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To expect some basic consideration from family?

(37 Posts)
TrouserMuseum Tue 24-Oct-17 16:38:12

I have cancer. It was found in quite a shocking way 2 months ago. I’m now half way through 6 weeks of radiotherapy which can be wearing. Mostly mentally fatiguing- conversation is hard work after treatment. My appointment today was at lunchtime. Parents have been in holiday since before treatment started and got back yesterday. They wanted to visit today so I asked them to come in the morning. No, they want a lie in, it’ll be afternoon. Ok, whatever. So I ring when I get home from hospital to ask when they’re coming so I can pace myself, preserve energy to be able to talk to them. Mum: “we’ve got too much washing to do and your DB and DNeice are coming anyway so we won’t bother coming to you”. DB also said he wanted to visit this afternoon, so I texted asking when to expect him and DN. After 3 hours forcing myself to stay awake just in case, he replies saying they went to park after visiting DP’s and won’t bother coming to us either. I know this is little and petty, in light of terminal condition, but my kids half term has been spoilt by my daily appointments. If DM and DB had just let us know they couldn’t be bothered we could have done something this afternoon. There are loads of other examples but don’t want to risk identifying myself. AIBU or overreacting?

UrsulaPandress Tue 24-Oct-17 16:41:24

Of course YANBU.

But are they aware of the effect of your treatment or do you downplay it. I didn't tell anyone apart from DH and a couple of friends about my cancer diagnosis as I can't stand sympathy.

Nightmanagerfan Tue 24-Oct-17 16:44:24

YANBU. So sorry to hear of your illness - that must be really tough even without family being annoying. Are they usually like this? Do they understand how tired it’s making you? Perhaps you’ll have to spell it out: ‘the treatment is exhausting and I can only cope with short visits. I also need help with childcare/housework/shopping’

flowers

Santawontbelong Tue 24-Oct-17 16:46:49

Family support should be to be expected surely. . Sound like selfish awful people imo. .
Wishing you a speedy recovery op.

CountDuckulaTheSqueaky Tue 24-Oct-17 16:48:44

Are they in denial? I kept forgetting DM had cancer.

TrouserMuseum Tue 24-Oct-17 16:52:58

@Ursula I wish! Cancer found in A&E after I collapsed. DM was with me, loudly telling everyone in her phone book how awful it was for her, even after I asked her not to several times.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 24-Oct-17 17:03:58

Oh god, you can't even be ill without her getting in on it. Some people are unbelievable. I would step back a bit and not rely on her. That's really terrible for you. Do you have friends who can be there for you?

TrouserMuseum Tue 24-Oct-17 17:04:08

@CountDuckula doubt it. They’re happy to post about it on Facebook with sad face emojis.

tigerdog Tue 24-Oct-17 17:05:34

You are definitely not being unreasonable. I’m really sorry you’re going through all this.

If your family are generally unsupportive and selfish, then even something as extreme and difficult as a cancer diagnosis will not make them change. I have found this with my parents sadly and your DM sounds a lot like mine, as she makes everything about her and is too emotionally immature to provide support when things get tough.

KimmySchmidt1 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:11:03

given the circumstances, it seems to me that now more than ever communication is key and you should make crystal clear what you want from them all.

Its hard to tell if they are not coping with the news or that they are colossal arseholes - whichever it is you are entitled to ask them to prioritise what you need and be clear that you need their support and consideration. I appreciate that is very hard when you are physically and emotionally drained. Can your partner take control of them for you?

For the avoidance of doubt I am not talking about starting an argument - I am talking about someone setting out for them a path to follow to make your time as enjoyable as they can.

People are largely hopeless and incompetent - they need leadership and instruction sadly.

Sparkletastic Tue 24-Oct-17 17:11:27

I would have an absolutely epic meltdown on them. Quite understand if you don’t feel well enough to do that though. Do you have a DP or good friend that can give them some hard words for you?
So sorry that you are ill and having to cope with family bullshit too.

BewareOfDragons Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:31

They sound very self-absorbed, completely lacking in appreciation for what you and their (grandchildren for your parents) (nieces/nephews for your brother) are going through at the moment.

I wouldn't plan around them from here on out. Do what you and your children want to do. If they dare to complain, tell them they've made it clear they can't be counted on to be there for you.

Flicketyflack Tue 24-Oct-17 17:21:53

I wonder whether they would be helpful if they came over? Or minimise your illness or avoid talking about it?

Are they feeling awkward and therefore avoiding coming over?

If you think they may be helpful/supportive get hubbie to act as a go between & arrange visits. This savesyour energy for you (and immediate family). If not save your energy & focus on you & your immediate family alone. You can resolve family issues when you are feeling stronger.

Families are so disappointing sometimes flowers

Glumglowworm Tue 24-Oct-17 17:22:37

YANBU I'm so sorry for what you're going through flowers

Give them a time slot to visit that suits you. If they can't be arsed to turn up then just text and say "sorry you couldn't make it, I'm going to sleep now and then out with DC so you won't be able to come later". Don't rearrange your day to suit them. They clearly wouldn't rearrange their day for you!

do you have a DP and good friends who will make the effort to be there for you? If so, focus on them and of course your DC.

