This year has been hard enough after my Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour, having surgery and everything else that has gone on in between. We have received limited support from extended family who have called once or twice and rarely respond to text messages, however despite this we believe that we have done the right thing to keep them in the loop and luckily our immediate family has pooled together to help each other. Unfortunately today it feels like a punch in the face after finding out that a family member is having a big party next week, the rest of our family has been invited and after asking told that we are not to come. What is wrong with people??? I am so over the way that people don't even ask how things are going or if we are coping! Aren't these the people who are supposed to be supportive and there for us?
Unfortunately when some people get over the initial shock of a family member getting cancer, and all the "if there is anything I can do, just call me,s" are said. They then wish to get it out of their minds and get on with their life,s plan, which of course doesnt involve and never did involve cancer.
This is not all people of course, some family members and friends give wonderful and continuing support.
With the head in the sand group. It is not their fault, it is just that they are not strong enough emotionally to deal with what can be described as one of life,s biggest challenges, cancer.
You do what you can for your dad Noggin, and your conscious will be clear. The rest will have their own consciounces to deal with.
The above replies are so true, when my husband was diagnosed recently with a new GBM and especially while he was in the hospital, I got so many phone calls, text messages etc that between driving kids back and forth to school and going to the hospital it was almost too much because just when I sat down or laid down to rest someone rang and you had to repeat the whole story over and over. Now he is home, barely a call at all from anyone.
I appreciated them but how quickly they forget and get on with their own lives. I try not to judge that as it will eat you up and just cause extra stress. I remember back to the life that once was and try to understand...people that have never had any major "event" especially a major illness in their lives just don't know the impact it has. My parents are very supportive but still struggle to be "there" at times for us, but they have said they just don't know what to do..and its very much to me like if "you haven't walked the walk...you can't talk the talk".
So sorry for what you are experiencing, as hard as it is, try and filter out those people.
I really like the saying:
"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter..
And those that mind...
I used to worry about close family and friends going on holidays etc when we couldn't afford it or my hubby was having treatment, but I don't let it (most of the time anyway) take away my serenity.
Very few get through life without "something" and as Wombat said those excluding you will have their own consciences to deal with. They just never know when your today might be their tomorrow and they may NEED you.
A couple of months after I was diagnosed with cancer ,a couple of years ago , we decided to tell my family . Soon there were phone calls from some but my husband said it would drive us crazy so sent emails to say we'd keep them updated . After treatment we stopped the emails . I think this is partly why some never made contact and why some rang less often . I never did hear from some siblings at all and some only once . One rang me 2 years later for the first time . One of my sisters (I have 9 sistera) told me recently that they don't know what to say . One of my brothers(I have 2) only spoke of it once when I rang him for another reason.
I would have treated them far better but eventually accepted the way they were and don't care much now . I must add that 4 of my sisters and I are in regular contact so I can talk about cancer if I choose . If the situation was reversed I would ask them how they were going from time to time and can't see that talking to a sibling should be difficult .Still I just accept that we are all a bit different . It's not worth stressing over now.
If I have a recurrence or more likely ,it metastesises I will only tell those who seem to be interested . I don't need them but can happily say I do still love them all .
When I was rediagnosed with my brain tumour to be agressive Grade 4 I made a strong choice not to speak to negative people even if that is family. I have to stay strong for me and not listen to negativeness even though that may be hard if it is family but you have to think of you. Its not to be an angry choice as that is another emotion that doesnt need to be filtered. Life is life lots of emotions are going to be raw.
Everyone has to come to terms with the it and it can be very hard not just on the cancer patient or carer but those who are standing back and watching.
I dont know your situation with support sorrry you dont have it as I have a fantastic support group my sisters a friend that has become an older sister my husband and my mum and dad.
I dont need them at this stage as Im doing really well so I would love to help anyone that needs a chit chat.
All I can say is yes it is hard as I have had certain friends run but even though its not them going through it they are just as scared as you.
Hi Noggin- I thinks some people just don't understand what it's like.
Whether it's fear of saying the wrong thing, or fear of the cancer itself, some people just get more distant when you're dealing with cancer. I found that some friends and family just drifted away, and others that I wasn't that close to really stepped up. I really hope you get some nice suprises in the future. love Emily
it must be emotional to everyone as they don't know what to do or say to each other and you. You poor thing as the brain trumour is in Grade 4 so the emotions must be scary and very pretty high. I feel for you and the family. Glenys
When I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer last August, one of my best friends swore she would be with me every step of the way. But every time I asked for help (which was tough enough), she had an excuse. I drew up a roster of friends to help me with meals and my kids whilst I was having chemo, and every time her turn arrived, she pulled out. I had people I hardly even knew through our school community come and offer all sorts of support, but from one of the ones that mattered, nothing. Needless to say I don't have much to do with her anymore, haven't seen her in months! A cancer diagnosis certainly lets you know who your real friends are. Be with the ones that matter, don't worry about the rest. Karma will take care of them.
All the best
I have joined this site to seek advice on this topic. I am one of those people who has distanced themselves from someone who is caring for a loved one with cancer. I feel absolutely terrible for doing so but i have no idea how to support them and to answer their questions and make them feel better when they ask me why this has happened to them. It makes my heart break seeing them each day losing more hope and dealing with problems that i have never dreamed of.
I want to be a strong friend for them to be able to rely on but i just don't know how to be that person.
I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions of books, journals etc that can give me some fundamentals on how i can support this person in need.
Thanks in advance.
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.