I have 2 kids. A sixteen year old daughter and thirteen year old son. I know it is so hard on both of them watching me go through this battle and knowing that it may not have a good outcome. If I could take away their pain I would. My son has his days but mostly takes it in, asks questions and gives me hugs. My daughter is just not coping. I know being a teenager is hard enough without this extra stress, but some days I a just don't know what to do with her. I am trying to support her and remain strong and positive. She is so negative about everything, angry, withdrawn, not sleeping,the smallest thing turns into the biggest drama, yelling at everyone in the family, and she really says some mean things. She won't help out around the house, won't open up to how she is feeling or talk about anything. I know this is hard on her, but she is making it harder for everyone else around her. Its hard enough for me to be positive and continue to do everything when so tired and overwhelmed, without her challenging me on everything. She is taking advantage of me and really pushing the boundaries. She doesn't seem to notice that everyone else is having a hard time too. Both the kids started going to the 'Canteen' Group which I think was really helping but now she refuses to go. She was seeing a counsellor but now refuses to go. She won't study and has just failed her Year 11 mid term exams.She is really bright but is just throwing it all away.she won't hand in assignments and has also been missing classes. I kept making allowances for her due to the situation but now I'm not sure if she is taking advantage and using my illness as an excuse. I just can't seem to get through to her. I don't know what else to do to get her through this. I have been so supportive but now I don't know if need to get tough on her. Am I making excuses and letting her get away with everything? She doesn't seem to notice that everyone else is having a hard time too. It is all about her. I was at the hospital at casulty with my elderly mother who was having breathing problems and my daughter rings me to ask when I am coming home to cook her dinner because she is hungry. Aaargh.
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Deceased
Hi Loulou Being a teenager is hard enough and a roughy emotional ride without haveing a Mum with cancer. That's not an excuse for her, but it might help explain some of her behaviour. Canteen have an excellent counselling service that you might like to talk with to get some help. They have specific counsellors for teenagers with a parent with cancer. However, I would be using the Cancer Helpline 13 11 20. They have a good list of resources available and in some states they have peer suport as well. I know that in some areas there is a specific Cancer Connect service for epople in your situation and also specific support groups. Good luck Sailor
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Occasional Contributor
Wow, your really copping it! - all the normal teenage angst and drama and total lack of social awareness, plus the cancer! Seriously - kids can be total pigs at that age, worse for girls. You dont need this, the daughter cant manage it so you will have to - make a breathing space - which is why the respite thing is good. See if you can stick your Daughter into respite care somehow. And for your self, it would be a good idea as well. (Not the same place/time, obviously) Some palliative care places, you can check in/out (more than once) so if your feeling really rotten from ...whatever...see if you can retreat for a few days. The alternative is to just shoot her - this is an option I considered seriously many times during our last teen raising episode..... Andrew the oldhippy.
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Occasional Contributor
Thanks Sailor and Andrew A family friend has taken my daughter for a week. She is going to try and get through to my daughter and give her a wake up call, and try and get her to open up. It will also give both of us some space from each other. Hopefully something good will come from this and even if 1 thing changes it will be worth it. We need to be making the most of the time we have together.
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Occasional Contributor
Loulou - happy for you, hope it goes well. Your life, too, deserves respect and consideration. Andrew the oldhippy.
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Not applicable
Hi Loulou Sounds like you are having a really rough time. Time-out for both of you sounds like a good short-term solution. I've just come back to Melbourne from a couple of weeks in Adelaide looking after my 94 year old Dad (who has an SCC or 2 on the base of his tongue). Mum passed away a while ago. I spent most of my spare time supporting and listening to my elder siblings - I'm 51, by the way, so even older 'children' have trouble coping. I wonder if your daughter knows in detail what is going on for you; the certainties and the unknowns as well. It might help her to hear what you know about your illness, and what you may not know, but suspect, is going to happen. Maybe a tack to try with her might be to ask if her if there is anything in particular bugging her, because you've noticed her behaviour has changed, and you are a bit worried. You could detail all the things about her behaviour that are upsetting to you, and ask her if there might be a reason for it. Whether she offers an explanation or not, it then gives you room to let her know in frank detail what is going on for you - offer her a blow-by-blow account of what happened when - even though she might 'know', she might not have heard it, because she continues to be upset. Maybe let her know how you feel about what is happening to you, and how you feel about a future for your children without you. It may give her an opportunity to vent her feelings, and I reckon it wouldn't be surprising if she was angry, and scared, and feeling lost, maybe. But if only she could let you know her thoughts and it would be a weight off her and your shoulders. She then may be in a better space to be positively supportive to you. I like Sailor's suggestions as well; Cancer Helpline might be the go. Go for the experts. All the best Loulou Richard
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