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Lost My Dad Due To Lung Cancer


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I lost my dad due to stage 4 lung cancer almost a year ago. We took him to the hospital on Saturday October 29, 2011 because we thought he was having a reaction to the new chemo that they had put him on that wednesday. At the ER they told us that my dad's heart rate was in the 200's and that it was a sign of congestive heart failure. They admitted him to the hospital, and he was put in a private room that night. The morning of October 30, 2011 they had put him on a continuous positive air machine. My dad had signed a DNR and the air machine was the only way of not violating the DNR. One of the doctors told us that if he was us he would remove the air machine and let my dad pass. We had the air machine removed and by 7:40 that night he passed away.

I can't believe how difficult life has been without my dad. My sister was 7 months pregnant with twins, and the doctor told her not to grieve for my dad until 6 months after she gave birth. My dad only got to know 2 of his 4 grandkids. I haven't really got to grieve for my dad because I have been helping my sister raise her twins.

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Dear Nathan's_sister,

I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. My sister passed not too long ago of small cell carcinoma in the lungs. Like your Dad she entered the hospital with pneumonia and in three days she was gone. Very surprised about the docs advice to tell your sister not to grieve for six months - we are a strong lot and and I really don't know how someone can tell another person NOT to grieve for six months! Are the twins ok? It sounds to me that you have been a great help to your sister. I truly believe that your Dad is guiding you - now, he may be nudging you to take time to grieve. It is something that can not be put off because if you do I think there is something called complicated grief and that is what happens when someone pushes their feelings way in the background and does not take care of the business of grieving. This is only my opinion but you are in the right place by finding this web site. Many people understand your pain better than I do. Take time to grieve. enna

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Enna, for what it's worth, I agree with you: I cannot imagine a physician advising a person "not to grieve for six months" ~ as if grief is something we can control. Besides, we've learned from experience with healthy mourning that it takes more energy to avoid grief than it does to face it head-on. I certainly do believe that we can learn to "dose" our grief, taking it only in bits and pieces that we are willing and able to tolerate, and we can learn to compartmentalize it to some extent, so that we have some control over when and where and how we give in to whatever we may be thinking and feeling. But "not to grieve" at all? I think that is very bad advice. Dr. Henry Maudsley once proclaimed, "A sorrow that has no vent in tears makes other organs weep." That is to say, if we don't find a healthy way to mourn (and there are as many ways to mourn as there are people in mourning) our bodies will find some other (unhealthy) ways to do it.

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