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mum dying, husband emotionally cold

(59 Posts)
Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 12:57:11

Hi namechanger...not sure if I should post here or bereavement or what...but anyway..
A bit of back ground...My mum is 64 and was diagnosed on august 22nd 2013 (so about 7 weeks ago) with metastatic breast cancer that is not curable and to our knowledge is in at least her femur and lungs.

We found out in a pretty traumatic way...she had been bed bound for a few week with what we thought was a combination of the arthritis/scoliosis of the spine and diverticulitis which she has suffered with for years. She's very anti doctors and health care agencies and so tries as best she can to manage pain etc on her on.

We had all been worried about her and my dad (who still wrks full time) was caring for her and fulfilling her wishes not to have the doctor called. He then fell off a ladder gardening and sustained a head injury and several brokne bones in his right arm so I told him if he didnt approach the GPs then I would as he was struggling caring for her. She will not let either me or my sister do anything to help either and my dad is like the gate keeper for her and keeps us away etc. But this time he agreed and told the doctor...she came out and expressed her concern for my mum and tried to organise some rheumatology appointments...still thinking it was arhtritis etc...

then at 3am about a week later my mums leg fell out of bed and she couldnt lift it back in her self...she asked my dad to do it...it broke in his hands at the femur...ambulance came phonecall from dad at 6 in the morning to come to hospital where they discovered a tumour in her leg caused it to break and a large weeping ulcerated tumour on her breast she had hidden from everyone. after an op to the femur we were told it was incurable, too late and that if she was to have heart failure in the op they would not resuscitate her! All of us in total shock etc etc. finally persuaded her to have an mri which revealed tumour in her lungs but she refused brain scan and dischrged herself from hospital after 3 weeks because shed had enough... she basically refused to eat til they let her go and she was returned home by ambulance. about a week and a half ago she was again returned to hospital with heart problems and put on coronary care. She tells all the nurses and doctors what ever they want to hear in order to go home. So she is home again now...Which is fine but the strain my dad is under working full time and her refusing carers or macmillan nurses is immense...he however worships her and will not go against her wishes despite knowing if he ends up ill she will have to go to hospital anyway!

So its a really stressfull situation. I have two children - one preschool age and one just started high school. My elder child is really struggling with the transition to high school (we think he may have aspergers) and I am currently studying a very taxing podiatry degree.

Some days I feel I cant cope and am going to crack under the strain of emotionally supporting my dad (who tells me a lot of his feelings including suicidal ones) and uni work and my son and my own complicated feelings about my mum....and my husband is almost totally emotionless about it all. He doesnt treat me with any extra care, doesnt ask how I am, doeant hug me unless I request it and cant understand why I need affection. Its highly likely he has aspergers too but right now I just need someone to be there at the end of the day for me and he isnt. He carries out practical help and tasks...i.e. looks after the children while I study or help my dad out with shopping and cleaning or just listen to him talk about his grief...but my husband doesnt do the same for me (listen to my feeling or look after me) He's very matter of fact and pretty much wants life to carry on as normal, in that he has booked several bike races for sundays (he races for an amateur road bike team) and he cant see the strain this puts on me as I need more time to complete everything and I need less stress around the children. He thinks I'm unreasonable to want him to cut down the races.

So I just wondered if anyones gone through similar...how do you cope when your only support cant or wont support you? My mum has around 3 months to live by the way so things are clearly going to get worse and pretty soon.

T.I.A.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Oct-13 13:04:26

I'm so sorry that you're going through this nightmare. It sounds utterly horrific and I'm not surprised you feel at breaking point. All I can suggest with your husband is that you leave him completely out of the equation, get as much support as you can for yourself from friends, other family members, and the medical profession and then address his bizarrely uncaring attitude when you feel stronger. Do you have friends you can talk to? Have you spoken to your own GP?

BTW It's such a shame that she won't let the Macmillan nurses help. I know someone who is a Macmillan nurse and she's a thoroughly lovely person. Often she seems to do as much for the carers like your DF as she does for the patient.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 13:14:44

Thanks Cogito...I was wondering if Macmillan would talk to me separately...theres a drop in macmillan place at my local hospital so I may try it but if anyone reading knows for sure whether they will the info would be much appreciated.

