“My father hid his cancer from me for several years and it changed our relationship in an unexpected way”

After confronting her father upon learning that he had suffered from cancer for years, Sophie Katzman found her father-daughter relationship changed forever. A development about which she confides in the columns of our colleagues at Huffpost.

Aware of her family’s relationship with death and illness, Sophie Katzman always considered her father and mother as protective parents. A situation which must undoubtedly resonate with many parents wishing to preserve the innocence of their children by avoiding mentioning, for example, serious subjects such as pathologies which have for a long time been the subject of a taboo like of cancer. The result, however, is not always what was expected. “Instead of feeling protected, I felt like someone was always hiding something from me,” writes Sophie Katzman, now 31 years old, in the columns of Huffpost.

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It was by overhearing a heated argument between her father and her mother that the young woman learned, with astonishment, that her father had “survived cancer” as the latter suggested, undoubtedly under the influence of emotion aroused by the argument. “When I realized, as an almost 31-year-old adult, that my father had kept a huge – and serious – secret from me for years, I immediately felt like I was going back to my childhood.”she explains.

“I was upset”

His father then told him how, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, he missed a routine screening. When he was finally able to have his medical exams, the father finally learned that he had cancer and underwent an operation to remove his tumor. An operation which was not enough to put an end to the disease, new cancer cells having appeared a year later, forcing the patient to undergo treatment with chemotherapy. After two years of treatment, doctors were able to cure the cancer from which he suffered. Upon learning that his father had “survived cancer”, Sophie Katzman felt immense relief.

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However, the fact that her father kept such important information secret had an undeniable impact on the father-daughter relationship. Especially since the young woman explains that she always turned to her father, a professional dentist, for all her medical questions. “I thought we were closer. I was upset that he didn’t want my support during this time, which I hoped would have helped ease the anxiety and fear he must have been feeling.she confides in the columns of Huffpost.

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“I chose to see it in a positive light”

Rather than letting herself be consumed by doubt, Sophie Katzman preferred to confront her father by simply asking him the reasons which had pushed him not to mention his cancer to his children. The father then replied that he preferred to wait for the results of the treatment before discussing his illness with his family and that, if his cancer had been detected at a more advanced stage, in the terminal phase for example, he would have immediately told his entire family.

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Enough to push the young woman to remind her father that her health could never be a burden for her. And if she initially felt a form of anger towards her father, this conversation had the effect of making her change her mind about the situation. “Even though I would have liked to have been there for him at that time, I respect his decision and I chose to see it in a positive light,” she writes. Since then, Sophie Katzman says she feels surprisingly much closer to her father.

“I finally feel like an adult in my father’s eyes”

This conversation seems to have definitively broken the barrier that parents had erected towards their children, since Sophie Katzman’s father has since openly discussed intimate subjects that he would never have discussed before with his children. “He is now more transparent about his health, which has opened the way for further conversations. He was more candid about his family and his upbringing, and how he went about raising us, including the successes he had and the mistakes he made., she explains.

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A real source of pride for Sophie Katzman, now able to discuss more serene discussions with her parents on intimate and sometimes serious subjects, as two adults would do. “Although it took over a decade, I finally feel like an adult in my father’s eyes”, she admits. This also encourages her to talk more easily with her parents about more sensitive subjects.

“It’s important to open up”

Although things didn’t turn out the way she expected, she is now proud of the new relationship she has with her parents. This episode also had an impact on the way she approaches her social relationships outside the family setting. While she tended to keep different types of information considered sensitive to herself, she now says she is much more comfortable with the idea of ​​communicating with those close to her. “I believe it is important to open up when we are going through something so that we can give our loved ones a chance to offer whatever they can, and so that we can receive their love.”she concludes.

A journalist passionate about social issues and current affairs, Hugo puts his pen at the service of information. Interested in all themes, from the impact of artificial intelligence on…

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