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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 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 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.


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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