I have lovely friends who help and want to help but I have so little time to see anyone face to face at the moment its very hard...and when I come home at the end of some days when Ive spent the evening with my dad after a very full day and he's gone round and round talking about how theres no point to his life without my mum and how destroyed he is while i try and boost him up and talk his feelings through...sometimes I wish my husband would just do the same thing for me. sad

Mueslimorning Fri 11-Oct-13 13:26:52

So sorry to read about all your worries.
Can only offer moral support as I can relate to much you've said.
My mum was over 80 when she died a few years ago, also refusing the carers she would have needed (as she was also looking after my dsis with ms). Everything fell to me, I couldn't cope as well I hoped to and still feel guilty, as she died unexpectedly overnight in hospital. I had been able to visit her the day before but as she was full of painkillers (crumbling spine, after 2 recent hip ops) I left after a short time.
I wish now I had thought to treat every day as a possible last day.
Perhaps you could think of some little ritual every time you leave her after a visit, or a phone call (my dad died abroad many years ago but we were linked by phone and I could tell him I loved him at least).

Btw, dh was useless throughout, I thought about leaving him but didn't.
Aspergers was also mentioned in our house, at couple counseling he's being told he's a selfish twat (using technical terms of course). He's working on it...
Look after yourself, for you and your kids.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 13:40:34

Thanks museli..I'm so sorry about your mum. I wonder if couples counselling would help us...but we tried it just after DS was born and it wasnt really much help.

I have lots of lovely friends who want to help but I have so little time to see people face to face at the moment...i guess at the end of a long stressful day its hard to come home to someone who wants to bicker with you about which tea cup you have used and can't see the utter misery on your face.

hammyhamster72 Fri 11-Oct-13 13:42:16

Hi Craptime,

I am sorry to hear you are going through all this. I haven't posted before but felt I had to write a few words to you. I was in your situation about 18 months ago and I know how hard it is. My husband did support me but couldn't always see why I was having the feelings I was. I had to be very straight with him and tell him what needed doing with the kids and that I simply wouldn't be around as normal. I would echo Cogito and say lean on your friends, it's what got me through the worst time of my life. Even a quick phone call or email would make all the difference - it helps you to cope.
My mum died of cancer in July 2012, she had been ill for over 3 years but the disease really started to curtail her life a few months before. She was a very proud lady and refused all treatment, wanting to make the most of her life when she felt well. As soon as she did start to decline, everything fell to me, trying to keep my family going, support my Dad, study, and all the other stuff life throws at you. I felt like I'd aged about 20 years overnight.
All I can say is you are doing all you can and you can only do so much, take some time out for you if you can even if it's a coffee or a bath, you need to look after yourself. People told me this at the time, and although I struggled it is the best advice. A big hug to you.

Take care xx

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 14:02:16

Hi hammyhamster thank you for replying. I'm so sorry about your mum. I'm struggling to find time or space to do anything for myself. Even posting on here has me feeling guilty because its taking up time I need to be using to write a lit review for uni ha!

Every day is marred by the million tiny unkindnesses my husband gives me. I don't think he actually means to do it but its like he can't see that it's not appropriate to be snarky or argumentative with me right now over small things.

TheCrumpetQueen Fri 11-Oct-13 14:05:26

My partner can be like this. When I'm very down/ill and really need him, he can be very emotionless and not see or think that I might need extra love.

I brought it up in counselling and she said I need to communicate specifically what I need to him, e.g 'Right now I need a hug because I'm feeling very down' rather than 'you don't hug me etc'

It's annoying and I do suspect he lacks empathy.

I'm so sorry with all that you're going to, I'm glad you have family support. I know how it feels to have a partner like that

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 14:09:49

Thanks crumpetqueen I will give that a go...it's quite helpful to have the way language can make a difference spelled out! It sounds obvious when its in black and white but you just expect your husband to do it because its seemingly second nature to everyone else...I've had hugs and offers of help and shoulders to cry on from the most unexpected places...but not at home where I need it most!

TheCrumpetQueen Fri 11-Oct-13 14:13:38

It really doesn't come naturally to my partner. He was raised in a very abusive household and was not taught how to respond appropriately to people, I have to give him allowances I guess

hammyhamster72 Fri 11-Oct-13 14:20:42

I think you have both hit the nail on the head! Saying "I always do the ironing" in my book says "please do the ironing" but in my case I actually have to spell it out and ask a direct question, then I get a response. Sounds daft but I've learnt not to assume that he will be able to second guess me, even after 12 years of marriage!

