My mum called me this morning to tell me that my dad has a tumor.

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    Jan 10, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    Ok - the title says it, I just had my first cry in two years and I am halfway around the world from my friends and family.

    All I know is my trip to London will be interrupted due to a tumor in my dads urinary tract. Statistics show that it is the least deadly type of cancer to get, and Australia apparently has excellent treatments for it compared to the rest of the world, but I just want to know who else can relate to what I am going through.

    Please dont send me sympathy or private messages regarding this (its easier to write here), simply post in the thread to let me know how you coped with similar news. I want to read whatever input you guys have, whether its advice on how to cope, or simply a story of a similar experience you had.

    Thank you very much in advance

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    Jan 10, 2011 5:01 PM GMT

    He's lucky in three ways:

    It's cancer that has been caught and so treatable and likely curable.
    He's in Australia which has great health care.
    He has you.

    *hug* -Doug
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    Jan 10, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    Well there is no need to feel sorry for you because I'm sure he will get threw this and soon enough you will be at the beach looking back at this, stay and think positive with your head up

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    Jan 10, 2011 5:42 PM GMT

    ^ These forums will probably have more people with anecdotal experience with this, have a browse- there should be a lot ppl on them who know how this type of cancer tends to play out and what to expect.... Keep your head up mate- sounds like your dad will be healthy again soon now they've caught it

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    Jan 10, 2011 5:57 PM GMT
    I went thru prostate cancer with a big ol' tumor cuz the cancer was misdiagnosed for 2 years.

    In my experience, don't cry over the cancer. That will be cured. Cry over what he will go thru in therapy.

    What kind of therapy is he gonna have?

    Also, I strongly advise him to find a support group of people with the same cancer, either in-person or on-line. Other patients will tell him the truth about the cancer and therapy. Whereas doctors will withhold information. I am very serious.

    I know guys undergoing cancer therapy in Australia. His care will be top notch. The only drawbacks in Australia that I have heard of is that the treatment centers can be very distant cuz of the size and sparse settlement of the country in some areas.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9225

    Jan 10, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    My best friend sent out emails to all of his friends and family to let them know that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. Because I was his best friend, he had his partner call me and ask me to come over to the house because my friend wanted to talk to me about something. He wanted to tell me in person. When he told me, he started crying. I don't remember what I said at the time, but I hugged him.

    Later I got my thoughts together and I sent an email to him, which essentially said that HIV USED to be a death sentence, and that cancer USED to be a death sentence. But, with modern medicine and treatments, we would get through this, the same way he's lived a normal life, even though he's HIV+.

    He went for a series of radiation and chemo treatments which killed the tumor. That was several years ago. And, he's had a clean bill of health, ever since.

    The bottom line is that there's great hope for your father's full recovery. And, the best thing you can do for him, for yourself, and for the rest of the family, is to convey that very encouraging message.

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    Jan 10, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    I lost my mom to throat cancer in 1978 , the cancer was so advanced , that my mom passed away 3 weeks after they discovered it ... It is now 33 years later , a lot of progress have been done on how to treat patients and , your dad is in a country that offers one of the best healthcare in the world ....the cancer has been found at an early stage , and he has the best family around for support ..........
    Tell your dad , how important it is to have him in your life , as it will give him motivation for a faster recovery , and show , how much love you have in your heart for him
    Believe me ,i know how you feel , just hearing the word CANCER , and my stomach tightens ,,,,
    My thoughts are with you all ...
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    Jan 10, 2011 11:09 PM GMT
    So sorry to hear about your dad. Is this a bladder tumour? If it's papillary urothelial carcinoma without invasion, the prognosis is excellent and in fact is curable with resection.

    And the best way to cope in my experience is to educate yourself about the disease. Sometimes, nothing is more frightening than the unknown.
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    Jan 10, 2011 11:23 PM GMT
    we have some of the best health care in the world, your father will be well looked after with regular checkups, proper treatment and the ability to make use of many services offered to an unwell patient (ie, counseling, home care help and things of this nature)
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    Jan 11, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    Somerandom saidOk - the title says it, I just had my first cry in two years and I am halfway around the world from my friends and family.

