Most survivors and carers will probably will relate so it's good to know I'm not totally alone when I say that my husbands family are giving me the right shits lately. The night of his diagnosis, people came to visit Rob in hospital from everywhere. People laughed, joked around and kept it light which I think was great for Rob. But my mother in law, sat there tight lipped, sullen and basically made out that Rob was dying, how could people laugh at a time like this? She kept saying 'we'll get through this, don't you worry'. Uh huh. Every family member went into overdrive and said they would do anything, all we needed was to call. Rob's mum is known as the worlds biggest drama queen and I've quietly told other family members 'Don't listen to her, you know what she's like, if you need to know something, call me'. She likes to exaggerate is an understatement. When his mum found out that it had spread to his lymph nodes, she went and told the entire family that the cancer had spread, things weren't great and he could die. Jaw drop. Flabbergasted. Spent a good day fielding calls that day to tell people it was fine, he wasn't going to die, he was doing chemo to clean up any cells that might be floating about (his body is clear of any lesions/masses). Fantastic, family is still grieving for patriarch of the family who died in June - this is EXACTLY what they need to hear. Not. Found out last week that some extended family who didn't come to our wedding wanted to catch up for dinner so they could congratulate us and give us a gift. Again, Robs mum told them that he was doing chemo, it was really affecting him and they should wait until he's settled and into a routine before disturbing him. *exasperated look goes here* Now I want to add that my mother in law and I get along extremely well. All of the family has embraced me into the fold which has been very humbling for me as I've never has a strong family unit myself. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF JEEBUS!! SHUT UP WOMAN! MIL has Mondays off work and Rob does chemo every Monday fortnight. On a couple of occasions, I've suggested she go with Rob to chemo. She could see what they did, how he felt during chemo and how the whole process occurred. Especially if his portocath played up and it needed to be ultraplased. And do you think she's been? Not once. For someone who seems to know exactly what is going on with Rob, she's lucky if she sees him once a week. Weird given she lives 2km away from us. Now don't get me wrong, Rob is her eldest son and she adores him to bits but I feel that she would be a little more active in his treatment. She calls to see how he is but other than that, doesn't want to know or see the nitty gritty. I can only assume that she feels she would find it very hard to see Rob get pumped full of drugs, poked, prodded etc etc. He is her son after all and mothers don't want to see their children suffer or bein pain. Or perhaps now that Rob is a married man, she thinks that being his wife, I can handle it all and she doesn't want to interfere. I think I'll go with my former theory. But I can't help but feel resentful. And then I feel guilty for being resentful because after a few chemo sessions, she's cooked up a storm, knowing that Rob and I will be too tired to worry about food. She's Italian, a qualified chef and a mother - probably her way of showing her love. Actually I know it is, my waist line tells me so. I just think its weird that the family (besides Rob's brother) has shown little interest in his treatment or want to be there occasionally to show support. I kinda feel as if they've gone on with their lives while Rob and I are firmly ensconced in 'Cancer Land'. Oncologist appointments, chemo, check ups, xrays - I'm there for all of it and wouldn't be anywhere else. So why does the family think they get off the hook? Rob's brother, Mario is doing chemo with Rob today. We're getting our new air-conditioner delivered today and Rob wanted me to stay home and relax. I agreed only because I think it's important that brothers spend time together without me there. So I'm going to stay home, do washing, clean my kitchen and change the sheets on the bed. As if relax. I don't get time to relax.
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Contributor
Hi there I just want to let you know that i'm with you: 'enjoy your day doing the washing, cleaning the kitchen and changing the sheets on the bed'. to have a normal day in your life at the moment is just wonderful. you go girl, make the most of this day by yourself. cheers Linda
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New Contributor
I am sorry to hear your pain and frustration about his family. I guess to my knowledge they can't face reality which they should be supporting Rob and yourself 100%, isn't that what family is for??? in good times and bad times too. I remember when i was diagnosed with B.C 3 years ago i couldn't help noticing who was there for me and who wasn't. Some of my family members weren't there for me when i needed them the most and that is something i feel great pain and resentment towards some of them even still today. Some people just can't face someone suffering with cancer, so they completely avoid it thinking it will go away and be better not knowing how the cancer patient and career really feels. I guess everyone copes and deals with these things differently so try not to look into it too much which you probably can't help right now being so vulnerable and fragile.. Maybe you should allocate jobs for the rest of his family to help you out, such as cooking, cleaning, dr appts, and just hanging out with him for emotional support. Hope things get better and they will in time - "don't give up on hope" ... take care missy moo
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Frequent Contributor
Yep. You've got a live one there. I imagine her unconscious thought process is something like: My son has cancer This knowledge is causing me pain Something has to be done about the pain I am feeling I have to do something to manage that pain I'll be the family communicator so I can let them all know my pain That's a role I am comfortable with And I'll feed 'em all too while I'm at it. Good luck! I think you're up to the task. H
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Contributor
LOL Harker. I think you could be right on the money with your theory. Still doesn't stop me from wanting to bash my head against a brick wall every so often and even though I do feel resentful at times, I do understand why she behaves the way she does. As Missy said, some people handle it differently or not at all. Some carers don't really get a choice in how they handle it, they just have to get in there, do what is needed and figure it all out later. Chemo didn't take place yesterday. Rob's portocath is playing up - for some reason the tube has looped up and gone up near his jugular (causing him some neck pain), therefore making it really hard to get a blood return. Chemo doctor said no chemo today, they are either going to try moving the tube or they'll take the portocath out and replace it next Monday. Rob will do chemo the next day. I'm really happy with Rob's oncologist for the most part - she seems to actually give a shit which is refreshing. PS: Rob's mum tried to feed me yesterday. I think she loves me.
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Regular Contributor
How frustrating with Rob's chemo. It is the most absurd situation that chemo patients get upset when their levels are too low and the treatment has to be postponed. Oh my - you can't fill me with poison today?? Damn!! I took my laptop with me 2 times to treatment and each time the treatment was postponed - pack everything up, ring the appropriate people, go home and start again the next week. I only took it twice as I think it was a jinx. My mother -in -law didn't come to see me until I had been in hospital for 2 weeks - she didn't want to interfere. Maybe it has something to do with that aspect as well. Rest assured if she is feeding you , all is well. Good luck with the portocath nonsense - my picc line also looped up but no-one discovered it until they tried to take it out and had huge difficulty drawing it out. They then realised that was why they couldn't tkae blood from the line. Apparently no harm done - I'm still here!! Take it easy both of you, Samex
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