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 14:27:11

I think the emotions are so huge and the weight of the issues so overwhelming its hard to think rationally and request things when you just want comfort but I'm resigned to the fact I'll probably have to spell it out in detail. I know it probably makes me a not very nice person but I can't help feeling oh FFS another bloody task I've got to take on!

blush

hammyhamster72 Fri 11-Oct-13 14:40:10

I so know how you feel, and it's much easier to say "can you do the washing up?" as opposed to "ffs can you have some empathy for me and just understand that I'm feeling totally rubbish!" I sometimes found that sitting down and spelling out the problems/issues in a proper conversation helped, rather than random comments here and there. I know you shouldn't have to do it and don't feel like you should be doing it, but in my experience if I didn't call a halt and say i'm just not coping and I need you to do this, this and this(or this might happen), my husband and dad would just expect me to carry on as if nothing was happening. So know what you mean by it being another thing to do to add to the list. I also remember feeling like I got MUCH more comfort outside the home and from the most unlikeliest of sources.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 14:45:39

It's weird hammyhamster that thing of getting much more comfort from others...it's especially weird/hurtful/sad as I'm watching my dad caring for and supporting my mum in spectacular fashion...all the while KNOWING for an absolute fact, my own husband would never do anything approaching that for me. Thqt thought might be sad, stupid, silly, I don't know, but there it is!

hammyhamster72 Fri 11-Oct-13 14:49:21

It certainly makes you see your relationship in a different light. I think that thought is all those things craptime, and you are right to feel that way. You need to get through the next few months the best way you can, and if that is getting your help/support/comfort from other sources then so be it. I hope your husband does realise soon the toll it is all taking on you, and gives you the support you need and deserve. Hugs xx

leavingthebastard Fri 11-Oct-13 15:03:21

Craptime - your post could be me honestly. I have just gone through this exact situation with my DP. My mum died back in April. And my DP and I are in the process of breaking up now largely as a result.

My mum had been ill since early 2011. She went through 2 years of treatment, during which time my DP was rubbish. No understanding for the situation at all. No extra care for me. No hugs unless requested, no interest expressed in the details of hospital appointments or results. Flippant even when he could see my mum was in pain. I didn't really let it bother me too much until mum actually died. Within days he had told me that I needed to get over it, move on with life, and - this is a corker - that I "hadn't been much fun recently". Over the next few weeks he said my grieving was "extreme" and I needed help.

Since then he has been doing things behind my back like internet dating, talking to exes, porn. He has gone completely off the rails. I view him like a stranger now. Even when trying to resolve things with him he turns it round to whine about how his life has been turned upside down and how he is upset I don't trust him.

To be honest I just want him out of my life now.

My advice to you is to spend every moment you can with your mum. Tell her you love her, what she means to you. You will never have your mum back once she is gone. And you will never forgive yourself if you are distracted by your pig of a DH in these final weeks. I would also urge you to beg your mum to accept a Marie Curie or Macmillan nurse. A friend of mine had one for his mum and the difference it made to her was incredible. The whole family felt supported and comforted by this nurse. You could get one just to visit her for an hour so she could "interview" them in a way?

Also be prepared for your DH to be much worse once your mum dies. He will be baffled by your grief and you will reel from his lack of empathy. At the moment in your life when you need him most he will recoil from you.

I wish my DP had the excuse of being aspergers. He is just a shit. The thought of him being anywhere near me when I'm on my death bed makes me feel sick. This is how I know it is over.

Much, much love to you, this is the most difficult thing you will ever have to experience. Big hugs thanks

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 15:10:02

Thank you leaving! He sounds like a shit!

My husband said recently that "you always do something like this when I'm getting somewhere with my racing" I said "what having my mother die???!!" its astonishing sometimes the lack of understanding!

He's actually saying he would like us to split up as "lifes too short for all this" head explodes

God its good to hear I'm not alone and that I'm not being unreasonable...he really does make me feel as if I'm the unreasonable one by being "too emotional"

leavingthebastard Fri 11-Oct-13 15:26:16

Craptime this is how my DP has made me feel over the last 2.5 years. Like I am making a mountain out of a molehill.

You may find that your DH's behaviour gets even worse the more grief and strain you experience. My DP clearly cannot handle any sort of deep emotion and it scares him to the core.

You are definitely not being unreasonable, you have just accidentally married a man-child. My DP came out with another classic line: "I don't know why you are so upset that she's dead - you didn't have a particularly good relationship with her anyway, and she was annoying". shock

This is someone I considered having kids with. I am dodging a fucking bullet!

Your DH and my DP should hook up. Mine is obsessed with cycling too. They'd have a grand time. And we can go and find some men that aren't robots grin

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 15:30:02

haha! leaving that sounds like a plan! He already spends far more time with his bike and bike buddies than me anyway!

He told me its my dads own fault for getting stressed as he should have just refused to let my mum come home. erm OK, if you're an emotionless robot!

I can't tell you how much it helps to feel like I'm normal!

