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My Story

I lost my Dad to cancer one month ago today. He was diagnosed in April after a week long stay in the hospital with colon cancer that had spread to his liver. He made it very clear that he didnt want any treatment at all. The doctors gave him six to eight months to live.

He was constantly medicated. Every two hours or as needed. Sometimes it never helped and he could barely get out of bed, some days he said he felt okay, and some days he self medicated just so he could have a decent day.

It was really hard to come to terms with the fact that he didnt want any treatment. Liver cancer doesnt respond well to most treatments, and even with a transplant, he wouldnt live beyond five years. I offered to give him a piece of my liver if we were a match, but he never entertained the idea.

I couldnt bear the thought of losing him... His father (my Grandpa) died in April 2007. He was diagnosed a few months earlier with lung, liver, and bone cancer. My Dad took it really hard. It was one of the only things I ever remember him crying about. My Moms mom (my Gram) died six months later... and to be honest, that whole situation bothers me so bad. She went into the hospital with severe stomach pain, and the condition they said she had required surgery. They put her on antibiotics and sedated her. She died October 17, 2007, six months after having a stroke. Within two days of my Grandpa dying, my Gram had a stroke. She was doing so good. She even got to leave rehab early because she improved so much. I feel like her death could have been avoided, but, I feel the same way about that as I do with my other family. It hurts, but she is happier and much better off.

My Dad and my boyfriend and I would camp out in my aunts backyard (he moved in with her after he was diagnosed. she made him happy while he was there) and one time, he said to me that he never in a million years thought he had cancer, that it never crossed his mind. But he was clear he didnt want any treatment and after a doctors appointment in the beginning of July, even the doctors said treatment wouldnt be worth it, and he had five to seven months left.

Towards the end of July, he took a turn for the worse. Hospice brought in a hospital bed and he couldnt get up. My boyfriend and I were sasving money at the time for an engagement ring. We talked about it, and it was important that we had my Dads blessing. So one day before we went to see him, we put some money down on a ring. He was so happy for us. Ever the bargain hunter, I knew we would get a $100 discount if we paid off the ring by the end of the month. We were flat broke but we got the money we needed in three days.

My Dad was annointed and read his last rights on Sunday afternoon. That night, he was admitted to the hospital. They had to drain his abdomen, because his liver was shutting down, and the fluid was building up. They got about three liters of fluid from his abdomen. I thought for a minute this was something he would recover from, but when I saw him I knew- this was it. He was heavily sedated, so I sat at his bedside, holding his hand and cried.

That night, it was decided that my brother, my Dads girlfriend, and i would stay the night. We left in the evening to see if we could sleep a bit before we came back. When I said goodbye to him and told him Id be back later and that I loved him, he was listening, and he mouthed back "I love you too".

That night was the worst of my life. It will haunt me until the end of time. They had to put a catheter in, because he was going to be kept sedated, but he got upset when he woke up and had to use the bathroom but couldnt move. It is killing me to have to think about this, but when the nurses were putting the catheter in, he woke up, and nobody was in the room but the nurses. My brother and my Dads girlfriend walked away, but I couldnt stand to leave because they tried to put a catheter in earlier, but they had to stop because it was hurting him. Well this time, I stood outside the door, and I heard him yelling clearly "Come on guys, please, you're hurting me." I have never heard him plead for anything like that before, and I will never forget it. I can hear it loud and clear as if he is in my ear saying it. I completely broke down in the hospital. When I got home that morning, I couldnt get it out of my head- I couldnt sleep. I sat on my floor shaking and repeating what I heard him say. I felt so guilty for not stopping them from hurting him and I kept imagining how terrified he must have been, waking up with no family around, being tortured. They even tied his arms down so he couldnt do anything to protect himself. That night will follow me forever and I feel so horrible for not doing anything to help, or at least being there for him, to try and tell him it was okay. I felt like I had abandoned him when he needed me most, and I will never forgive myself.

The next morning, my Mom and my aunt went and removed his restraints and made it very clear that he was not to be restrained. They were supposed to keep him sedated so he didnt wake up and have to be restrained. He just wanted to leave. When he did wake up, he would say "Get me the **** out of here" and try to rip his iv out, get up, and leave.

