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Disappointed and angry with family Disappointed and angry with family

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Unread 06-30-2002, 05:39 PM
Disappointed and angry with family

Hi ladies --

I'm sorry -- I have to vent again. I have to have chemo next week and usually my husband goes with me, but he cannot because he has to go out of town for business. This will be the first time he will not be able to go. I'm not supposed to drive when I have had chemo. Well, I called my mother-in-law to see if she could take me, but she has an ear infection and cannot take me. (My family lives in another state and I really am not in contact with them -- long, boring story). I have three other brothers and sisters in law but they cannot help me out either, even though I know that they could. (Ever since I have been diagnosed, they are always saying "if there is anything I can do..." -- and now when I ask them, this is what they say. I'm very angry with them -- don't offer to help if you cannot help. This is the first time since I have been diagnosed that I have ever asked for help from them for anything). I'm so embarrassed because my supervisor saw me at work crying over this and she offered to give me a ride. I also called the American Cancer Society to see if there would be a volunteer that could give me a ride. There are cabs in my town, but I am nervous about taking them after a treatment. I guess what this boils down to is that I am very upset with my husband's family. Everytime I am with them, they NEVER ask me how it is going. They NEVER mention my cancer to me. Last Christmas, NO ONE asked me about my cancer and I had to leave the room crying and we had to go home early (but I had to listen to my sister-in-law go on and on about her broken finger). I'm just so upset with them right now.

I'm sorry about this rambling, but I just feel so bummed out. I feel like I have no support, except my husband and my wonderful Sisters (not counting my counselor!). Have any of you run into a problem like this and how did you handle it?


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Unread 06-30-2002, 05:53 PM

Big Hugs to you Cyndy I am so sorry that your in-laws are not being supportive. It sounds so typical, believe me, there are other families out there like yours. If I were there, I would give you a ride! How about some of your friends? Your boss is willing, maybe take her up on it. It is a hard, vulnerable time for you, and it is always the time we tend to find out what are "friends" and family are made of. I too have had this problem. Everyone askes if there is something they can do, but they never come through. I am having radiation right now, and a few people ask, and no one is doing anything different for me. I told my nanny the other day that she is my only friend and I have to pay her to be there for me!!!! My friends from Hystersisters know what to say!!! Thank goodness.

I would just be really upfont with your in-laws. Perhaps their communication skills are much different then yours. They might be afraid to bring up the subject in fear of upsetting you. Most of the time, I believe people's responses come from their own fears. Just tell them you have to have someone with you, and you need a ride. You can always confront them at a later date, when you are ready to do some emotional healing.

Hang in there Cyndy. You are in my thoughts. and sss!!
Unread 06-30-2002, 07:22 PM
Disappointed and angry with family

s Cyndy

I hope you had a great week until this situation arose!!!! Feet and hands doing well?
Maybe when you need their help, your husband should ask them for you. They might have a harder time saying no to him.
I do think they are probably very frightened. People have terrible images of chemotherapy. Perhaps they are afraid you be will vomiting in their car on the way home. Or that a situation would arise that they would be unable to handle for whatever reason. This favor is definitely out of their comfort zone.
I agree with Leslie. Ask a friend.
Hope the chemo session goes well. Visions of that ca 125 dropping, dropping, dropping.........


PS If I were closer, I would love to give you a ride. And even keep you company during the chemo infusion. oxoxooxox
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Unread 06-30-2002, 08:38 PM
Disappointed and angry with family


Oh, I wish I lived closer to you as well, I'd be more than happy to take you to your treatments. I do, unfortunately understand all too well about this kind of situation.

Its so true, but still upsetting, not many people can get past their own fears to actually "help". I think most mean well by offering but the reality of actually "seeing" the process overwhelms them. I know that doesn't help but most people are REALLY in denial when it comes to cancer.

I hope you will take your supervisor up on her offer and as always hope that the treatment isn't too hard on you. I hope this week off has been able to give you a little bit of relief from the side effects that have been so painfull for you.

Sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts your way.


