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Just Diagnosed

harperlane

My Dad's Recent Diagnosis

My dad got diagnosed with bowel cancer on Tuesday and I'm finding it difficult to keep my emotions in check. I broke down as soon as I found out and then had to sit an exam for university the next day - I managed to concentrate for whole of half an hour before I had to leave due to emotional distress.

I'm not sure what stage it is but he is due to have surgery to remove the tumour completely and then he may have to have chemo after because the surgeon said his lymph nodes looked a bit inflamed but they don't 100% know. He is in hospital this coming Tuesday and the Tuesday after for IV Iron because he is anaemic.

How do people cope when they are alone? When I'm at work or in company I find myself composed but its when I'm left to myself that I become really upset. The hospital were positive about his prognosis but all I can think in my head is 'what if he dies'. I'm not even 21 yet, my younger sister isn't even 18 yet! What if he doesn't get to see us reach these milestones?

I try really hard to be positive and sometimes it works by me thinking that its just a lump that needs to be removed but the more I read into Bowel Cancer the more I think its just a ticking clock for him.

Would really appreciate some advice :)

Deemar

@harperlane So sorry that you are facing this horrible news. It is really early days and you are bound to feel very emotional. Try to hold on to the positive prognosis . My husband was diagnosed when my children were 21 and 17 - so I can appreciate your thoughts. He has survived 2 operations and 7 months chemo. They were a great support to him. Allow yourself time - all much easier said than done I know. Take one step at a time.

Lexi

@harperlane Hi I really understand exactly what you are going through, my daughter went through the same, in fact 10days after she went to uni for her fist Year, her dad was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, she like you tried to be brace in front of others and then cried when she was alone, after 20 days she was ready to give it all up and come home, we had to talk her that she needed to stay at uni but come home as much as she likes, she comes home every other weekend now! What I am trying to say is yes it is really tough and I am so sorry you are going through this, but give your self some time and don't look at google because most of it is outdated. Your dad will need you to be brace and strong at times, there is no right or wrong way to deal with this! It has to be your way, if you wiuld like to get in touch with someone your age that understands I could arrange that :x::x::x:

Sophie

Hey @harperlane. I know exactly how you're feeling. It's a bit rubbish that cancer takes away all of your security ! When I was in your situation I was a mess and it was terrifying. It got easier for me once I knew exactly what we were dealing with and I got into a stride. I got to the point where I gave myself certain times to be upset - because holding it in and pretending to be ok is just not possible when you're faced with this. Saying that, I found myself becoming more positive and picking myself up after these times. Nothing inparticular made me feel better - I think you just learn how to deal with it better. You're still in really early days, try to ensure you have people to talk to - there lots of support out there and please look into it if you need it. This forum also works wonders when you feel alone. You're not! Please feel free to message me if you need any support :x::x::x::x:

Tiffany

Hi @harperlane. Welcome to the forum. Glad you've found us. There are lots of people on here with such a wealth of knowledge....you are not alone.

My son was sitting GCSE'S when we found out his dad, aged 51, had advanced stage 4 cancer. He went on to do extremely well and is now studying Psychology at Birmingham Uni. I also have a 17 and 15 year old. It's amazing how we cope and you will be fine.

The good news is that f he is having an operation to remove the tumour that is fantastic. They normally give some chemo afterwards anyway to mop up stray cells and then potentially that could be it.

My hubby is now showing no evidence of disease after lots of chemo and healthy clean living. We are all back to leading our lives as normal as possible.

I think you have to take it day by day and with some positivity and so on thia will be a story for his Grandchildren!

Thinking of you all. Lots of love
Tiffany :x::x:

Mountainmaid

Hi @harperlane this is a really worrying time for you but try not to think too far ahead. My husband had surgery at the beginning of September to remove the tumour and the surgeon was worried about inflamed lymph nodes. However they were all clear, he didn’t need any chemo and he is now clear of cancer.