    Sometimes life is tough, and you gotta be tougher yourself for the sake of somebody else. Obviously I wish your father the best, as well as you in handling this.

    One day in Seattle I got a call that my father had a heart attack. I immediately flew to his side in Florida (where I now live). I knew he had cancer, but I wasn't fully aware how grave his outlook was.

    His doctors told me he'd be dead in less than 6 months, either from the cancer or his heart condition. He hadn't admitted this to me himself.

    So I arranged to spend that final time down here with him, and to care for him myself until the end, whenever it came. It was the least I could do for my own father, with whom I'd had my disputes as many sons do, but whom I nevertheless admired & honored.

    In the next 6 weeks he had 4 more heart attacks, right in front of me. I literally brought him back a couple of times myself, and got him to the hospital in an ambulance in the nick of time. I was disgusted when the doctors asked me why I was bothering, since he wasn't going to survive much longer anyway, just let him go.

    I BEG YOUR PARDON??? This is my FATHER. You think I could possibly let him slip away in front of me, doing nothing? Fuck you, doctors. Let your own fathers die, not mine.

    And BTW, I think it was after the 3rd heart attack, he said to me: "Bob, I was surprised how calm, precise and efficient you were, when you called for help. I thought you might panic or something. And then you took charge when the ambulance crew arrived." (He had overheard me on the phone from his bedroom)

    "Well, yeah, Dad, I was an Army Colonel, after all. We did deal with crises all the time. Didn't you know what I'd been doing all those years?" And we laughed together. He'd been in the US Army Air Corps himself during WWII.

    A sixth heart attack at night finally took him (gawd, I hope I'm that tough, that it takes 6 heart attacks), when I wasn't able to help. I found him the next morning on the floor, and wouldn't let my sister see him because it wasn't pretty (in whose house we were both staying, she having just returned from Europe the very day before to also be with him. At least they had a last day together).

    So you be tough for your Dad. That's your job now. I pray he bounces right back from this, as he likely will. But one day will come, when you're gonna be where I was, as have countless other sons & daughters before me.

    I suppose what carried me was being focused on my mission, my duty, as I was trained to do. When my own father praised my reflexive efforts to save his life I had to go away for a moment, to cry by myself. This guy NEVER complimented me, never said a positive thing to me my whole life, totally stern and remote, the disciplinarian, never my friend or companion.

    And now he did. And those last 6 weeks I spent with him, feeding him, caring for him, driving him around, just sitting and talking with him, not just father & son but man-to-man, were worth more than our entire prior 48 years, at least to me.

    If you've still got a Dad, you take care of him, you treasure him. And when that day comes, hopefully very far from now, you be with him, be his comfort, as a son should be. From your post here I suspect that will be the case.
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    Jan 11, 2011 12:51 AM GMT
    Your dad is very fortunate to have caught this while operable, he probably didn't ignore the trouble so he's going to do fine. Remember though that sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease, but he'll get through it.

    Be sure to encourage him to keep up with his checkups, and add tests like checking for colon cancer every several years. The reason is if a person has cancer once, chances are pretty good that there could be latent or dormant cancer lerking about in other places.

    My mother as an example, she had an operable cancer back in 85', a tumor on her Uterous, they got all of it. Then just 4 years later, she was working in the yard, dropped a rock on her leg, it turned into what appeared to be a pump knot, she ignored it, 6 months later she noticed her leg was hot and bigger than the other one. She finally went in and they had to take out an 11 inch fish shaped cancer that had overtaken her muscle and attached to the bone.