My brother and my uncle stayed with him that night. When I got there the next morning, his breathing had gotten worse and his blood pressure was dropping. everyone knew that that was going to be his last day. The nurses from the hospital were all jerks, but the Hospice nurses and doctors were some of the nicest, sweetest people Ive ever met. The Hospice doctor said that he was "actively dying" and that it could be minutes or hours. The only reason, they said, that he was still alive was that he was so young (only 49) and he still had a lot of fight in him.

So I went back in the room, sat at his side, holding his hand. I told him that it was okay, that he could go in peace, that he didnt have to fight anymore for our sake. The Hospice nurse came in and said his kidneys were failing, and by then it was only a little while longer. His breathing became more and more labored, and there was fifteen (yeah fifteen) people in the room crying as I told my Dad it was okay, that he could go, that Grandpa was waiting for him.

I was holding his hand when he passed away. I know when people used to say to me "Oh, they are happy now, much better off" I thought to myself "Yeah, okay (even though I believed it, I was just too hurt). But I didnt know hurt until I saw what my Dad was going through, and I felt an eerie peace in my heart when he passed, like I know somehow that this was the best thing. He died July 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm. I didnt leave his side until almost three pm. I couldnt bear to leave his side.

My engagement ring was sized and ready to be picked up the day after he died.

This is by far, the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I miss him so much. He will always be my Big Bad Dad and I will always be his Sweet Melissa. I try to do things the way he would have done them, live the way he lived. He always had so much fun, and he was always laughing. He never wanted me to be sad, and I know hes watching me cry my eyes out as I type. Usually that is enough to make me feel better, just knowing that he wouldnt want me to be sad, but seeing this horrible ordeal written out on this page is killing me. Im so lost without him in my life.

I have a lot more to write, but I cant do it right now.

xlyssajx xlyssajx 18-21, F 54 Responses Aug 30, 2008

Your Response


I understand how you feel and it is hard to write it out in black and white, because then it's not just a terrible story in your mind. It is somehow more real. My dad died in July. He had lymphoma throughout his body. He had undergone treatment and was even in remission for a couple of months, but it came back. I was always daddy's little girl even though I am now 31. My dad was 54, so not too much older than your dad. It's so hard... At least we know one day we will see them again.

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I lost my dad , this April 19,2014,
To cancer ... I can totally identify what you went thru .
They say time heals but really.. Does it..
My dad was my everything , the one consistent thing in my life, the only one to pick me up when I'm low and never judge just tell me it's gonna be ok and move forward...
I live on Ontario , they lived in BC, I moved to Bc for work for 6 mths, I made plans to move back , the day I left bc is the day they found out he was sick.Feb 12,2014 they didn't tell me for 2 weeks , dad wanted me to get settled , because he knew I wouldn't be vale to deal with it.
I flew out with my daughters for a 5 day trip for them to see dad while he was still well enough, I sent them home on the 5 day I stayed ... I wasn't in Bc an hour and he started to fail,had to call an ambulance less than an hour after my arrival ,5 days turned into 15 for me, we got him stable and they said he had 3-6 mths... Before I left I had made my plans to come back end of April and help mom and be there.... He promised he'd do his best to wait fir me...when he was released he was eating ,pain management was under control almost his normal self..
He actually drove me to the airport .....
That was the last I saw him..
We talked everyday , the palliative care nurses said he was doing very well,
I asked everyone ,if he was having a bad day
Should I get going out there ....
" oh no, you have time he's doing great..."
The pain of not being there will haunt me forever , not being able to say goodbye ,not that I think I actually could .. But just not being there .... He was always there for me .... Always ... And I couldn't be there for him....
Maybe he didn't want me to see him like that , I don't know...
But this time heals stuff... It's gonna take a lot more then just time to make this hurt go away!,
I'm pretty strong but this is much much stronger than I

My dad died of cancer on Tuesday 20th may 2005 I was only 11 and he was 45 years old . it's nearly been 9 years the is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him. Like they say it gets easier over the years but I don't think this is true. It's the big days like his birthday and the day he died on which are even more hard. But what I have learnt is do something in his memory that is what has helped me get though these years.