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 15:37:18

And <wow> at the comment your DP made fter your mum passed away...just <wow>

I'm also really sorry for your loss. I hope you find happiness with someone who isnt a massive dickhead and that he was just a blip in your life

haverer Fri 11-Oct-13 15:57:35

OP what a hard time you're having.
You can call up the macMillan helpline for a chat - when my DM was ill I spoke to cried at a lovely woman on the helpline who was a lovely understanding shoulder to cry on and also able to give practical advice.
As for your husband... his behaviour is absolutely unbelievable. Is he always like this when you need him? What's he like when you have a big-standard illness? What was he like when the DC were born? I don't know how anyone would get over this lack of support. If your partner doesn't support you in the hard times, I don't see the point, really.

haverer Fri 11-Oct-13 15:58:23

*bog-standard

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 16:21:46

thanks haverer, I'll give them a call.

He was similar to this after DC's and through my own problems/illnesses throughout my life. I guess I made excuses for it, and he told me I was over reacting. And people outside of the situation tend to tell you" oh that's just what men are like" as they dont realise the full extent.

In his defence , he does do practical stuff. He's taken the kids with him just now while he goes buying bike stuff so I can try and get some work done. But there will just be NO empathy or even noticing of tears.

georgedawes Fri 11-Oct-13 16:35:25

Your husband sounds like an arsehole. If he can't support you now, when can he? Being a partner during the good times is easy.

Concentrate on seeing your mum and dad just now. Please contact macmillan, they are amazing and really will help all of you. They were brilliant when my mum died and I can't stress enough how much they will try to support you.

I hope you're ok x

craptime

I would contact MacMillan asap and get support from them, they are very good.

Your H sounds both selfish and self absorbed; are his own parents like this as well?. I ask this as this can be very much learnt behaviour. He reads like Mr Emotionally Unavailable.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 17:18:00

attila yes his dad very much pleases himself but does certain tasks he sees as his duty...its quite an odd little contradiction when I think about it but there you go! His mum just ploughs her own little furrow.

georgedawes thanks I feel quite a lot better having posted this here and not got the usual "thats men <eye roll>" response I get IRL.

georgedawes Fri 11-Oct-13 18:48:01

Well I detest that "men are crap" infantilising bollocks. If they're so shit why do they hold most positions of power? Not helpful for me to rant at you, sorry, but it drives me batshit and is actually offensive to the many, many decent men out there.

Honestly, if you can't be there for your wife when her mum is dying, when can you? Sorry to be so blunt, but he sounds horrible and you sound so sad and vulnerable. I hope in time you are able to work things out in the best way to make yourself happy, and that you spend as much time with your parents in the coming weeks as you can.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 19:16:23

georgedawes no carry on!! I agree fully and find it quite dismissive of my feelings as well as insulting to non man children!

I have been at my lowest ebb recently and I can't tell you how glad I am that I posted this here. It's made me feel ten times stronger, and like I'm not unreasonable/weak/selfish.

Thank you everyone that posted. I owe you one!

georgedawes Fri 11-Oct-13 19:28:17

you don't owe any of the posters anything, we're just strangers - you'd do the same wouldn't you? It's your husband who is behaving badly - I wouldn't treat a stranger like that, and I'm sure you wouldn't either.

Charbon Fri 11-Oct-13 19:48:41

My sincere sympathy (and empathy) for coping with your parents' illnesses and injuries. It really is vital that you have an outlet for your stresses and complex feelings during this sad, physically and emotionally demanding time.

While acknowledging what you say about your suspicions of Aspergers, I was drawn to the post where you said he would like to split up and has said that life is too short. Is it possible he is having an affair? Because I have to say that some of the behaviour you describe is completely synomymous with that displayed during a secret association with someone else.

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 20:14:52

georgedawes you're right I'm just so glad of support I feel pathetically grateful.

charbon I've wondered myself.

Doughnut123 Fri 11-Oct-13 21:02:58

Oh Craptime, I feel for you SO much! What a hideous situation. Your poor mum and dad and poor you. Let me give you a big hug and a cup of tea/coffee or something stronger.
I really empathise regarding your mum, as mine died this time last year. My dad died the year before and my two sisters were behaving in a not dissimilar way to your husband, I stayed in the hospital room with my mum for about a week and a half, until she died, not wanting her to be alone. My sisters could not understand this and refused to stay too, so I felt very alone.
However, my husband was very supportive and I could not have coped without him.

You are under immense stress. Please don't feel guilty about Mumsnetting, it's the support you need and are lacking so much at home.

I used to be a nurse, so I have a little background knowledge.

Firstly, it's really important that you take care of yourself. You have 2 small children and a difficult husband AND you're doing a degree!!

This would be enough to send a lot of people over the edge, without the enormous trauma of what you're going through with your mum.
Can you request a break from your degree for a while, to lessen the burden on you? I'm sure that the university would be understanding.

