Two and a half years ago I received a phone call from my brother. He told me our father was dying of cancer. At the time my father and I had a huge falling out. He’d made some choices that I didn’t agree with and hurt me pretty badly. However, I’d grown up and knew eventually I’d have to deal with a parent with cancer. Now I had to make some decisions, even if I didn’t like my dad.
In actuality, I hated him.
I’ve always believed that family should come first, and in this situation made a choice. I would reconnect with my father, and hopefully, find peace before he passed away and went home.
This was a difficult decision, and I had to swallow a lot of pride to do it.
When you have a parent with Cancer, a lot of emotions will be released. Learn how I handled this intense situation, and see how God can help you.
We hadn’t spoken in 18 years, and I knew if he was dying we needed to clear the air. Holding onto pain and heartache is never good. So I gave him a call.
My 1st call with him didn’t go well, I’d even say it was the worst call I’d ever had. I even considered not reconnecting with him and going back to my old life. Ignoring him and letting him die sounded like a perfect plan.
Instead, I changed my mind, and a few months later made a second call. This was how my father and I were able to reconnect, and eventually form a friendship.
It’s a sad kind of beautiful.
When you have a parent with cancer, along with emotions, memories will appear. Some good, and some bad.
Death Is Scary, With A Parent With Cancer, It’s Worse.
I’m part of a large family, and with that, I’ve gotten many different reactions. Some people wonder what will happen to them, while others regret things they did/said.
Something one of my sisters started doing has really helped me focus, and I’ve tried to follow suit. She said to make the parent comfortable. If they’re sitting weird, try and adjust them. When they look hot or cold, add or take away a blanket. Realize when you have a parent with cancer We can’t heal their sickness, but we can help them endure it.
Sounds kinda like Sam and Frodo at the end of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. He can’t carry the ring, but he can carry Frodo. This is how you can overcome your fears, and help your parent with cancer.
You will be scared when you have a parent with cancer. That’s totally fine. However, you should never let your fear dominate or paralyze your actions. It’s your turn to help them after all didn’t they raise you? So give it all you’ve got.
***Side note, I chose to help my father because I had the choice, he didn’t. And it brought healing to both of us.
When you’re helping your parent with cancer, keep moving, and keep helping them. You’ll notice you’re not as scared. This is because fear will stop you, but courage will move you. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to act while scared.
Do something, and face the fear.
Watching Your Parent with Cancer Die Is Hell On Earth.
Seeing my Dad in excruciating pain was a traumatic experience. I can’t describe the pain he’s in, and then emotionally I become distraught. The only way I’ve been able to survive this is through a support network of friends and family.
We continuously check in with each other to make sure everyone is okay. If you’re in this situation, build a network. Call a friend or family member. You don’t have to do this alone. Let someone in to help you.
How Do You Help A Parent With Cancer?
I wrote a little about this above. The best thing you can do when your parent dies (Especially in the later stages of hospice care) is to make them comfortable. Obviously whatever the doctor says will Trump my advice here, but I don’t think making anybody comfortable when they’re dying will contradict that.
Spend time with them, pray with them. Make them laugh. Every time you leave know it could be the last. Make sure they know how you feel about them.
Tell your parent with cancer that you love them.
How Do You Say Goodbye To Someone Who Is Dying?
Every time I visit my father, I leave knowing it could be the last time I see him on this planet. So we have a rule, every time I leave, we pray together. It brings him peace and joy and connects us in a real way.
Treating a goodbye like it’s your last has spilled over into my daily routine. Lately, I’ve been compiling a list of friends and what I love about them. I’m probably going to message, write letters, and speak to them soon.
Life is too short and too precious to be holding in your feelings. Don’t wait for the eulogy tell them now, when they’re around.
Does A Person Know When They Are Dying?
I think on some level people know that they’re dying. However, depending on the person and situation the subconscious can/will try and fight it. Eventually, you go through the stages of grief and learn to accept it.
Sometimes I wonder if honesty with yourself makes an impact, but death does such weird things to human thought processes, it’d be hard to measure.
What Happens To You When You Die?
This is something people don’t know for sure. Death is like walking through a one-way door. Some people have come back, and they give us stories that we might believe to be true.
But what really happens?
I have faith in God, and I believe you either go to be with him or you wake up in a place of torment. The choice of where you go must be made before you walk through the one-way door of death.
By choosing to follow Jesus, you can be made whole, and into the person you were created to be. Then when you die he accepts you into his home, as a child of God.
If you don’t accept him, you’re choosing a place that is void of him and all his attributes.
God doesn’t send anybody to hell. Each person who goes chooses it. How you might ask? If the attributes of God Are:
Kindness & Goodness
What other place can you be sent to, if he is the creator and supplier of these things?
All he wants is for you to choose and accept him. It’s a fair deal.
How Do I Accept Jesus?
You accept Jesus by saying a simple prayer and then living your life with him alongside you. Let him direct and guide you, but also make your own choices as well.
Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner and I’ve done wrong against you. Please forgive me and come into my heart. Thank you for dying for me, and rising again 3 days later. Help me live my life for you. In your name I pray,
If you prayed that prayer, you’ve started your journey to knowing God. I’d suggest you talk with him every day and get a bible to read daily as well. Also, find a church that teaches the Bible and get some epic friends there.
I wish you all the best on your journey. And I’ll be praying for those who read my post about helping a parent with cancer.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.