I had to be 43 when my dad died and he was only 72. then I'm reminded that people lose their father's much earlier than that.



I feel for you

"why does life and death have to hurt so much?" I've thought this too, the only answer I have is, DEATH IS FINAL and you never get to see them again.

I always want to know why I had to be 43 when my dad died and he was only 72. then I'm reminded that people lose their father's much earlier than that.



I feel for you

It reminds you of how delicate we are. My dad survived a brain tumour last year. Its a fragile existence. x

I too have lost someone I loved to cancer. It hurts like the dickens and you sit wishing you could have done more but knowing nothing would be enough. You have wonderful memories though and I have found that although they hurt, they also help. Hold fast to them and write them down. You may think that you'll never forget them but trust me, time has a way of robbing you of precious memories. Keep them close and document them. You won't be sorry and they will help you get through the days and weeks to come.

I know what its like to have cancer and to have someone I know personally die from cancer. Idon't look forward to the end. I don't want to think of my demise. I have seen the suffering and agony thats goes with dying from cancer. After my relatives have passed, I have always thanked God I didn't have any form of cancer. Now unfortunately its my turn to have to endure and go thru what they did. I know my wife, kids and grandkids will suffer with hardship and sorrow when my time comes just like you did.

thank you, that means a lot.

You seem like a very strong person. I hope your very proud of yourself and also hope you won't have to go through this again.... death shouldn't be such a painful struggle. It's not fair...

Your Family ties are strong . I can not stand selfish people. If you need someone to talk to I am here. I know how you feel ( Been there , Done that ) Life is hard

Why does life (and death) have to hurt so much?