Try to accept whatever your friends offer in the way of child care, shopping etc. Every little bit helps.

With your dad, I would try speaking to the GP and ask if he can be referred to a social worker. There are specific social workers who support carers in some areas. I would most definitely speak to Macmillan, for yourself as well as your mum. They are brilliant.

My mother was quite similar to your mum, in that she would refuse to go to hospital and my poor dad would have to deal with her. I'd be on the phone ( they lived 150 miles away), trying to persuade her to go and sometimes having to get an ambulance out to her - which, long distance, is not easy and my 3 children were all under 10. It's a bloody nightmare.

I think if you spoke to Macmillan about your mum, they would find a way to get her to engage with them . They are very experienced with this kind of situation and very skilled. Maybe they could just try calling her first, just for a few times, to build up her confidence in them and if that works, then they could try a visit.

Your mum. Is terrified, understandably. She has no control over what is happening to her. She needs to be able to still make her own decisions for as long as she is able.

It takes a long time for someone who has always been independent and the carer for everyone else, to accept that they need to be cared for.

All I can say is that my mum was so resistant to having a carer at home, but when we eventually sorted carers out for her ( it was a carer or having to go to a residential home), she really took to them.

And I think that's the key. Macmillan nurses are lovely, caring people and they have good people skills, so I'm sure your mum would accept one if she got on with her.

Sorry this is so long. I hope it's helpful. You and your dad need a break too, so I would see if there is someone who could be with your mum for a while, so he has some time for himself. He sounds amazing.

And could a friend take your children for a while, to give you a break?

As for your husband, it sounds really traumatic, but it seems that he cannot help it, as hard as that is to live with. Could you talk to your GP about him?

Also, are you getting much support for your son?

I totally get the cycling obsession. My husband is a cycling geek too, but more understanding. We are separating, but he was totally there for me when my parents died.

Take care of yourself. Have you got a cat or a dog? My dog is my best friend and gives me enormous comfort and cuddles when I need them.
And he's a great listener!

Y

Craptime Fri 11-Oct-13 21:22:46

Hi Doughnut

My mum is an ex social worker/pribation officer and really doesn't want them involved... She's extremely wary of any "interference" as she sees it.

I am scared to take time out if my degree as I'd lose my very valued friendships I'd built up and have to start again a year down the line...having said that, I'm realistic enough to understand I might not have any choice about that when it comes down to it.

I think what's hard it grieving the loss of my relationship at the same time as grieving my mum (though she's not gone yet!). The whole situation is just too much.

It does help to hear similar stories an awful lot. It feels very lonely all this. And like someone said lot of people don't "get" it. I admit I don't think I fully "got" it when I used to say oh I'm sorry to people who were going through bereavement. I don't think your mind can comprehend the enormity and the finality of death until its looming up on you sad

haverer Fri 11-Oct-13 23:43:13

craptime you are most definitely not unreasonable/weak/selfish. Your OP made me cry earlier today. You are dealing with so much that a stranger reading a paragraph about your life could feel your pain. If your husband was normal he wouldn't be making you feeli like this. Try to use this time well. Spend as much time as you can with your DM. Be frank and selfish with your husband about what you want and need.

Craptime Sat 12-Oct-13 10:33:27

haverer

I have started this morning by asking H to get a start on some washing while I try and get some uni work done he was a bit shirty with me at first about that and some other issues to do with bank accounts...and I bluntly told him that I dont appreciate his attitude in the circumstances and since he has decided "life is too short" so have I!

So we will see as the day develops how that has gone down as he tends to slow burn with his reactions to things.

I think it's too late to try and sort the affection/emotional support issues out now as he just wants to leave so I will have to just do without.

leavingthebastard Sat 12-Oct-13 18:04:54

So sorry to hear things are no better today. It seems like you are resigning yourself to giving him the elbow. I think it is probably good for you to distance yourself from his fuckwittery at this time. Instead of looking to him to help you just act like you are on your own. You will find things easier as you won't be constantly let down by him disappointing you.

I gave my DP both barrels last night and told him I thought we were over. Today I find out that he went to see an ex recently. Probably shagged her. He is a massive, massive pig. And every day brings some new mind-boggling example of dickheadishness.

Please just think about you, your mum and your dad. Fuck your DH. This time - right now - is human experience at its rawest. Watching a loved one die is the worst thing you will ever have to go through and it is important that you are allowed to be the person that you truly are. Remember that you are grieving even now. Ever since you knew this cancer was terminal you will have been grieving for the loss of your dear mum. You deserve all the love and support you can find.