We have a 23 year old daughter and a 21 year old daughter (who is still at uni) They were devastated when we first told them about the diagnosis but dealt with it in very different ways. My eldest just needed to talk about it and know all the details and my youngest didn’t want to discuss it. They did make us promise though that they would be the first to know about each stage of their dad’s treatment.

As the time has gone on, it has been easier for all of us. My husband has just had his stoma reversal operation which has taken him back a step, but we have all managed it so much better this time. We are very close as a family but this has brought us even closer and when we are all together we make sure we laugh, have fun and enjoy being together.

It is good news that the hospital is positive about his prognosis and it is great that they can remove the tumour so try and keep this in mind - easier said than done, I know.

Thinking of you and hope your dad’s surgery goes well :x::x::x:

harperlane

Thank you so much for your responses everyone - it’s so reassuring to know we aren’t the only family going through this! Also thank you for listening some people have so much going on in their lives they don’t have time to listen to you speak so it’s nice to get things off your chest - I feel better already now I’ve spoke about it and I know people are willing to listen and give advice in similar situations!

Ev

Hi @harperlane , I have a daughter the same age as you who is living away from home in her second year at university. We learned of my husband's cancer diagnosis when she was still at school and I can appreciate that it is a really tough time for you and your sister. My daughter told a few of her friends at university about her dad so that she felt able to talk with them if she was finding things tough when he was unwell. It also may be useful if you could tell your course tutor or check out the university's counselling service in case you feel you would need someone to talk to. It may also be useful to speak with your tutor to explain what happened with your exam - they will possibly have come across similar situations in the past and you may be able to resit it or be given a predicted grade due to the circumstances.

Try not to dwell on the "what ifs" - it's easier to take things one stage at a time. Your dad's team will work out a plan for him and soon things will look a bit clearer. Ev.

Zara

Hiya, sorry you have found yourself here. My dad was diagnosed last February with stage 4 bowel cancer spread to liver. It was a complete shock and I was totally devastated! His prognosis wasn't great but after seeing the consultant he made things a lot more clearer and broke it all down and told us the treatment plan. A year on and my dad had 3 months of chemo followed by a bowel and liver operation and is now in remission. It is so hard but just stay strong and take one day at a time. I remember the first 2 weeks being a blur and found it so hard to concentrate on anything else but you will get through it and once your dad has a treatment plan you will have a focus. Don't think too far ahead. Sending you lots of love :x::x:

DanStewart

Sorry to hear about your dad, but you don't need to worry about it because bowel cancer operations are said to have the highest success ratio. So stay strong and support your family as much as you can.

Daffodil

Hi @harperlane , there is a section of this forum especially for relatives to join. It might be a good place for you as it is a secure place for relatives to voice their concerns and get support from others in the same position. Do ask to join us, we are a friendly group. :x::x:

tonibates1

@harperlane
hello, I have just read your message and thought it might help if you spoke to my daughter Sophie, who introduced us to this site last year when her dad (my husband) was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer and liver/ lung mets. She is only 28 and lives with her dog Victor. Sophie is young independent and full of life, she lives life to the full, but on the day she was told about her dad, her life changed dramatically. One year on, she is (and so is her dad) doing so much better and I am sure she would chat with you to discuss your fears etc. I am going to send you her email address and hope it helps you. Thinking of you and your sister (and your dad of course). Big hugs. Toni

Hi @harperlane and @tonibates I’ve deleted Sophie’s email address at tonibates request as this is a public forum. tonibates will send it to you via private message instead.

Karen :x::x:

harperlane

Just an update (sorry I haven’t replied to all the lovely messages they mean a lot) he has had his surgery to have 1/3rd of his bowel(with the cancer) and his lymph nodes. The cancer has been growing approximately 5 years. I can’t express how lucky I feel that it hasn’t spread, I am so grateful that this situation has progressed like it is and not detrimental. I am eternally grateful to whoever is looking over my dad!