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.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.