You need to be there for your parents and take care of yourself. You must come out the other side knowing that you did all you could and that you were kind to them both. You do not want to regret one moment you spent kowtowing to your fucked up robot DH. There are times I look back on where I didn't spend all the moments I could with my mum because my DP made me feel like it was trivial. He made me feel embarrassed about my own love for her. And now she is dead he calls my grief "extreme" and questions why I should even be upset. What a massive fuckwit.

One final thing - have you talked about end of life care? My mum, to be blunt, was euthanised in the hospital with morphine. If your mum is resistant to all medical care then her last hours may not be comfortable. It is terrible to think about but it really is important that you seek help and advice on this. Our family was too in shock and we felt like we were constantly on the backfoot. We were not prepared for any of it. It left us reeling afterwards.

Big hugs again craptime and love to your mum x

Craptime Sat 12-Oct-13 20:39:38

leaving

I hope your other half gets nob rot. What a pig!

You are right. I need to try and cut him out of the equation in terms of expecting anything and just focus on my kids, my parents and myself.

I'm going round to my parents tomorrow to help my dad do a big clean. He's been doing really well with housework but he's got a job on dealing with the spilled bed pans due to mum having developed a tremor sad so I'm going to take myself and the kids there tomorrow and help him get sorted while H is out at another bike race.

Regarding end of life stuff. I am hoping she gets access to decent pain relief in time. She has accepted the medications she was prescribed in hospital and injects herself with fragmin even to prevent the need for a nurse visiting hmm but as her needs change I'm sure medications that would help will also alter (if that makes sense!)

I saw her last night and gave her a massive hug. She's not a very huggy person but I thought screw it! You're having a hug!

Craptime Sat 12-Oct-13 20:50:07

P.s she has started saying she can't swallow properly...does anyone reading know what this might signify?

GiveItYourBestShot Sat 12-Oct-13 21:02:06

Dear craptime, I feel so sad for you reading your posts. You might want to look into hospices rather than hospitals, some people find they provide much more gentle end of life care centred on what the patient wants rather than on hospital routines. I'm sorry your husband can't find it in himself to support you while you go through this awful time. You will get through it and you will have your children still to love and care for and tell stories about their brave and stubborn granny thanks

outandaboutatlast Sat 12-Oct-13 21:47:59

I went through something similar with my DM last year and my now XDP was useless. He acted as though what I was going through was nothing. The support I got from him was about as much as I got from a neighbour across the road who I hardly knew.

However I had a friend who would keep in touch with me daily, usually a text or a phone call; occasionally we'd meet up and a couple of times towards the end she came to see my Mum at home. But just knowing she cared mattered enormously.

Knowing that there was an end in sight (although this meant I'd no longer have my wonderful DM any more) made it possible for me to cope. But its horrible and I really feel for you

LUKYMUM Sat 12-Oct-13 21:58:20

I have nothing to say apart from I'm really really sorry for what you're going through.

LadyLapsang Sat 12-Oct-13 22:37:33

OP sorry to hear how difficult it is for you at the moment. I'm another voice to say how helpful the Macmillan nurses can be. My lovely late FIL was not actually diagnosed with cancer before he died although the Macmillan nurses were still able to offer support (some much needed night shifts) so he could stay at home until v near the end. I would try not to think about the lack of support from your DH - maybe he just can't do it. Hope you have time to spend with your DM, she has a good death and you look after yourself.

Craptime Sun 13-Oct-13 08:44:23

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the comments and advice x

leavingthebastard Sun 13-Oct-13 12:30:34

Morning Craptime. I just wanted to reiterate what has been said about hospice care. In the final days your mum will inevitably suffer without the right care. My mum was on an intensive care ward surrounded by noise, nurses laughing and joking, other patients moaning. Sporadic attention and treatment. It felt like bedlam. I couldn't bear it. It is one of my biggest regrets that she did not die at home, or in a hospice. What may happen in the last few days is that things run away from you - she may struggle breathing, or eating, or keep being sick, and she will have to be taken to hospital - whether you or her want it or not. The system will kick in and sweep your desires aside. The experience has also made me despise the NHS. Do not get caught up in it.

Please make sure you prepare. Contact a hospice and Macmillan nurses now. I promise you you will regret it if you don't. No matter what your mum thinks her wishes are, by not taking any action she will inevitably end up in the worst possible place.

Btw I found out last night that my dickhead DP cheated on me 2 weeks ago. I spent an hour tearing strips off him before consigning him to the spare bedroom. Today we have been discussing all our issues and he told me he thought I had been "indulging" in my grief. What a massive tit.

Craptime Sun 13-Oct-13 12:55:52

leaving oh god what a time you're having! He's a disgusting idiot! How could he say that!