    5 years later, she had to have the left breast removed after ignoring some warning signs and problems, took the chemo and radiation, but she didn't keep up with what checkups, 4 years later, she started draining from where the breast had been, had about a years trouble getting it under control. Tests were done and she had cancer in her lung and next to the heart, that were both inoperable, a year later they found cancer on her pelvic bone, and over the next couple years it took over and took her from us.

    not trying to scare you, but it is IMPERATIVE that once you've had cancer to keep up with your body, don't ignore warning signs and get tested for other cancers. With our mom we got to the point of wondering where it would show up next, but we could not seem to get her to keep up with it and had she done so she may have had fewer cancers that became problematic and would have had much less pain. So for everyone dealing with anything like this, for gods sake keep up with it and don't ignore anything.
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    Jan 11, 2011 2:35 PM GMT
    I think the death/extreme cancer horror stories on this thread should be used to contrast with your dad's scenario dude, as his case seems much moore manageable, routine and treatable.

    Don't get yourself worked up, get the specific facts relatable to your dad's case, get info from people who have been through this particular type of urinary tract cancer themselves, know what to expect, don't allow your emotions to get the better of you mate.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11634

    Jan 11, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    A couple of things come to mind.

    First let me say that I read through the comments above just so I would know what had been said already.

    I have dealt with non-Hodgkins lymphoma twice, once 17 years ago and once 10 years ago. As you may know, the technical way of stating it is that one is in remission, never cured. Things are going well.

    I remain extremely impressed with the people who work with cancer day to day. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab assistants and all the rest are some of the most incredibly wonderful people I have ever met. It was a privilege to meet and work with them. Don't be surprised if your dad tells you stories of real life saints he meets.

    Yes, treatments can be rough. On the other hand some of them are not. The first time I wen through diagnosis and chemo was very different from the second time. Therefore, keep in mind that everyone has a different experience. I had a bone marrow sample taken the first time and it was memorably painful. The second time I was afraid going in to it but greatly relieved that the procedure was very different. So tell your dad that it is up to him to have his own stories and that he should not be worried about what he hears.

    Another thing worth keeping in mind is that knowledge is power. Your dad should feel free to ask questions and to give and get all the honest feedback he feels necessary to and from the caretakers. For me, I would get nervous in the days leading up to a checkup or treatment, then feel amazingly relieved when it was over or when I had been to see the doctor and knew what was happening. Worrying doesn't help. Knowing does.

    You may be surprised to find that you dad wants to keep on with the things he likes to do. Why not? Cancer is a life challenge, not a death sentence. Besides, every Aussie I have ever met was really into embracing life. OY!

    Best of days to you, your dad and all of your family and friends as you manage this. Write if you like and keep smiling.

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    Jan 11, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    Hey man,

    I am a huge ginger root freak and I believe it is a 'cure-all.'

    It's a strong spicy root but is great in a tea!

    Recommend that your father boil fresh peeled ginger root and add to the water his favorite tea and some honey.

    It's delicious.

    BUT: Ginger is a natural blood thinner so if he is going to do any chemo, cancel my suggestion.

    Take care.
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    Jan 11, 2011 4:36 PM GMT
    With my mom, it's been so long ago... but it's one of those things that I'll never forget. I was young and my mom's illness was terminal so I don't know if it can help you... Take what I have to say however way you want.

    My mom was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer when I was 10. At the time, everyone thought I was too young to cope so I was given minimal information on what was going on with my mom. Also, my father passed away when I was 2 so I think they figured I couldn't handle the thought of losing both parents. Know as much as you can about the illness and your father's condition because believe me, it's excrutiatingly painful to be kept in the dark. It's easy to see though that it was serious, so I knew. You'll have many questions and it helps to get those answers. Your father will probably ask you for reassurance every so often and being knowledgeable will help you answer his questions from a place of confidence. My mom was a very strong woman. She never wanted sympathy and that's probably also why she didn't want me to know much. I respected that I guess.. So when I'd spend time with her, I never made it about the cancer. I refused to stare at her bandana or bald head although I would play with it every now and then.

    My mom passed away 2 years later. After it all happened, I made the mistake of keeping it in. I cried the day I buried my mom and then for the next 6 years, I never thought about it or cried again. I immersed myself in schoolwork and sports to keep my mind off it. It worked actually.. until I graduated from college 2 years ago and was finally not busy for the first time. The night of my graduation I cried so hard when I realized my mom missed it all. It's like 6 years of hurt hitting you all at once. I guess it's important to deal with it. When your dad recovers and it's all over, don't do what I did. Don't try to forget about it.

