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Parent dying of cancer - to stay or go

bnaomacbnaomac 4 replies1 threads New Member
Hi. My situation is extremely complicated & unique. Looking for advice from someone that doesn’t know me well. All advice appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I’m 18 years old & a freshmen in my 2nd semester of college. My dad has been battling cancer for 10 years. He has surpassed his life expectancy by far. My dad & I are very close. He is without a doubt my best friend. In the past month or so he has become extremely sick. The doctors are not giving him much longer. A month maybe. The hospital he goes to is actually close to my school. Maybe 45 minutes. I have been going back & forth. I am not happy here at school anymore. All I want to be is with him & I’m terrified & anxious about something happening & me being here. I’m not sure what life will be like when he is no longer here.

My question: would it be ridiculous to take a semester off? To drop everything to be with him? I’m already thinking about transferring schools after this year. I just want to know if it would be validated for me to leave school in order to grieve.
16 replies
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Replies to: Parent dying of cancer - to stay or go

  • bnaomacbnaomac 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you! You’re right. I’ll look into that :)
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  • bnaomacbnaomac 4 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you for the nice words. You’re right. School will always be there
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 620 replies1 threads Member
    I am so sorry. Definitely talk to Dean of Students and surely some withdrawal can be arranged.
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  • diegodavisdiegodavis 101 replies16 threads Junior Member
    edited February 9
    Be stronger than you’ve ever been
    edited February 9
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  • holychildholychild 224 replies7 threads Junior Member
    What do you think your father would want you to do?
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  • bnaomacbnaomac 4 replies1 threads New Member
    So sorry to hear you are sick. Good luck to you & your children both. Here’s the thing - I care about school very much. I’m a type A person & a perfectionist. I will get a degree & I want to put in a lot of hard work to get it done. But I’m not mentally here right now. Is it worth bombing a semester or is it more valuable to take time & then come back stronger?
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  • bnaomacbnaomac 4 replies1 threads New Member
    My dad is very selfless - I don’t doubt that he would want me to stay in school but I’m going to pack some serious guilt if I stay here & miss his last days.
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  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated 1043 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Do what your heart is telling you. But be sure to withdraw officially so that your academic record is maintained.

    You may also be able to get a refund of part of your tuition depending on school policies.

    I wish you strength through this difficult time.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8807 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I am so sorry you are going through this. Agreed to talking to your Dean of Students about withdrawing so you can be with your father. School will be there later.
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  • jym626jym626 56617 replies2968 threads Senior Member
    Agree with all the above. This actually isn't all that unique. This has come up not infrequently over the years. Don’t live with regret. Be with your dad and take a semester off (and yes talk to the Dean of Students first).

    Today happens to be the anniversary of when I lost my dad. It was 9 years ago and I still of course think about his death. And I am a lot older than you. Follow your heart.
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  • kanflykanfly 61 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I would talk to the Dean of Students about taking this semester off. You won't regret spending time with your Dad. You can't get that time back and it will be really special to be there with him. I took care of my mom 20+ years ago before she passed and I cherished the time we had together. It was a big sacrifice to be there but I never regretted it. School will always be there and if your mind and heart aren't into school, you won't perform as well either. There is no rush to finish your studies but time with your dad is running out. Hugs to you. This must be heart wrenching for you.
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  • bopperbopper 14316 replies102 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    I say be a little practical..

    1) go to the Dean of Students and see what are your options
    2) You may be able to withdraw, but will you lose your tuition/housing money? Do you have the ability to pay for that when you take these classes again?
    3) Would dropping 1 class (but staying full time) be helpful if you won't get your tuition back? so you can spend more time?
    4) Can you visit him at night and do your homework with him
    5) Can you facetime with him every night?
    6) What does he want?
    7) Start talking to the counseling center now so you can get support
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  • joooohniejoooohnie 8 replies3 threads New Member
    Usually schools have a system where you are able to leave your classes (in extraordinary circumstances like this) and resume them next semester or whenever you are ready. Take the time off and be with your dad, and make sure he knows you will be going back so he is not upset. Even if you have to withdraw for the whole semester I believe it would be worth it! You are in my thoughts and prayers good luck to you.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7243 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Yes to all of the above- and put all thoughts of transferring aside for now. Just plan to take an extraordinary leave of absence and go back when you are ready. You are off balance right now, so try and reduce the number of big life decisions you make to the essentials until you find your feet again. Like everybody else here, I am so sorry you are walking this hard path.
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