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caring for a dad with cancer - Carers UK Forum

caring for a dad with cancer

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hi all, came across this site yesterday and in reading some of the stories i was amazed to find how many people care for someone and have all these feelings trapped inside them that they feel they cannot tell there everyday friends. just like me...... im a mum of a normal,healthy 15 year old daughter, i had a job i loved, and after being a single mum for such a long time, i finally had a life. then in October 2010 it all changed when just before my shift at work was due to start my dad rang and told me he had just been diagnosed with bowel cancer. from that moment things seem to move so quickly that its only been in the last couple of months im able to stop and take as breath,but not a long one! my sister who lived at home moved miles away, my dad was insistent he would not go into any type of care facility (he watched his mum spend 16 years in one) and i respected his decision, but would move in with me and my daughter, i should say my parents divorced years ago so it left only me to care for dad and he insisted it was me and not my sister. well to cut a long story short i nursed dad through 5 intense months of chemo watched him go through 2 major operations that even the doctors said if he came through the other side it would be a mircel, moved dad in with me and my kid in our 2 bed flat,packed his flat up then packed my flat up when 9 months later we were offered a bigger property , i have done this on my own, i didn't encroach on my friends they had there own lives and as i said my sister moved away, all the family i had was my aunt (dads sister) and she is in her 70's and in poor health herself and i know i sound really selfish but as much as i try, i miss my life, i gave everything up to do this for dad.
in December just gone he was told at this moment in time he is cancer free, well you would think this would make everything fantastic, and although we are all pleased with this news my dad is still insistent he stays living with us and its got to the point he wont even go and stay with his sister for a couple of days to give me a break and i am now at the end of my rope, what can i do, i desperately need some time alone with my daughter in our home i also need some me time, im 33 years old and most days i feel life has just passed me by. i feel so alone, we were offered respite but again dad said no he didn't want anyone else helping him but me.
i should say my dad is able bodied hes quite forgetfully but he can and could manage his own personal needs now, i would still see to his bills and bits that need to be ordered for his personal care,and make sure he attended all doctor/hospital appointments, but i think my dad quite likes the idea of me caring for him however he seems to forget that i now need to start living, i gave everything up for him and yes im bitter about that as i was the only one of his 2 daughters that did. my sister phones maybe once a month and hes fine with this, as he say shes young (32) she has no responsibilities so she can go off and have some fun!!! so am i over the hill at 33!!! arghhhhhhhhhhhh........ most days i want to scream, shout and cry but don't as everyone see me as the strong one, what they don't see is that when dad told me he had cancer how hard it hit me but i had to be strong for him and my daughter,how much it affected me seeing him go through chemo and what that did, not knowing if he would come through the operations and in all this time i have not once been asked how i am coping.

i suppose i should end it here, as a first post this was rather long and so i shall apologise but it would be nice to have some advice on where to go from now, and if i sound selfish please tell me.

loulou x
No not at all selfish lou lou, and not too long either.

No time to write much now.... need to do something for mum. But welcome and will try and write more later Image

No Loulou you're not being selfish - so knock that idea on the head before it takes permanent root !

It's your Dad that's being selfish and short sighted too - 'cos if you crack up who will look after him then ?

You don't say how old your Dad is ? But if his sister is in her 70's and you're 33 then I'm guessing he's probably late 60's to mid 70's ? Does he have a social worker, has he had a care assessment ? What about getting him to attend a day centre once or twice a week to give you some time to yourself ?

Have a look around the main part of the Carers UK website, there is a section on where to go for practical support. At the same time perhaps there is a family friend who could talk to him and point out that you need time to yourself and that you have life that is worth living as much as your sister does.
No, no, no ( thats three no's ) you are not being selfish. You were totally selfLESS when giving up everything to care for your Dad. Now he is fitter and can deal with his own personal care, you have every right to take back some of your own life, whatever that may look like. If he does not see that, for whatever reason, then you have to be assertive about this now. What plans have you in mind for yourself now ?

Some input from another, eg Social Worker could be helpful, but I sense that you need to tell your Dad what your plans are now if you feel you have come to the limit re trying to have a reasonable discussion. This now, is about you. Okay ?

Take care,

Susieq and araobert are right,and if it comes to it you will have to walk away for your own good.Dad was no.1 priority,now he isn`t,and whether he agrees or not,he is not your life.As Susieq says,check out the Carers UK sites,get all the information together,and prioritise.Should your Dads life take a turn for the worse you would probably help him again,but he doesn`t need you 24/7 now,so get your life back on track,and don`t feel guilty,you have already done more than a lot would. Image Image Image
Hi Loulou

Everything what everyone else say's definately ther is no way your selfish. Far from it. What about your daughter obviously as she's 15 she understand's what's going on. Image
There would be no way you would want your relationship with her to be ruined in anyway, you must be close as you've brought her up yourself hat's off to you.

You definatley need some you time and some mother/daughtetr time.

Take care.

Liz x Image
Welcome to the forum loulou - I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I can't really add anything to what the others have said as they've covered it all - just wanted to reiterate that you're not being selfish at all. You've done so much for your dad. You're a young woman and you deserve to have a life with your daughter. It's not going to be easy but you CAN sort this out so the situation is better for all of you. Keep us posted.

Jo Image
Ho loulou and welcome. No, you aren't being selfish and if your dad is fit and well enough to take charge of his own life again, that's what he should be doing, allowing you to have your life back.