8 and a half years of cancer

by Vanessa
(Western Australia)

My father was a very stoic man. He never talked about his woes and he never spoke badly about anybody. He was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13 years old and I had only very recently moved across the country to live with my mother because they divorced and mum remarried. 6 months after I moved I was missing my dad very much (I lived with him my entire life until this point) and I got a phone call saying his tumor is closing off arteries and he very nearly died. He went through multiple rounds of radio, chemo, open heart surgery, biopsies, and the rest. He went into remission for about 2-3 years but then it came back in other parts of his body and it slowly moved to his liver and became inoperable. He had so much radiation it literally fried his lungs and other organs and he became very sick all the time.
All the while I only saw him every chance I could to fly over and see him. We spoke on the phone very regularly.
The last time I got to see my father (alive), it was the 25th of September 2013. My 21st birthday.
I knew at that moment that I hugged him goodbye and he was flying back home that something wasn't right.. It was the last time I was ever going to see him.
On march 22nd 2014, while I was on the plane in an emergency to go see him as he was in hospital and wasn't doing well, he passed away.
I never got to say goodbye. It just happened.
Nothing you can ever say or think or do will prepare you for the death of a parent. I knew how sick he was (although he never told us) but it just never sunk in.
I keep thinking I can call him and tell him about this new song I learnt on guitar or the gigs I'd done or he could tell me about his new toys and guitar pedals and computer hardware.. He loved his computer and his guitar a lot and we had a lot in common. For my 21st birthday he bought me a Maton guitar. It's the most beautiful thing I have and I will treasure it for the rest of my life.
I miss you so so so much dad...

Comments for 8 and a half years of cancer

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Jul 02, 2014
Thoughts with you
by: Kim

I just wanted to send love and light your way. I lost my dad last week, and have been experiencing a profound amount of pain. I have no special wisdom to share, other than to say that I hope you are grateful for the relationship you had with him. That's where I am finding my comfort. It wouldn't hurt so bad if they weren't so important to us. I wish you the best of luck and love as you continue down your path to the "new normal"

Jun 30, 2014
8 and a half years of cancer
by: Doreen UK

Vanessa I am sorry for your loss of your Dad to cancer. The cancer journey is a horrendous one in which the whole family are involved and go through the cancer journey slowly with their loved one and all the time hoping and praying for a miracle. You were so young at 13yrs to try and cope with this news of cancer and not understanding the whole scenario and what was going to happen. 8yrs. is a long time to wait and support your loved one with this dreadful disease. My husband of 44yrs. was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer that claimed his life 2yrs. ago. The cancer journey I went through with him lasted 3yrs.39days before he died. Nothing can ever prepare you for what you go through with your loved one knowing they are dying and there is nothing you can do to stop this cycle of suffering and loss. I still can't believe I lost him, but go on each day with deep grief and loss. It takes a long time to recover from grief and it is so hard to go on living each day without those we have lost and who were part of our life for so many years. You are young and you will somehow in time bounce back from your loss and carry on this cycle of living. Building your own life and carrying on the family tree. Gather all the strength for this grief journey taking one day at a time. You will recover and reclaim your life again.

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