im so sorry for your loss=( my dad also age 49 had a rare type of cancer called nasopharyngeal carcinoma they gave him 6 months to a year with radiation/chemo it worked but made him sicker by the day very hard to watch ,he got his petscan back and told him the cancer was gone...but failed to tell him that he had kidney cancer and liver cancer well it metastasized to the bones and he had bone cancer and in the liver =/ as you know once the liver goes you know theres no chance for anything to work his was so bad not even surgery they condemned him as hospice im only 21 and this was the hardest thing for me to hear i figured id lose my dad in his 80's deffinatley not 49 he had a stroke was always dropping his cigarettes and fell four times in the house we called hospice they told us to bring him in the hospital 5 days total for the liver to completely take over and eventual kill him i hate cancer with a passion i know the pain you feel i wouldint wish this on anyone

My dad passed away from cancer and i am just 10 year old. I never played with him. He was busy and i was too. :(

I'm so sorry for your lose. I went through something extremely alike.

I'm 13, and I can say because of my life I'm a bit wiser than most girls my age. Basically, I didn't have a dad. My grandfather was my Dad. He was always smiling, and he would sneak me some chips everyday. He was the type to up lift everyone's day, and even if he didn't have money, he would lend it to you. He got lung cancer, and went into depression. I remember I got everyone in my school to sign a petition saying he still mattered. Months pasted by, and he was fine. I started to have nightmares of him without his hair, and I got scared. He finally cut his hair, and it was fine. But it made it so official. I didn't want that. I was still hoping it was some sort of mistake. That was a year in. After another year passing, it was my birthday. My grandpa planed for months just to go to Bush Gardens for me. On our last day, he told me something I will never forget. "You are old enough to be a Queen. But you will ALWAYS be my princess." God it still rings in my ear. He was diagnosed with Brain cancer, and it went down hill. He couldn't walk, stopped eating, and pretty much gave up. I remember the day he was put in the hospital. I cried so hard because I knew it was the last time I would see him in our house. I didn't leave his side. I had it in my head that I wanted to be with him for his last breath. It was the last thing I would do for him. I was sobbing, to myself in the dark corner of the room next to him. And I heard something that was suppost to be impossible. He whispered my name. Few days pass, and I had gotten into fights with my Mom, Sister, and cousin. I wasn't emotionally stable. I said my goodbyes to him, but like I said I needed to be there. I got home, and went to bed at 3. At exactly 5:30 my mom calls and says to race there, he didn't have much left. I thought this was my chance to be there, and I was determined. I got there only to be attacked into a hug. He died at 5:27 that night. I never had a chance. But the fact never changed my name was the last word he choked out... He was still thinking about his princess...

I can totally relate. My dad was also diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer (spread to the liver) in January, 2011. Only he was diagnosed 2 weeks before I was due to have his first grandchild. He opted for chemo and even was open to some "experimental" treatments the nearby medical college hospital offered. 18 months later, when I was 16 weeks pregnant with his second grandchild, he had surgery to possibly cure his cancer (or at the very least, improve his chances for a longer life).

His body never recovered from the surgery and he stayed in the ICU for nearly two months before he passed in October, 2012. We had a great experience with medical professionals, but I can totally relate to the heartbreak of watching your tough old man in pain, unable to do anything for himself.

I hate hearing "hang in there" and "he's in a better place." I know people want to be encouraging and it's hard to find the right words, but from the way I look at it, the "better" place is here with us after a successful surgery.

It just sucks all around and I hate that my dad has two grandsons who will never get to remember him (although my older son had a great relationship, although short, with him).


My dads in a liver induced coma as of this morning and as fate would have it I ran into your story reading and hunting for support and name is Melissa too and I believe your story was a sign! Thank you and I too am going through the hardest thing in my life, watching my dad die with hospice from liver dancer...but I'm ready for his suffering to end! Thank you

I am 22 years old and my dad is 39 he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer on March 12,2012 and it spread to his lungs,liver and lymp nodes. They recently just told us that the medicine that he had been taking was not working it was actually making the tumors bigger so they are trying a new medicine. It's hard dealing with all of this I have a little brother that is 10 and a little sister that is 12 and it is so hard on both of them. We are so use to my dad doing everything with us. At least I know he will be going to see God:)) He is the best man anyone could ever meet he is a deacon at a church(when he gets to go which is not often) I would appreciate if everyone would please pray for him and my family. My mom lost her job a month after we found out so they have fund raisers for my parents because my mom can't work she has to stay with my dad...

