My father who was my mother's cargiver for years died suddenly recently from an undiagnosed blood cancer.


I have so much sadness and miss my very loving father who was my best friend and we were a team planning around my mother's care. He did not get good health care and his tiredness and symptoms were put down to caregiver stress and missed by the doctors, sadly when he went to hospital for a check up, unknown to us all he had only a few wks to live and his illness and impending death was a terrible shock to him as he had no idea. He deserved the best and ended up with very poor care. I have a lot of guilt as my mother was always the focus of his life and he always put her first and every one else and never himself . But he was attending his family dr. seeking help and not satisfied. I can now can see how much he was deteriorating in the months before and wish so much I had learned more and pushed more for quality medical care. He was devastated and found it so hard to understand how this could happen as he was always the strong one, drs were hard to pin down and communicate and I was battling daily with them when he was not progressing, but they were slow to diagnose and implement treatment. In the end, he seemed to turn to the wall and not speak and was so, so sad and distressed. He knew he had been let down. Even the palliative team were lacking in compassion and human kindness, all their care was based on giving more drugs and no time on his fears or wishes, I spend most nights with him for security even thought we spoke very little and helped mind him in the last week at home. I have felt very traumatised with flash backs for 2 months and even though that has eased I see the terrible sadness, and disbelief in his eyes during those last weeks before he was giving the syringe drive morphine which put him to sleep. My mother 's dementia care continues and we use paid care with my siblings and I want to spend as much time as possible with her while still have her. And she is aware and knows my father's death does not add up and has such loss and sadness but is doing well. The grief is exhausting and the trauma when I talk about him is just too much afterwards. I expect just have to go day by day but life seems so so empty now and all the worries that can't really be shared as my father was so personally involved .

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geewiz, snoopylove, busybee, Gardenartist, cdn reader
Thank you all for such lovely words and thoughts, it helps so much to hear such honesty , kindness and deep understanding of what I am going through and helps to know this is still in the world when you loose so much faith in this life. You are very understanding and lovely thoughtful people and I will carry these loving thoughts with me to give me strength. It all so new. One neighbour said to me today it was like my dad just disappeared , it was so unbelievable for all who knew him.
I love hearing the thought of what you said Garden artist that He was, and still is, a dedicated parent and husband and have expressed those thoughts to my mother who also loved them and made her feel happy and smile . Love and hugs to all of you.

Dear Martina,

My deepest sympathies and condolences. I'm very sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I hear you. It is horribly hard to lose a beloved father. I know how much we all cherish our good fathers. The loving and dutiful ones that stand with their family through all the ups and down.

It is hard to look back. You are so right. Your dad deserved much better from the doctors and nurses. It is painful. But please know you did everything you could for him. There is sometimes so much going on that none of us can see as clearly as we want.

Thinking of you. Sending you hugs.

Martina, what a sad experience for you and your family.

Your father was an extraordinary man, devoted to his wife, and instrumental in creating the kindness and reminisces you've shared with us.

The lack of care or recognition by the medical community of his own illness is a sadness and literally a black mark on those who treated him but failed to pursue issues further rather than make a blanket conclusion that caregiving was (likely?) behind his decline.

He was, and still is, a dedicated parent and husband. You have much of which to be proud.

The strength you've gained from him will hold you in good stead as you go forward, but through the painful loss of your father, remember how much he influenced you and helped to make you the compassionate person you are now.

I wish you peace, strength and solace during the days to come.

I send my love to you and your family for your loss.

I also send you strength for the future. Make sure you use some of the strength on yourself, make sure you stay well. Hugs.

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved father, Martina. He was lucky to have such a loving daughter.

Martina, I urge you to seek a Grief support group or counseling. The sudden loss of your Dad can be 'talked out with others'. This process can help you come to grips with it all. I recently lost someone in a similar manner. From diagnosis to death was only 6 weeks. Prior to that he had been fairly active.

Thank you Blannie. My mother is still in her own home as her dementia is not too bad a lot of the time and my Dad wanted her to stay there after his death. She was the focus of his life. There are 3 of us and we u take turns to stay over night , and I go in the day time too as I like to have some quality time with her too. I actually love being there as I feel close to my Dad as well there but we all have to work as well. But who knows what the future will bring It has taken. it's toll on everyone as my mother also has numerous crises with all her health over the last 4years. My Dad always stayed on his own in the house as he was very independent and we came in and out as much as possible to support them both with the part time carers as well. We are 3months in managing without him. As long as we can manage we would like to keep going. But as you say the care giving role brings it's own stress and health problems to watch out for too. I think the effect of the shock is lessening but then it comes with a bang so have to give time to deal with that too,Thanks for your input

I am so sorry for your loss, it must have been a shock. From the literature, 30-40% of caregivers die before the people they're caring for pass away. You had no idea of your dad's situation, so don't beat yourself up. It sounds like even the doctors missed your dad's cancer.

Is your mom in a facility for her care? Please be sure to take care of yourself - caregiving is stressful for everyone involved.