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IMPORTANT: The Bladder Cancer Canada discussion forum is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. The opinions & contents in this forum is for information only and is not reviewed by medical professionals. They are experiences & opinions of patient members like you, and is NOT intended to represent the best or only approach to a situation. Always consult your physician and do not rely solely on the information in this site when making decisions about your health.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    Hi I’m Heather I am a nursing student and my Dad has bladder cancer, he was originally diagnosed 10 years ago and had gone in and out of treatments, in the beginning it was difficult to really wrap my head around the idea that he had cancer. Within the past 2 years we got the unfortunate news that he has a fairly large tumor in his bladder and the bone scan came up positive for metastisis, we later discovered it had also metastisized to his lungs. This news jolted me out of denial and into a whirlwind of emotions as I am sure many who have been affected by cancer can relate.

    Within the past few months he has started to deteriorate and seems very frail which has been very hard for me to watch. I come from a very big family which is great for support but I am not very good at expressing myself with my family and I think it is important to have another outlet.

    I had a really nice conversation with my professor the other day where I found out she lost her dad to cancer recently, I told her my families story and felt so much support from her just listening and knowing that she understood my experience. On my way home that day I thought about seeking an online support forum and found Bladder Cancer Canada.

    The most difficult thing for me right now is not knowing how long I have left with my dad, I feel like it is going to be a while longer but others in my family do not. I know my dad knows I love him but I don’t verbally say it or physically express it often. I would like to do something that would let him know how much of an influence he has had on me in my life but I am not sure what to say or do.

    Thank you for listening


    Heather, what a sad time for you all and I feel for you. We only get one father and we cherish him – not only when he is alive but also when he has lived his life. So often dads are seen in the characteristics of their kids and live on in memory and in mannerisms and still give great joy.

    I wonder if expressing yourself in writing a letter to him might be meaningful to you and to him. You could carefully construct the things you wish to say in such a way that he would be deeply touched and thrilled. It would also give him something he could read and re-read over and over and be moved each time. No words would ever need to be spoken, but every time you looked at him and he looked at you, you would both know and share this wonderful expression of your love. Just a thought and you will know whether it makes any sense in your circumstances or not.

    God bless you both.


    HI Heather. Welcome to our site although I’m sorry that you have reason to be here. I’m sorry to learn that the news about your Dad isn’t good. In addition to being a bladder cancer survivor myself I had to go through the end process with my mother-in-law (lung cancer) in 2008 just befoer I was diagnosed with bladder cancer and then I went through the process again in 2011 with my dad (prostate cancer). So I hear you on how difficult the journey can be. From personal experience I say I agree with your family. If the cancer has spread to outside sites and he is visibly deteriating then his time is short. My suggestion is spend as much time as you can with him. Greg’s suggestion of a letter is good if you find verbal expression difficult. Since my dad also had Alzheimers I made a small photo album of myself and the kids and some favourite shots of various things. I went visual since he couldn’t read anymore and had lost most of his ability to speak. My family said that he treasured that album. Creating some sort of album or scrapbook may prove to be cathartic for you as well. It helps you focus on the good times and memories. Awkwardness at times like this often stems from unresolved issues between yourself and your loved one and/or famly members. I lived very far away from my parents and due to cost and my own health battles I wasn’t able to spend the time with them like I wanted to. When I was finally able to the time was very short so I made the most of it. Even if it is just sitting by their bedside reading to them, watching TV together, anything and everything will count. If you are able to you will find this time very rich and rewarding. My brother and I spent five days and four nights beside Dad’s bed when he slipped into a coma at the end. As tough as that was (I had just finished BCG treatments) I was glad I did it. My brother and I reconnected and shared many good stories. The nurse told us that hearing is the last thing to go so we wanted Dad’s last bit of hearing to be about positive stuff. It helped us too. We both realized that while we didn’t live fancy we did have good parents that tried to raise us in difficult times with the best that they had. Keep in touch Heather. I’m sure you will hear from plenty others here. Take care.


    i am so sorry to hear about your dad – i know you will have time to make special memories with and for him – treasure your time together and just love him – he knows that you do – you just have to be there. greg and mary sue have given you good ideas

    Susan S

    Hi Heather:

    I have read your posts several times and my heart breaks for you and your family. Not knowing what to do in times like this is very normal. Sometimes there are just no words. You have received some great suggestions so far. I can only add that I have found that journaling has helped me in times where the right verbal words were just not there.
    You and your family are in my prayers. Be kind and gentle to yourself and just “be” and live and enjoy the moments.




    Thank you for all of your kind and supportive words. I have been doing a lot of self reflection lately and I think journaling would be a great way to express the thoughts going on in my head as I am a very in my head kind of person.

    I spend a lot of time commuting to school and find it pretty therapeutic, I listen to music and sometimes laugh sometimes cry. I see my parents every day and today we went to the hospital together. My dad went to see palliative care and his oncologist. His blood work did not come back great today, he has elevated kidney values and low red blood cells. He is palliative so it is not uncommon to get news like this, he is going to get a blood transfusion tomorrow in hopes that will help with the fatigue he has been experiencing.

    I am feeling much better in the past couple of days, I am lucky to have such wonderful parents in my life and feel truly blessed. My dad is so resilient and I am so proud of him as he has put up such a good fight against cancer.

    I will say if anyone is reading this and feels they have no one to talk to or feel they don’t want to burden people with their ‘problems’ as this is something I have struggled with. I recommend opening up to someone, I opened up to a friend the other day who could tell there was something bothering me and her support; just a listening ear meant so much to me. While I have my family it is important to have people who are outside of that network to provide support to you and help you through tough times.

    Thanks again for listening.


    Keep in touch, Heather. We’re always here to listen and encourage as we can.


    Heather, I apologize for being so late in responding. As a nursing student I think you know the reality of this and although it is not a good time for you please keep in mind that this experience will turn out to be a very big part part of your medical studies, It will help you understand your patients and it will help spare them a great deal of agony. In the mean time I think you have a better grasp on this than perhaps the rest of the family. But that is to be expected. When my father died of kidney failure after many long years of treatment and suffering I knew that he knew I loved him. Like you I never expressed it nor verbalized it. I was studying medicine and was dealing with it in real terms but not in emotional terms. The important thing is that he knows you are there for him. People express their love in many different ways. A touch is sometimes much more expressive that words. When my Mom died I went through the same thing, but the touch of her hands and the final kiss said “I love you” loud and clear. If you can, try to verbalize it. If you can;t or do not have the opportunity do not agonize over it. He knows, and you know. He could live for some time, only God knows that, but you know what metastasis is and what it means. It is very very difficult for people to get their minds around this kind of thing. Especially for those in medicine. I doubt your family can understand it the way you do. Your Dad will want you to go on the be the medical professional you set out to be and this experience will hurt you, maybe forever, but it will also enable you to love more, love deeply and provide the kind of medical care that only love can offer. I was there and I fully understand. I do wish your Dad peace and comfort and I wish you the same and I will keep you both in my prayers. A gentle kiss, a gentle touch……… My best to both of you.



    Dear Heather
    I to spend alot of time in my head.l also journal, l call it talking to myself. As a dad who has had a cancer journey. As l went thru this l felt l couldn’t let my children see
    my fear, my lonlyness. I wundered if they thought l was a good dad, could l have done things better.Did they really really know how much l loved them.I felt as lf l did’t know how to express what l felt.If l had pasted what would they remember about me. I cherrist each moment l could spend with my children before my operation, because l didnt know what was going to happen.l now let them know
    how much l love them as best l can, even when they may not want to here it !!!!!!!!
    May Gods grace help you and your family in this journey

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