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    DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...

Dad seems to be getting better but I know he won't, please help.

My dad was diagnosed with Cancer just over four months ago, we had no signs until his vision doubled up. Since then everything has gone down hill. No treatment has worked and my dad got very ill from the chemotherapy. The consultant told my dad that he had 2-3 weeks left to live so my dad decided to come home to die, that was 8 weeks ago. Since he came home everything has changed, my dad has been getting better... eating more, he doesnt need as much oxygen etc. I am not sure how i'm feeling, but i am really scared because at the moment we have a false sense of security and i dont want that to be taken away. Everything has happened so fast and its hard to come to terms with. I dont want to be too optimistic, because i know deep down dad isnt getting better but in my heart i want him to so badly. Please help!

This is a really difficult situation because your life has been turned upside down several times within the short period of just four months. First you had terrible news that your dad had got cancer, followed by hope that the treatment would make him better. Then he got very ill from the chemotherapy and you had to face the hard fact that it hadn't even worked. To be told that your dad would soon die, just two months after you discovered that he had cancer must have been absolutely devastating. When we get news like that, it is natural to start preparing for what's to come and I am sure you must have gone through lots of emotions - from furious anger about what's happening to you all and to deep sadness in thinking about losing your dad.

No wonder that you now say you are not sure how you feel. You are struggling with an intolerable uncertainty about life or death. Uncertainty about crucial matters is one of the most stressful things to deal with in life. If you know that something is going to happen - even if it is the most terrible thing like losing someone you love - at least then you can focus on that, prepare for that and channel your thoughts and energy into dealing with that situation. When things go backwards and forwards and anything can happen - it makes life very difficult, in daily life with planning things, but particularly emotionally as your mind and emotions will wander all over the place.

It is great that your dad has been getting better and you did not lose him after those predicted 2-3 weeks. You say that at the moment you have a false sense of security and you don't want that to be taken away. I think it is very good that you allow yourself to be positive and appreciate the unexpected time you have now been given together, after all the bad news you have had the past few months. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic when things are going well. It will be very difficult to enjoy the good moments if you only think about that it may not last.

It is of course not helpful to completely deny the fact that the situation can turn around with your dad again. By what you write, I don't think that you are denying this and you seem very realistic about the situation. It is usually very difficult to predict how long someone can live with a particular disease. Doctors are often reluctant to give an estimated time because it is so easy to get it wrong. On the other hand, most people find it helpful to know if it is likely that they will live for weeks, months or years.

Being wrong about this can go both ways and sometimes people get less time than predicted. On the positive end, we also see cases when people have lived many more years than expected. In some few cases, we even hear of people who seem to recover again after being told they would die but that is extremely rare.

It is easy to understand that in your heart you want so badly your dad to get better. At the same time you are scared that it might all go wrong again. After all, he was given very bleak prospects 8 weeks ago and you know that he has a very serious disease. I think the best you can do now is to live a bit in the moment and try not to worry all the time about what might happen in the future. Take advantage of the time you have together now and don't let it be overshadowed by fears of what might come. You have been through an extremely tough time and you must be very tired and emotionally drained.

Please get back in touch with us here at riprap if you'd like to talk things through more privately.