How to cope with being away from family. To care for a family in another state.torn in middle

New Member

How to cope with being away from family. To care for a family in another state.torn in middle


I've never done this before. So sorry if I'm not doing this right. I left my family and friends with my partner to go on a trip of a lifetime overseas with my mum as was getting married in Greece. Two days before wedding my mum fell she's 81.  Long story short.broken hip.wrist complete rotary cuff rear. Surgery hip replacement. Wrist plate screws. Rotary cuff discovered four weeks later on arrival back in aus.

Meanwhile other brother having investigations for lump on neck with swelling increasing day by day. Outcome cancer  non hodgkin's lymphoma. And started chemo about 6weeks ago.

My partner in Queensland wants us all to move back.up there.its been four months since I've been home. He suffers from anxiety and depression and is now suffering.

I'm incredably conflicted and torn.not mention my brother has had a gambling problem and financially put strain on all of us. I'm on disability pension mum old age pension.and himself disability pension.

I'm a mess emotionally and mum is still unable to care for herself.

Everyone is saying that I should return to Queensland.even with everything my brother has done in the past year or so. I love him very much. Why does everyone think that this is a simple decision to let him deal with it himself or move to Queensland and continue his treatment there. Can he? He is scared doesn't want to as he has done to round of chemo another 4 plus 6eeeks of radiation after.

Help I'm depleted

0 Kudos
Frequent Contributor

Re: How to cope with being away from family. To care for a family in another state.torn in middle

Hi Vivi,


If you have seen any of my prior posts, my focus tends to be on self awareness and self empowerment. So prepaer yourself because my comments below might come across as being a bit challenging.


Just to confirm...


Your partner is in QLD and suffers from anxiety and depression.

Your Mum (not in QLD) is recovering from a fall while overseas in Greece and is on age pension.

One brother recently got married in Greece.

Another brother (not in QLD) has cancer, has a gabling problem and is on disability pension.

You are on a disability pension and haven't been home to see your partner for 4 months.

You love them all and wonder how you can help them all at the same time.


Simple answer is that you can't help them all at the same time. Not physically, not emotionally and definitely not financially.


Maybe having your Mum and brother with cancer coming to live with you and your partner for a while might be a solution - or it could just make things worse. It all depends on so many things:

  • are there childern in the scene,
  • how close are you to treatment facilities,
  • do you have the space in your home,
  • are the personality types compatible,
  • does your Mum and/or brother want to move even for a short period of time?


And what support do each of your Mum and brother with cancer actually need versus they say that they want versus what you think that they need? What they really need might not require you to be physically present. Are they letting you help them simply to keep you happy, or are they really in need? How did they manage their lives prior to 4 months ago when you came to their rescues? Why is it all up to you?


In my opinion, you are better off helping your family to set themselves up so that they have access to the appropriate support and care from their own homes. And if you have something come up for youself that makes it impossible for you to be there for them? This is putting incredible pressure on you and everyone has their breaking point.


You might love your Mum and brother very dearly, but their lives are their lives - they have and will make decisions for themselves and they have to live with it regardless of the pros or cons.


Similarly, it is your responsibility to yourself to decide what (who) is most important to you. Maybe I am being a bit obscure here, but your number 1 priority should be YOU. You can't help anyone, let alone yourself, if you are not in a good headspace. There are all sorts of options available to help you get your head straight including GPs, Cancer Council support counsellers, Life Line, etc.


Other peoples' problems are not your fault. You can't be everyone's hero all the time. Just decide for yourself where you want to focus your energies at any paritcular time and get on with it knowing that you are doing your best.


If anyone tries to make you feel guilty, then they are being selfish. and you need to tell them that you will help them when you can.


Let us know how you get on.


Warm regards,


Post new topic
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.