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kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
edited December 2019 in General discussion
2011 Sister diagnosed with and treated for a malignant sarcoma on her leg.

2012 Sister-in-law diagnosed with incurable brain cancer.

2013 Sister diagnosed with and treated for Stage 3 BC.

2014 Sister's BC returns, metastasised to lungs and liver.

2015 Sister-in-law dies.

2016 Father treated for aggressive prostate cancer. Sister dies.

2017 I'm diagnosed with BC.

2018 Chemo, double mastectomy and reconstruction.

Eight years of cancer and death. I just wanted to get through this year without anyone being diagnosed with, treated for, or dying from cancer. 2010 was the last time this happened. I've thought about it every couple of weeks all year, and more frequently as we got closer to the end of the year.

We almost made it. Two and a half weeks to go. The finish line was in sight.

Two years to the day that my husband went round to my parents' house to tell them I had BC, on the day I had my re-excision for margins, my father tells me that his prostate cancer has metastasised to his lungs. Two years to the hour.

It is staggering. Not that his cancer's back, but that for the ninth year in a row, we are here yet again. Prognosis is uncertain at this stage, the spots are tiny, yet to be biopsied and could possibly be held indefinitely at bay with hormone supression. But chemo could also be on the cards, as of course is his death. He's 83 and in very good nick, but I am SO angry, and so defeated. It's not the tragedy of dying of cancer at 47, but after everything we've been through in the last decade it's a cruel, cruel blow.

We're not telling the children now, and we may never, but if it comes to it, how on earth am I going to do it? The youngest two, my sister's kids, lived all their lives with my parents until they came to live with me. They are deeply traumatised, there are ongoing psychological and behavioural issues that are monstrously hard and hugely stressful to handle. Progress is slow and fractional.

Some weeks ago I told my psychologist that while I was making huge efforts to get myself onto an even keel, and making efforts towards leading a life that was bearable, hope was not something I had. She maintained that hope was human being's superpower, and that she was going to continue to try to get me to hope again. Bitterly this demonstrates why I am right. If I dare to hope, if glimmers of hope spring uncalled for from my subconscious, than my reality slaps them back down again. Thank goodness I didn't let hope back into my life. Thank goodness I stopped it when I started to feel it. Thank goodness I caught it and suppressed it. Because how I feel now would be worse, so much worse. If I'd received this news in a state of hopefulness... instead I feel grimly prepared for the horror to come.

It's really hard to see the point anymore.

Almost. We almost made it.


  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,960
    Oh, @kmakm - I know how much you were hanging out for 2020 with no cancer issues in your family.  That is a cruel blow - yet again the jesters of fate are playing their nasty pranks.  My Mum lived by "hope for the best but be ready for the worst" and that's probably what I do.  You know I'm not a hugger but I'm sending a long one to you.
  • AnnskiAnnski Blue Mountains, NSWMember Posts: 111
    Dearest @kmakm, everyone here will be so sad for you, it is heartbreaking, especially when you have been so strong and thoughtful and kind to everyone else. I am sure you will get through this  as you have done with so much else but how hard it must be! All we can do is send you love and hugs I guess but how little it seems in the face of so much. As ever, A. xox
  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 163
    So sorry to hear it. I wish I could send you more than simple words. 

  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 886
    I have no words to send to you, but you and your family are in my thoughts. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,148
    Hang in there! 
    Our family is similar.
    This is about you being able to cope and realise that hope is as important as ever.
    Sending you a virtual hug
    Take care 
  • NefertariNefertari Member Posts: 288
    @kmakm, sending you hugs and love, what a difficult time you have had!
    I do know how you feel, in our family it is five of us all diagnosed in 2018, one passed away in November 2019.  We are all very sick of cancer and treatments.
    How I wish there was something I could do for you xx
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    Thank you all for your responses. Hugs gratefully received. @Nefertari I am so sorry that your family has had a similar experience. My heart goes out to you.

    This place is where I tell the truth. In real life I express some of this to my husband, but the face everyone sees is stoic. I soldier on and will be as supportive and helpful as I can to my father and mother.

    Unfortunately I feel somewhat more 'fluent' in cancer than I did two years ago. So I understand how my father feels to a greater degree, and I understand the steps that have to be taken. Last night he was explaining what a PET scan was, and who the various specialists were. He doesn't have to for me.

    I can feel all the work I've done with my psychologist propping me up somewhat, and being on the right dose of antidepressants is helping.

    Last night my mother was stoic and pragmatic. They've been sitting on the news that something was wrong for a week and the results for a couple of days so have adjusted somewhat. She is an optimist, my father is a pessimist. He was grim, shaken, had tears in his eyes (unusual), and not smiling. He looked sad and afraid in a brave way. I said my bit about crossing bridges when we get to them and not before.

    After he got the news he went straight to bowls to "distract" himself. We all know the drill here eh.

    They are pragmatic, acknowledging that they're in their eighties and they have to die of something at some point. But why in the vast panoply of illnesses did it have to be cancer?

    I wish my family didn't have to go through this again. And at Christmas, again. No point in wishing either. If wishes were horses beggers would ride.

    Thanks for reading. I won't go on about it here, it is a BC forum after all. You are all such a tremendous support and 'get it' in ways that others don't. I hope you all have a good end of the year, get a nice summer break and if Christmas is your thing, that it's full of blessings. K xox
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,591
    Dear @kmakm,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    Life is precious and none of us know how long we have. Get out there and do everything you want to do. I don't wait any more. Early Christmas presents darned well get open now. While my physical body is quite good I get out and do stuff. Life is not only to be endured, its to be enjoyed. Hugz <3
  • NefertariNefertari Member Posts: 288
    @kmakm, you can "go on" about it as much as you need lovely x. 
    Your post made me cry and really hit a chord with me.   Cancer is cancer whether BC or not, it's a tough road that is often made easier by venting / sharing with people who have travelled down it before us. 
    You were a great support when I first came here after my diagnosis and that helped me cope with my new world. <3
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @kmakm I am really sorry to hear the news that your fathers cancer has spread. Sending best wishes to both of you.                                                                                                               
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Oh Geezus @kmakm.  Like honestly,  why, when one thing goes to hell does it snowball from there on for what seems like eternity?  
    There are no words to help of course, but do know I am thinking of you.  xoxoxoxooxox
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,247
    Bugger bugger bugger ... @kmakm.   My heart goes out to you and your Dad and your Mum.    What a cruel blow.  This will be devasting for the whole family.  Hopefully recent advances in treatment will work in your Dad’s favour.  

    Thinking of you all bigtime. Xxxxx
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