Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

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Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

When my hubby was diagnosed and whilst he has been going through surgery etc I have been totally amazed and upset by so called loved ones reactions.. I have really been sadddened by the way people have treated us or simply just ignored us. People who used to be really close have either abused me or just shown no care at all... It really does upset me... Family memebers who havent even asked how our kids are now that their dad has cancer, close family members who have told me "I just want to see him and make sure he is alive so I can enjoy my holiday" and then not even botering to reply to my messages when I have updated them on his recovery... We are beginning to isolate ourselves so we dont have to deal with it... Do other people find this has happened to them?? I know the world keeps spinning but really, do they need to be shoved off the planet to realise the world does not revole around them???
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

Many people here have talked about similar reactions. Some family keep quiet because they don't know what to say,some want to give you privacy to deal with it and some just don't care as much as we expect. That's my conclusion. I think it's best to accept support and kindness from whomever gives it and eventually the hurt caused by the others will lessen. This will take quite a while . In the meantime know that many here do understand how it feels. I think it's sad that this happens. I had this from some family,not all,members but now have almost accepted that some relationships have changed. I 'll bet the particular people don't even know how I think and feel about them now. It is just over 2 years for me and the only times I think of it is when I read a post like yours .Then I confess I do feel the hurt again. I can't say anymore for now except that I hope you,your kids and your husband get through this without much more pain.
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

This is my first post on these boards. My sister has given me a lot of grief with her reactions - or lack of them - in recent years. When my husband was thought to have only a few weeks to live last August her lack of concern and her criticism of me was very hurtful, as well as being inappropriate. Her husband and daughter did not want to intervene, saying it was between me and her. Two psychologists (one last year) and one recently have told me that some people avoid dealing with grief issues.It reflects their own mortality and their husband's mortality. Knowing that at least gives an explanation of why some people can be so mean-spirited. Basically, it's all about them. See an oncology psychologist if you can. They are brilliant. Ordinary psychologists have no idea where carers of cancer patients are coming from in my experience...saw two who were maybe fooled by my seeming sanity and normal appearance. We're now living on the Central Coast near Gosford and I wish there was a carer's group locally so I could have a whinge with others in the same boat - caring for someone who is only now being offered supportive care. I'd be happy to whinge online too and share stories with anyone who needs that occasional whinge. I feel very lonely sometimes in dealing with this because so few people understand about blood cancers and the disease process. My husband was diagnosed with AML in February 2009, has had two relapses - and maybe a third relapse happening now - plus was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last June. (MM now seems to be in remission). A rare combination of blood cancers and his specialist here thinks his bone marrow is very weak because of so much chemo.
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

Hi, I agree with Silly, many of us on this site would have similar experiences, where we really feel family & close friends have failed us. Personally I think it is the reality of thinking someone they know may die "before their time", which then brings their own mortality into focus... it's too much for some to cope with, as they are trapped into "living their life to the fullest, for material gain only". It hurts and the hurt goes very deep, but nearly 10 yrs on, I just feel sorry for those who want to live their lives so superficially. My siblings have left the primary care of our ageing Mother to me, despite me having cancer 10yrs ago, and struggling health-wise for years after treatment. I realise my siblings have no comprehension of life during/after cancer, the permanent changes, struggles and hurdles. I just accept the hurt now, and move on... thanking God, I'm not so self absorbed! Focus on your husband, kids & yourself as a family unit, accept help where it's offered and don't be afraid to ask people for help. Sometimes people just don't know how to help. Perhaps develop a roster and email it to close family & friends, asking if any can help. Simple things like collecting the kids from school, taking them to sports or even a weekly shop, can just take some pressure off, the super-hero, you've suddenly been asked to become. If they say no, then just accept it and move on.
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

SamR- you have hit the nail on the head..... We are asked to become superheroes....... With no sidekick and no back up!! My family has been exceptional since my husband got ill.......even moving 1000 ks to be closer to me and us! My sibling sends me money on a regular basis and texts/ calls often. His family seem to have given up, no calls, the rare text, and don't want to talk about it when we do see each other. But you just put your head down and your bum up and keep going......life is too short...... To all the carers out there.... You are amazing!! Keep up the great work!! You'll go straight to heaven!!! PA
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

I recently had one of my sisters visiting and I told her many in the family have never said a word to me about my having cancer . She told me that they just don't know what to say.
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

I don't think that your loved ones don't care - they just don't know what to say or how to act. They may also just be trying not to think about it (which is small comfort to you). I was diagnosed with bladder cancer a couple of years ago. My cousin (who had previously told me that she considered me to be like a sister) only got in touch with me about it after I had been successfully treated for it (many months later). She was crying and genuinely upset, and told me she just didn't know what to say to me before. Which was fair enough, I thought, because I hadn't really spoken to most of my family about the cancer because I also didn't know what to say! I also think isolating yourself from people you care about can be a normal reaction to grief and stress. People will get in touch with you when they are ready. That said, I agree with SamR, ask for help when you need it. On another note, really great news that your husband is recovering well!
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

Hi Nickole I posted the following comment on another topic but I think it is appropriate here as well: “There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won’t any more, and who always will. So don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.” I lost some old friends and gained some new ones, but reconciled with some estranged family members, so am very blessed. Just before Christmas the owner of the local pharmacy and a staff member delivered a plate of home-made slices to me because they said "I'd been having a tough time lately". They of course knew because I got all my med's there. Acquaintances and at times total strangers have touched my heart with their kindness and thoughtfulness. "Many people will walk in and out of you life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart." I really feel sorry for people who have no sense of compassion for others. And when we are struggling to cope with our situations (either self or a loved one) we can't afford to expend energy supporting those appear not to care. Good blessings to you, your hubby and family, Pamela 🙂
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Re: Family and friends support? Is everyones family so selfish?

I agree with Space Cadet and Pamela. Remember others don't realise that most of us want to talk about it . There will be some who fear stirring things up if they say anything ,so they wait until they think all is ok or never speak.
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