BackforGood Tue 24-Oct-17 17:27:01

I think you need to be really clear with them how it (the treatment usually rather than the cancer sad) is affecting you, and explain to them you need to pace yourself through the day and that it is really important that you know what is happening at different times during the day. If they don't accept it, then go to bed and disconnect the doorbell - or leave a note on the door saying please don't ring / knock as you are unwell and sleeping.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 24-Oct-17 17:28:26

You are definitely not being unreasonable, they are. But I think you know that.
I really feel for you and hope you have other support around you at this awful time.

TwitterQueen1 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:31:43

Stop asking them if and when they're coming. Stop making plans around the possibility that they may or may not come. Simply tell them that they must ring you first to see if you are well enough. And then say yes or no depending on whether or not it is convenient to you.

FWIW I've been receiving treatment for cancer since April. If I don't want people to come I just tell them. Now is the time to be direct and honest and put yourself first.

pallisers Tue 24-Oct-17 17:33:14

I'd tell them to fuck off to be honest. And I'm not much given to that reaction. They were very rude and inconsiderate and who cares whether they are dreading seeing you/worried about you /careless fuckers/up their own arses.

If being halfway through chemo for a shock diagnosis of cancer doesn't allow you to react honestly, what does?

best of luck OP.

chitofftheshovel Tue 24-Oct-17 17:37:47

Honestly I would stick two metaphorical fingers up to them and ignore them. Get on with what you want to do and if they can slot into that then they get to see you and your family.

It is a horrible feeling waiting for someone to contact you/visit you, can make you feel second best when you are not. Be kind to yourself and don't let the fuckers get you down.

aaaaargghhhhelpme Tue 24-Oct-17 17:38:41

So sorry you're going through this flowers

I agree with pp. don't pander to them. Don't rearrange your schedule. Give them set times to come. Can't make it? Ah well next time then.

Don't let them take up any more of your headspace or energy. And agree with whoever said would they actually be any use if they turned up?! Or would you life be much easier without them

do you have support from DP or friends?

I'm sorry your family are so disappointingly self absorbed flowers

TrouserMuseum Tue 24-Oct-17 17:41:01

Sorry, had to post and run. I’ll read and respond properly later.

Stopyourhavering Tue 24-Oct-17 17:52:36

The most important thing in all of this is how you are feeling and look after yourself and your dcs....if your family can’t be relied on I think you need to focus purely on your in little unit
If YOU want to go out do....your family will have to accept that you are having exhausting treatment and need to rest and tell them when they can visit, and if it’s not convenient , then they will have to rearrange
It may seem selfish of you to be like this and go against how you would act normally but they don’t seem to have realistic expectations and sometimes people you think you can depend on , just don’t live up to the mark I’m afraid
Hope the rest of the radiotherapy goes well as Possible and you get some relief from the symptoms....be aware however that even after radiotherapy has finished you can still be exhausted for weeks after, so pace yourself carefully
[flowers

Floralnomad Tue 24-Oct-17 18:01:22

YANBU , in future just do whatever you want to do and they can fit in with your plans .

TrouserMuseum Tue 24-Oct-17 20:20:59

Thank you everyone for your supportive replies. I'm so used to their behaviour that it's hard to tell what's U and what's not!

@Nightmanagerfan yes, they're usually worse than this. I hoped my illness might improve things, though to be fair the fatigue has crept up since last time they saw me, so they may not be fully aware of it.

@MyBrilliantDisguise yes, I didn't realise how many, and how good until now! Some school gate mums especially have proved themselves to be priceless.

@tigerdog thank you. I hope you're doing well now? flowers
@KimmySchmidt1@Sparkletastic @BewareOfDragons @Flicketyflack good idea about using DH as a go between, thank you. He's pretty non confrontational, and usually just rolls his eyes when they behave like this, but I just can't be arsed with their nonsense now. They have both offered to help, but are less good about following through with anything I suggest. My sister has been a lifesaver.

@Glumglowworm @BackforGood you're right. It's time to be strict and selfish. I usually get so much grief for doing anything remotely like that, but am now too tired to care. I like your approach @TwitterQueen1, hope your treatment has been successful? flowers

Thanks @aaaaargghhhhelpme they usually do a very good job of making me feel like the self absorbed one, which is why I'm not sure if it's them or me!

Thanks @Stopyourhavering sounds like you've been through it? Hope all is OK now. flowers I'll start chemo right after radiotherapy ends, so the fatigue will be around for a while. They will have to get used to it.

Thank you @Santawontbelong, @TheHodgeoftheHedge @pallisers @chitofftheshovel and @Floralnomad gin

waitingfortheendtocome Tue 24-Oct-17 22:06:35

So sorry to hear of shitty situation. flowers
I've been having chemo since August, I've had such little support from friends and family. The occasional text of profound motivational bullshit type of stuff!
I've had to become more assertive and I've decided to be completely honest and open about my illness, treatment and side effects.
Don't let your family add to the stress of your treatment.. time to get assertive I'm afraid flowers

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