Unread 07-01-2002, 01:18 PM
Hi Cyndy

I had someone pick me up after first taxol/carbo because I wasn't sure how I'd do. For the second, I took the bus down and a cab home. After that, I took myself to and fro and didn't have any problems. Of course I didn't go to the UW--Meriter is easier to navigate! (UW sent me a followup to my complaint about getting there/parking. Said everyone complains.) I never got sick, dizzy, etc. and had no problem driving safely. If your doctor doesn't want to have you drive, that's different. (Or maybe you don't feel well enough to safely drive after chemo and that's different too.) I think if you take Madison Taxi or Union Cab vs. Badger you will be OK--they'll take you straight home vs. going all over. Or take your supervisor up on this! Your in-laws SHOULD help of course, but they sound like some "good" friends I've had--can't handle it and avoid the subject (in my case, got too involved, down to tracking down what I was posting, commenting on it to me, and offering "advice"). Good luck! Next week I am doing an interview with Social Security to see about SSDI/Medicare and some other things preparatory to moving to assisted living (doctor says good idea for me with no one to help or be here as things go on) and then come doctor appointments, more of their forms, TB test (state law), etc. I'd like to be in by end of month/first of next month. Yet, I can't quite make that last phone call to do it. Take your supervisor up on this. I don't blame you for not wanting to drive there and park, if doctor/chemo allow, as it's a mess! Cabs are OK, really. Use meter ones, not zone. You're right--so much of this we have to go on our own. I don't think people who've never had cancer know how downright frightening things can be at times, or lonely, or sad, or unfair, or how treatments make us feel. And vent anytime!
Unread 07-01-2002, 02:44 PM
Disappointed and angry with family


I'm so sorry you're experiencing such disappointment. I'm not in the same situation, but I might be able to give some insight

My Mum had stage II cervical cancer back in the early 90s. During that time, many of her friends and workers seemed to "back off" from her...at her time of direst need, she perceived she was being deserted. We didn't have a car at the time, so her treatment was always via public transport (the bus). Her husband was also being treated for cancer at the time (of the tongue), only he was hospitalized - he couldn't attend her treatment sessions. My sister and I shared the sessions, most of the time, but it wasn't quite the same I expect. I know Mum felt very very lonely at times, and honestly believed that her friends had just turned her away.

In fact, what happened was simple....pure fear, and the "don't know what to say" syndrome. Her friends were afraid that talking to her about the cancer would be upsetting...they didn't realise that NOT saying anything was far, far worse. Most of them didn't understand much about her cancer, either, and this probably added to the awkwardness of it all.
Her friends and colleagues had previously all offered to help out..and like with yourself, when actually *asked*, the excuses and reasons were numerous.

Mum got through it - as I'm positive you will, too - just know that you are NOT alone, and your own strength will pull you through this tough time.

s and blessings,

Unread 07-01-2002, 05:32 PM
Disappointed and angry with family

Hi Cyndy..I too am having chemo for ovarian cancer.. in fact i just finished my third treatment. MY husband takes me to the sessions and then goes to work for a while. The first two sessions i had different people coming and staying with me and to tell you the truth, i felt as if i had to entertain them when i really wanted to rest and take a nap. I know that it is hard not to have anyone to at least get you there and pick you up. If you lived near me, i definately would. Everyone keeps telling me the same thing that they have told you about ever needing help or a ride to contact them. I am sure that if it "fit into their schedule" they Might. but then again who knows. Do not let this get you down... be strong!! do not give into them.
Hope your ca125 numbers are going down... Mine went from454 right after surgery to 42 after the first treatment and then to 22 after the second treatment. Just had the third last week so will not know until next week what the numbers are. Anyway, take care and i hope all goes well for you..
Unread 07-01-2002, 06:02 PM
Disappointed and angry with family

Oh Cyndy!
I am very sorry you are having to deal with this along with your treatments!!

Throughout different times in my life, I have learned that the people you most expect to be there when you need them...usually aren't.......yet the ones you least likely expect to stand by you, will come and carry your burden...if you let them. If your boss offered to help you, accept it!! It is a privelege to help someone, and if she wants to....LET HER!!! As for your inlaws...they don't know what they're missing....it is their loss. And Cyndy, its nothing personal...some people are so wrapped up in themselves they can't see far enough to realize how selfish they're being. As hard as it sounds, have pity on them for not knowing the joy of helping you.

You are so strong...I pray for your peace!!!


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