I will talk to my Dad about hospice care as he is the kind of "gate keeper"and explain...one of the things that made her discharge herself from hospital was all the noise and chaos so it might make her stop and think for a moment.

Is your not so "D" P going to stay or leave or what? I hope you're ok x

thanks to those grieving or dealing with dying loved ones sad My beloved Mum died of cancer 2 years ago and I found Macmillan nurses great sources of information and comfort. Macmillan also have an online community which is useful too.
community.macmillan.org.uk/groups/default.aspx

leavingthebastard Sun 13-Oct-13 15:33:40

I'm glad you're going to talk to your dad. You should tell him that you have been taking advice from others who have been through the same situation. And that you're worried that if you don't take action your mum will end up in the place she most fears - a busy ward.

From what I have heard of hospices they can be very nice places, with private rooms etc, and of course the specialist care of nurses who have expertise in end of life treatment. The whole purpose of a hospice is to ease suffering, and let people die in a loving, calm, reflective place.

Further, with the help of Macmillan nurses your mum could end her days at home, in comfort and familiar surroundings.

If you do nothing then at some point her symptoms will become too much for you or your dad to deal with. Unless you're then prepared to put a pillow over her head you will find it will be impossible to stop yourself calling for an ambulance in the face of her suffering. Before you know it she is in the one place she dreaded - an intensive care ward.

Our family always feared talking about the end as we couldn't believe it was happening to us. We did not want to discuss it with mum, nor she with us. Then events just overtook us. I will NOT let the same happen to my dad. I just wish that I did not have to learn this lesson the hard way and that someone had told me beforehand.

After talking to your dad you should call Macmillan for advice, and then tell your mum your findings. Emphasise that everything you want to do is to help her avoid having to go into a hospital. Macmillan could even come to talk to her and allay any fears she may have about what their care involves.

Good luck, thinking of you lots thanks

cjel Sun 13-Oct-13 16:12:46

Craptime, So sorry to hear all this and although I haven't been through similar with my mum I have with my H and know the loneliness of college, looking after dcs and nothing. My H never asked me once in three years about my coursesad. Just wanted to say you aren't weak stupid, useless or whatever else he may say. You are so strong and are doing so well. Please consider deferring a year, I had to in the end and although nervous about meeting the new students am in a much better place to make the most of it when I return.flowers

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 13-Oct-13 19:39:30

OP - so sorry to hear about your Mum. I'd reiterate the advice to call Macmillan; they are a lifeline in these situations.

With regards to your H, ask yourself - would your life be any better or worse if he was no longer in it? He sounds like a selfish twat.

ImperialBlether Sun 13-Oct-13 20:57:48

What awful situations you're all in.

OP, I'm really sorry to hear about your mum. Would she accept help for your dad and you? You both need support and Macmillan can offer that, even if she doesn't want it for herself.

I think life is too short to live with a man who can't give you a hug when your mum is dying. If he feels the same way then I'd be packing his bags and letting him go. It would be one less stress.

Craptime Tue 15-Oct-13 09:23:14

Thanks for posts/advice

I have tried to talk to my dad about hospice care, explaining how other people have experienced regrets about not organising things earlier on, but to no avail unfortunately.

I guess I'll have to just keep plugging away.

H continues to be a bit of an arse. I found a text convo between him and his sister slagging me off for our youngest daughter being unsettled at the moment and his sister exclaiming I need to spend "more quality time" with her. If her brother wasn't such a selfish arse maybe I could...I know it's partly my fault for reading texts but he's been very touchy about me seeing what's on his phone at present and curiosity over took me...I guess I'm lucky it wasn't something worse!

leavingthebastard Tue 15-Oct-13 17:27:08

Sorry your dad hasn't been more receptive. If you can't get through to him, then I would just call Macmillan and ask them for advice - explain that your folks are scared of medicalising the problem and getting outside agencies involved. I'm sure they will put your fears at rest. Your dad really needs to know that inaction now means an almost guaranteed traumatic time at the end.

After mum died I found convos from DP with a friend talking about how I was wallowing in grief, and how I needed to look on the bright side and get on with things. You DH and SIL are people who haven't ever experienced bereavement and it honestly shows. Sometimes I wish DP's mum would die so he could bloody know what it feels like. And the irony is he is a total mummy's boy, always running to her with every problem. I suppose when she dies and he falls apart he will tell me that is justified as they "got on" and she wasn't "annoying".

Craptime Tue 15-Oct-13 18:34:22

leaving I've had similar thoughts about H in more painful moments...but the sad part is I don't think he would fall apart if either of his parents died. He seriously would just carry on as normal.

