T Nation

Dad Given Weeks to Live


Two weeks I found out my old man has cancer of the stomach. Last week I found out it's terminal. Today I found out he only has weeks left. This has pretty much devastated me and it's hard to get back into the flow of life. I've literally been walking about in a daze since I heard.

My dad is my best mate and the thought of never seeing him again is too much too bear. It's made worse by the fact I have 2 small brothers (10 and 6) who dont even really know whats going on. They will when he goes though and that leaves a hefty lump in my throat.

Its fucking weird though the coping strategies that you adopt when you hear life changing news. I don't think there's any one way to deal with this. You just have to get on with it

I don't even know why I'm posting this. Maybe it relieves some of the stress that this has brought on and i'm subliminally looking for support. Sorry to sound like a total woos but I honestly thought I led a charmed life.

I love you Dad.


Sorry to hear this Jack.

Try to stay strong for your old man! Make him proud.

Its completely fucked up raw deal life is going to take him away but,just be thankful you have this time to say good bye. Take it from someone who has lost a parent, I would give anything cept my kid to just have 5 mins and that was 13 years ago.


I'm so sorry.

Can I ask how old you are?


Wow that is really sad. I'm sorry to hear this bad news.

I don't think I have anything other than the standard advice... spend time with him now while you can. I would also consider having a talk with him as far as what he would like you to do for your brothers. Maybe let him know that you will be there for them etc.


Sorry for your loss man.


Sad news bud, know how it feels.

I'm still on the fence about the movember thing you mentioned, I look ridiculous with one. I tried years ago to grow one and failed lol. My sister is a three time cancer survivor and I might just have to look stoopid for a month for a good cause.

All the best, you're going to find out what your made of after this one.


Now we all know the DB is short for DOUCHE BAG.

Sorry for this most awful news, Jack. Be strong for your dad.


I've never gone through anything remotely close to this.

Sorry to hear it man.


I'm very sorry to hear this man, really.


Sorry for your loss Jack.


Jack, we spoke about this briefly in the other thread. In the summer of '92 my dad was given at most a year to live. He was one of the first few people on the planet diagnosed with Hep C, which at the time no one knew existed and thought it was diabetes due to the similarites. As a result of the medication used to treat diabetes [which he didn't have] he developed diabetes.

Over time he got sicker and sicker, developing sickle cell carcinoma, leukemia, body not producing red blood cells, body not producing whit blood cells, another form of cancer which I don't remember and a host of other major problems on top of the Hep C and diabetes. He lived until April 6, 2006. That's 13 years longer than expected. I'm telling you this 'cause I don't want you or your family to accept what some numbnuts doctor says as gospel. My thoughts go out to you and your fam. Stay strong brother.


Truly sorry for the news your family received. Ive been where you are now. The best thing I can offer as advice is. He is still here, make the most of it.


Ah son, my heart breaks for you. May I offer something? I am a father of two young sons (16 and 8) and two years ago I had to give them the news that their father had cancer (I had stage three testicular cancer that ended up in my lungs). My cancer was not terminal and three months of aggressive chemotherapy got rid of 98% of the cancer but that is not what I want to talk to you about.

When the chemo was wrecking my body and I had a hard time doing more then sit, my oldest one would just come sit next to me and turn on my favorite show on TV, rub my bald head (from the chemo) for luck (he would say) and just stay there till I fell asleep from exhaustion. I loved every minute of him just being there watching a movie with me or our favorite Sci-fi show. I would wake up with a blanket on my, a night light and the tv off. That meant the world to me. Once I brought him to school and I joked that I wished I had had a million in life insurance for him. Before I was finished he turned and said: "not even ten million would do. just stay here with me". i could have passed on to the next world right there and I would have counted myself the luckiest man.

My youngest one would crawl in bed with me at night sometimes. To make sure he was there if I needed something, he would tell me, so I would not have to get up and get tired. When I was in pain he would insist I lean on him ( he was all of 55lbs at the time:)).

I am sharing this to let you know it takes very little for a father to be enormously happy and proud.

just sit with your father. no need to say much. don't worry about what to say or do. I absolutely loved just having my boys close to me, knowing they loved me.

You sound like a wonderful son and a great big brother.

Strength and love to you, dear boy. Life has called upon you early to step in your fathers foot steps and be there for your mum and brothers. It is not fair that you are losing your dad. it is not.
Make every moment count.



Thank you for your kind words people. It means a lot to me.

My dad stays in Finland. He moved there years ago after hooking up with a Finnish bird and made the place his home. They ended up having 2 boys who I absolutely adore. This is also whats killing me.

I went with my sister to see him and it wasn't my dad there. He was like someone else. You'll probably know what I'm talking about here. We couldnt talk about the shit we used to talk about for years. Just inane bullshit usually focused on WW2, Hitler and and anthropological shit(I'm rambling here). Nothing. The words couldnt come out. Something inside me has died.

Now I'm back in Scotland completely fucking helpless while he is over there losing it. I'm going to fly over again in the next two weeks. I NEED to be there when he goes. If I'm not then I will be completely destroyed.


I'm 32 mate


Lots of hugs for you Jack. Will be thinking about your and your family.


Jack - I'm so sorry to hear the news about your fathers condition. My father-in-law has been deteriorating for the past two years. I don't know what else to say except that my thoughts and prayers are for strength for you and your family and comfort for comfort your father.


I'm Back.
I've been thinking about your post since I read it this morning. I can't really top what I just quoted from Marc (beautiful)... but i feel compelled to add a bit more to my earlier response. Typically I don't delve too deep into my personal life online but what the hell.

My mom is in the midst of her third battle with stage four fully metastasized ovarian cancer. We have NOT been given the diagnosis of "terminal" and we have definately not been given any sort of deadline. We are approaching this with as little fear as possible because in this instance fear serves no purpose. In that major way my situation is quite different from yours.

Something that we do have in common though is that realization of how important someone is to us BEFORE they are gone. We both have the opportunity to take some control of how our relationships conclude. Being able to spend time with the person and express to them exactly what the mean to us is really a gift. I have lost a close loved one unexpectedly before and there are things I really wish I could have said/done that I didn't have the chance to.

You are going to be able to be there for your dad and your brothers in a way that will be complete and can be without regrets. In light of what you wrote above i would suggest taking some time to really think about what you want to say to your dad. If I were you I would do some writing on it also. Write a few letters to him... you can use them as a basis for your conversation with him or even read them to him in person. I know they will mean alot.

Your dad might not express things to you in the way that you hope... sometimes it is hard for men especially older men to vocalize their feelings... but you will be able to say your part and that is most important. Also think about what you dad might want you to do for your brothers. Even if he does not initiate that topic (he may not want to burden you) take the opportunity to tell him what your plans are in regards to your relationship with them. Even though you don't live in the same country letting him know that you will be there for them will probalby ease some of his fears in that area.

One thing I have been sure to do for myself is to talk about my situation with my close support group. Be sure you have one or two people that are there for YOU as well as you being there for your family.

Again, I'm really sorry to hear this sad news.


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Hey there Jack,

I can empathize with you. I have two parents that are on the decline. My mother just fought off her second bout with cancer but has COPD and is on oxygen and my father has the early onset of Alzheimers. The good thing is they are both fighters and they laugh, they joke, and they really fight each day to be better.

It hurts me as I am sure you are hurting each day. I am so glad you are there for your brothers. Take a lot of pictures, do this for your brothers. They are young. The more pictures the better.

Do all that you can to take care of you. I forgot that for a long time.

I am so sorry and am sending you my best wishes.