Hi, I am new to this site but looking for a place to vent before I explode. My lovely husband suffered a stroke which left him severely limited,I became his full-time carer. 6 months after his stroke he was diagnosed with bowel cancer which has spread to his liver and has been classed as 4th stage.The consensus seems to be that the changes created in his blood by the cancer caused the stroke. Along with our two grown children we have always been a fairly tight family unit, preferring to holiday and socialise as a family. We have found the most difficult thing to cope with has been having to make room for the extended family. Whilst we understand their desire to spend more time with my husband it seems that this 7 day a week access is taken for granted "because they are family". The courtesy does not seem to extend both ways and is particularly wearing when our sons, who are very close to their father, are pushed aside by others. In particular his family seems to be trying to re-instate old family bonds by reducing my husband to the baby brother or the youngest child. They will ask me personal questions about his treatment-in front of him like he is unable to understand the disease and treatment. While his speech has been compromised by the stroke his mental faculties are fine. Just recently one son and his father were having a heated discussion, this was a minor event between a father and son and was over as quickly as it started, however the "Family" matriarch
expressed the opinion that our son was disrespectful and regardless of the fact that his father was in the wrong should have held his tongue. While it sounds minor this has created a huge family conflict as I stood my ground and told them that the boys and their father are just getting on with life the way they always have and we refuse to treat my husband differently because of this illness. Is this type of conflict between extended family common or are our family just nutcases??
It seem that any illnesses bring out the very best and worse in families. Whilst its important for family and friends to visit, you and your 2 sons must be the priority. Maybe setting some boundaries like telling the extended family they can only visit on certain days might help this is not unreasonable and honestly it must be exhausting for both you and your husband. Ive just recently lost my beautiful dad, (we looked after him at home for the past 9 months) one of the things that would really annoy me is when people even health professionals asked inappropriate questions in front of my dad, in the end I would say to them at the time I will speak to you about this latter. Some people just have no idea. Take care of yourself too.
Look the way I see it there's close family and really close family. My wife and daughters come first in how we handle all this, then the rest of world. It may sound mean to a mom and dad or "matriarch " however they have to understand your home family is a unit. It comes first. In a lot of cases, such as mine, I have lived a lot longer with my wife and kids compared to anyone else in the family including my mom and dad. Don't shut them out, but the fact is you are in charge. Your family is your husband and kids,period. So nut cases ....no.... Normal.......yes?
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.