I have it set in my mind now that life is indeed too short for this shite. Who wants to be a bit part player in someone else's life like we clearly are in theirs. I'd rather take my chances than keep being treated like this. I am terrified, and I know now isn't the best time for big decisions but at least I know that's where the path is headed eventually.

Lavenderhoney Tue 15-Oct-13 18:40:59

My dm has just passed away and my dh has unfortunately been rather crap. I have a thread in bereavements, which you are welcome to look at and join if you like

My biggest disappointment is I am unable to grieve properly as I suddenly have this to deal with. I have been advised to think about it after the funeral and things have died down a bit.

It is a massive shock to me my dh is behaving like this. It is also a shock not one poster has suggested counselling, talking, just OMG LTB. I am terrified they are right, and torn between worrying about the future and spending the time grieving.

Craptime Tue 15-Oct-13 18:49:44

Hi lavender I'm so sorry you're going through similar.

I will have a look for your thread x

cjel Wed 16-Oct-13 08:55:47

Morning ladies, Hope you manage a good day today.

Craptime Wed 16-Oct-13 11:26:26

Thanks cjel hope you're ok lavender and leaving

catsmother Wed 16-Oct-13 16:20:15

"Craptime" - I'm so very sorry you're going through such a traumatic, incredibly traumatic, emotional and downright exhausting time right now. I have no words of wisdom to impart which haven't already been suggested by many posters who are probably far better qualified than me to offer such advice but just wanted to say it your H's attitude beggars belief. You're certainly not going to hear "that's what men are like" from me - it's only some men - i.e. the stinkingly selfish variety who behave with such cold indifference and cruelty at a time like this. Whenever I've read similar stories, I've always wondered if perhaps part of this is due to them actually being "jealous" and/or "pissed off" that just for once their OH's attention isn't fully on them and that, heaven forbid, they have had to pull their finger out and you know, put themselves out just a little bit ? It's not rocket science - situations like this are terrible for all concerned but if anyone, let alone someone who should be your nearest and dearest, is floundering because they feel they don't know what to do or say then the least they can do is ask - in other words show a little kindness and concern. It goes without saying that they should be doing ALL they can to alleviate as much of the practical demands on your time as they possibly can - if that means that their "me time" has to take second place then so be it - and whatever the history etc of an individual relationship, now is not the time to be dragging up so-called grievances and making jibes of any sort which are just going to add to your emotional strain.

I can't believe he's whingeing on about his effing biking. That will still be there in 3 months or whenever - but you are living on borrowed time with your mum. How dare he be so fucking selfish ! That remark to his sister is also completely out of order as it implies you are neglecting your daughter - which you're not !! - and he knows damn well you are run ragged under extreme circumstances.

I really don't know what else to say. I suspect that if you had to ask him to hug you or give you 15 mins of his precious time to let you sound off it would feel hollow anyway as his consideration wouldn't have been freely given. Can only suggest that you concentrate - as others have said - on accepting as much practical and emotional support as you can from other people. I know you said it's difficult to see people - of course it is - but if you were my friend I wouldn't care what time you called me if you needed to talk and I bet your friends would feel the same. Failing that, and this might be a bit off the wall, but if you need sympathy and/or empathy from someone kind, and/or if you need to rant, rage or cry, then calling the Samaritans might be another way for you to offload.

I know it's easier said than done right now but try to put all thoughts of him and what you want to do long-term to one side for now. I certainly wouldn't be using up any of your genuinely precious time on doing anything for him either - be it laundry, cooking, shopping, errands or whatever, you know what I mean. Don't waste a minute of your time on him.

minmooch Wed 16-Oct-13 17:22:40

I am sorry to read if your mum's diagnosis. Cancer is such a dreadful disease and it is so painful to watch our lived ones suffer. I have posted on Lavenderhoney's thread as I went through something similar with my one ex-husband. My DS was days before his 16th birthday when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and I spent 5 and a half months in hospital with him as he went through surgery and first course of chemo. Now ex-husband (my DS's step father) was cold, emotionless, mentally cruel, to me on the one night a week that I came home. He rarely visited us in hospital and told me he could not support me emotionally not physically and he resented the financial implications of me being in hospital with my son.

I could see no point in staying with a man like this and whilst my son has faced his battle with cancer with huge dignity I have divorced my weak, cowardly husband and moved house. I knew I would never forgive him and his actions. Divorce was very simple when compared to what my son faces every day and I an very much better not having to sit at the kitchen table with a man who promised to love and cherish me but could not offer me even friendship when I was at my lowest.

It wasn't easy but I now get support from friends and family who do love me.

I hope your mum's last few months are gentle on her and that you get some quality moments with her and your dad.

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