I'm losing my dad as we speak to brain cancer this has been the hardest year of my life and some people just don't understand I'm on the couch now whiled dad is in a hospital bed in the room I grew up in. It will be any day now and I know God is going to take him to see his mom and dad. I'm gonna miss him so much I don't wanna lose my daddy

Hi mel I went thru the same I'm sitting here now looking at his obitory life has been hard not just dad but so much more I feel for you n no exactly how you feel just hope n pray that you will day by day find strength

Your story was very animated and I enjoyed reading it so thank you for posting :)<br />
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I know times like these are rough, but may I suggest you try to separate yourself from the situation by viewing the welfare of your father through a different lens. He sounded like a great man and somebody even I would admire :) I went through a similar situation last year with one of my best friends who had taught me so much about myself so I know where you are coming from in a sense.<br />
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I wish you the very best in your grieving process and rest assured, your father will be looking in on you from time to time :)

Your story is so incredibly beautiful, and it hits so close to home. My father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer on October 16, 2009, and we just recently received the news that there is nothing more the doctors can do. My dad is 48, only a year younger than yours was, and they both have gone through so many of the same difficulties (liver failure and all). It's impossible to go a day without the constant reminders of the pain and suffering my father is feeling. It's heartbreaking to know that in a few short years or even months he will no longer be with me. I will no longer be able to hold his hand like a little girl. I am only 17 years young with three sisters (21, 13, 11), and he will not be able to walk anyone of us down the isle on our wedding day. It's truly agonizing. Anways, after reading your beautiful story, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share how much it meant to me. So thank you for the reassurance that I am not going through this alone. I will be praying for you continuously. God bless.

you just brought back old memories i had managed to lock away , you will always feel some guilt honey, i do and its 16years ago ,,,you are very lucky you were there at that moment and so is your dad mine died without me ,he cryied out for me but my stepmum had refused me entry ,,,it still hurts that she would do that to him let alone me ,, my thoughts will be with you for days now maybe longer ,,,normal nurses are so pushed they do their best but its not enuff ,,,,dont be angry at them please my mum was one and always told us the stories of how things were ,,i have lost her too to cancer it has no boundaries at all ,,,be calm inside and you will find a peace ,,god bless you xx

My dad also died from cancer. This brought back so much of what we went through with him. My dad was home when he finally passed but I remember his tummy filling up with the fluid and his doctor making a house call and telling us it wouldn't be long. It's only been a couple years. It feels like an eternity since I talked to my dad or heard his voice. I stood there with him when he took his last breath and his heart finally stopped beating. This stuff will never leave my memory. It's awful. I miss him.

wow Melissa reading your story made me relive my mom being in the hospital yea she passed away from cancer too. I just wish they were to find a cure for it already you know, its crazy because it comes out of no where when u least expect it. My mom had breast cancer and to see her slowly dyin hurt me like no other, she battled it for it for 5 or 7 years tho she was 50 when she passed. She was in the hospital for my 21st birthday and i couldnt even enjoy my birthday worried about her and pregnant at the time. She passed away April 12th 2008 at 4am and i gave birthday April 16th 2008 and her funeral was April 17, 2008 that was the hardest thing i ever had to go through. Trying to mourn for my mother and be a mom at the same time. Till this day I am 24 and it just sucks that she is not here in the physcial and i hate that how ever old my child is thats how long my mother has been gone 3 years already sigh i know she is watching me just like i know your dad is you are in my prayers hun ~hugs~ and congradz on your engagment :)<br />
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PS: Aug 30th when you wrote this is my moms bday she turned 51 then :)

Waoh..wat an xperience? So sad bt then so inspiring..yo dad wz truly strng n yu are exceptional too..a wish u God's favor al through.

i lost my dad 02-11 to colorectal too except he underwent five years of treatments was awful he didnt live during the treatments..and right before he passed he said he wished he never went through all of it..although u had a shorter time with him im sure it was well lived ..and in any light having the opportunity to say goodbye grants some closure

I cried reading your story. I only hope you are able to put this tragedy behind you one day. It was nice that you were able to be at his side you are avery strong and brave person.

I cried when I read the story but am uplifted to know that I did the right thing for my husband.<br />
Your story is exactly what my husband and I feared so we decided on DNR and he died at home in the arms of our son. I also have a DNR and have CHF etc and hope I will die at home or anywhere else, EXECPT the HOSPITAL.<br />
By posting your story you have helped many people and I am sure your Dad would be pleased.

