My dad has cancer and I'm struggling


Hi all, I’m new to CanTeen but it was recommended to me via a social worker so I thought i would give it a go and share my story on what’s happened so far...

On the 21st of December 2017 my dad was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. It was the most horrific news. My dad (47)is not a person who usually gets sick and has never been to the hospital let alone the doctors apart from your average vacinations (they’re using a chemo which they would give a 20 year old because of this). When he was first diagnosed I tried (and am still trying) to be strong because I have a younger brother (I’m 17 and my brother is 14) who relies on me and my mum who relies on me to be the “rock” in the house and hold everyone together which put quite a bit of responsibility and weight on my shoulders.

The weeks flew by and he started chemo in early January 2018. It seemed to be doing the trick but out of nowhere he had these lumps forming around his neck so we took him back to the hospital and they told us that not only does he have CLL but he also has some form of Lymphoma which they think may be Non-Hodgkins (they’re still unsure on what type). From being a healthy father to having 2 cancers came as a massive shock and it seemed to be happening all too quickly.

It became too much for me to handle alone so I turned to my friends but all they can say is “I’m here for you” but when i do go to them for help im left on “read” which tore me apart. As the depression and anxiety became too much I struggled to go to school (year 12) and was in tears every morning so I decided to drop out of school and go to TAFE (starts in June this year).

Chemo session after chemo session and he seemed to be feeling better but last week after his halfway point of chemo he got violently sick so of course we took dad back to the hospital. Due to the aggressiveness of his cancer (stage 4 in both) and the aggressiveness of the chemo, it activated a bacteria commonly known as C. Diff which is attacking his body but his immunity is so low he can’t fight off the bacteria. He’s been in hospital since last Saturday and now has a hernia which the doctors need to operate on but he isn’t strong enough to make it through the operation alive so they’re now doing all sorts of test and they've had to do 4 blood tranfusions in 2 days. This turned my worls upside down and all of a sudden it is all crashing onto me.

My 18th birthday is this Sunday and my dad is going to be in hospital for my birthday which is fine because i can just go into the hospital to see him but it’s affectng him so much where he’s crying about it and saying sorry for “ruining my birthday” which makes me feel even worse because I know it’s not his fault at all.

At the moment I am really struggling with what's going on and it's breaking my heart seeing him so weak and fragile and this scares me because I don't want this to be how I remember my dad if this bacteria and everything else does actually kill him.

I woud love to hear back from someone who can relate because I feel alone and don’t know how to deal with this all because it happened so suddenly and up until this very moment I’ve been bottling it all up and its slowly ruining my own health and mental health. Thanks for takng the time to read this and would love to hear back from someone who can relate.