    The most important thing though for me is don't be short on expressing how much you love your father. This is the only part that I know for sure is good advice and if you're gonna take away anything from what I wrote, take this. I hugged my mom every single day I'd see her from the day she was diagnosed to the day she passed away 2 years later and I feel so lucky now to have not had the inhibition to hug her over and over. Yeah, I was a kid, but I'd give up so much to able to do it again even today. I do regret one thing... as often as I hugged her, I never told her I loved her. I know how stupid that sounds, but "I love you" wasn't common in my family. My hugs meant it, but I really wish I'd have said it.

    You're father has an optimistic outlook and will more than likely recover, but even then, I don't think it's about trying to get in the last hug or the last "i love you". He'll do better through all this because of your love and support. I dunno... from my experience, all I can say is, don't hold back. But I know somehow, you already know that. I really wish your father, your mother, you and the rest of your family all the best! You sound like you have a close and loving family. You're all lucky to have each other.
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    Jan 11, 2011 5:29 PM GMT
    I have a client who has been with me for twelve years, she's a loving intelligent human with a meaningful and valuable life experience; she will be leaving this year, as she has lung cancer. She said a wise thing that changed my perspective forever: "We all live with Cancer."

    I love you for getting help here - Those of us here, that care; are very authentic about it.

    Your connection with your Dad is huge. I know this sounds perhaps a bit metaphysical, but you come from the land of the mulga wire. I would advise you to know, very clearly at all times, exactly how your father is feeling, even what kind of mood he's in. As you think of your father, you can know that what you are thinking is accurate. You will not burn extra emotional energy, as your father is half way around the planet, you will not be ignorant. No matter what the time change challenge is, know exactly how he's feeling, no matter how mundane that may's'll see.

    Love, and Heal consciously.
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    Jan 11, 2011 6:17 PM GMT
    Wow this is giving me more insight than I thought. Thank you all so much for your help, I still just have to collect my thoughts, one story in particular made me cry... I will eithe respond accordingly in this thread or by private message, but just know I am here reading everything, thanks again, and if anybody has more to add... please do icon_smile.gif thank you
  • Runningrass

    Posts: 80

    Jan 11, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    Just wanted to respond to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
  • TheIStrat

    Posts: 777

    Jan 26, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    Don't let your family be torn apart like mine was when my father got cancer. I still am dealing with the emotional trauma of that and it was 7 years ago. It's colored my world in a very abrasive fashion.

    It's very important that you all support each other in your efforts to support your father.
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    Jan 26, 2011 10:23 PM GMT
    i'm not sure how similar this is, but 10 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. i found out the news in the worst way...we were on vacation in Rome, Italy. I never really understood what was happening but my immediate reaction was thinking my mom might possibly die! my dad passed away before i was born, and i have no siblings or immediate relatives so if anything happened to her, i would be alone. i guess my mom was trying to protect me or something so she sent me away to a boarding school in california for a year, and i wound up having a nervous breakdown while i was out there. i was upset, hurt, abandoned, and felt unloved. It was because of this immediate action that wound up breaking us apart and we haven't spoken since then. When i was six, my grandmother passed away from pancreatic cancer and i never got to say goodbye to her when she died, because my mom sent me to stay with some friends of hers and it felt like history repeating itself all over again. i made the wrong choice to cut her out of my life as a way of protecting myself from getting hurt in the event of not having to say goodbye if something should happen. It is times like these that families get closer to each other and their bonds get stronger. i know i shouldn't be giving advice so instead i would suggest possibly talking to someone maybe possibly a therapist. Stay strong and whenever you are around your dad, stay upbeat and positive, because he is probably taking the news harder than you did. he's probably worried and scared about how the news will impact his family so do whatever you can to stay in the strongest of spirits and this will ease his troubles. I know your dad will be ok, because of the amazing means of medical technology that is developing in todays times.