Your story touched my heart..i know your pain..cancer has visited my family as well.<br />
I'm sorry you were so young when this tragedy happened,, it's never easy at any time in one's life but so unfair for the young.. there are still so many things you need your parents to be in your life for.<br />
Take a comfort in the thought that time will ease the pain a little but it will never be far from your heart..Your Dad is closer than you may realize. Thank you for sharing a part of your life.

I too recently lost my dad to colorectal cancer with liver metastasis. He wasn't diagnosed until December 22, 2009. His doctors were telling him very little and not scheduling follow up appointments for weeks out because of the Christmas holidays. I was alarmed by that and went to Philadelphia to take him to his doctors and get copies of his medical test results. When I read them all I was crushed. They knew he was going to die so they neglecting to move quickly as if his life meant nothing. We were able to submit all his reports to the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and after reviewing the pathology report, they had him come him immediately.But the cancer is his liver was so bad that there was no hope. They tried their best to save him by trying to open the vessels in his liver but it was hopeless. His liver was failing and soon his kidneys would follow. On Thursday January 14, 2010, less than a month after his initial diagnosis, a doctor sat on his bed rubbing his swelling legs and told him that she couldn't save him. Tears rolled down her face as she told him that he had days maybe to live. He told her that he knew she wasn't God. At 7:37 the next morning January 15th, my father died. I miss him so much but I try to take comfort in knowing that he didn't suffer as others have. I also take comfort in having gotten him to the cancer center where doctors know that the way you die is as important as the way you live. Thank God for the doctors at Fox Chase. Had we left my father with the medical care at Einstein Medical Centers he probably would have died in an emergency room because they had not even scheduled any follow up appointments with Oncology until the 13th of January. In my fathers case, this cancer was a silent killer and at age 63 he really didn't start to display symptoms until the last six month of his life and he dismissed them as normal aging, however his doctors were also slow to send him for testing. The doctors at Fox Chase stated that they wished he had gotten to them a month or so earlier. I am devastated. I urge anyone with Cancer to seek treatment through a cancer center!

i went through that same thing. I felt exactly that same eerie peace you described. I'm so sorry for your heartache. peace and love with you always xxxxxxxxx

Hi Mel,We just buried my Dad on the 21st of December 2009. This was after, only three months after being diagnosed. So obviously this Christmas was a very quiet one, it was the fourth night after his burial. I know how it is to actually hear them suffering and the nurses seem to be neglecting them. Like your Dad, my Dad had prepared himself well before he passed on. He has been diabetic for over ten years and it has taken it's toll on his lungs. He was aware that if he had a surgery to remove the tumor around his lungs, he will have a 50% chance of surviving. He lived for 6 days after his surgery and he passed on. We believe that he has gone on to be with the Lord and the thought of that brings comfort to our hearts. After he passed then we realised that the nurses should have kept on dripping him with sodium chloride but they just gave him one pile. But i knew none of this can bring him back. Like you, I loved my Dad very much and we were so close because i was the youngest. i was beside him when his internal organs were failing him. It crushed my heart to be standing helplessly beside him in the hospital and no pain killer/ sedative could ease the pain he was going through.We are coming to terms with his passing and he will always live in our hearts. An advise for you " You should focus on all the happy moments you spent together and i am very sure that those happy moments outnumber the sad ones. Always picture your Dad's smiling face whenever the thought of his pleas fleets through your mind. That is how i have decided to remember him - SMILING"Congrats on the engagement and a future full of happiness.God Bless You, Mel.

we all die, when i woke up this morning, i was dying so were you, and me compassion is good . my father died, my mother died, and so shall you, all for good or for bad, for what we think we know were sad . but we will live for all it takes, with all our mistakes, we shall rest, knowing you'll do the best I SHALL DO BETTER!!!!!!

all the blessings to you and your family. such a sad story. im so sorry that you were forst to go through with that. love

Thank you, Ykat.

Melissa, bless you, I can feel how sad you are.. I wish you all the best, and believe that your dad is up there watching you.. :)<br />
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I also believe that some day we all meet our loved ones that we lost again..<br />
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Thank you for sharing, and God bless you, and your family.