Carers only

Looking after a loved one with cancer? This is a safe and supportive place to share your worries and emotions. Please remember when posting that this group is for Carers only.

Fed up

Amy K
Posted by

Hi everyone,

just wondered if anyone can relate to my absolute exhaustion at the moment. My dad has stage 4 bowel cancer and things are really starting to take its toll. He is in absolute denial about his condition and pushes everyone away except from me. This puts a huge strain on me because I’m the only one left to deal with it all and I’m really struggling to cope now. He has stopped seeing his friends unless he meets them for a night out and goes on a drinking binge despite advice. He only hears what he wants from the professionals. Even being told he can have an occasional drink he still goes out for a binge every once in a while and if I was to disclose this during clinic he will outright deny it. He is also not supposed to eat red meat and whenever I’m out of sight he always has a steak. No one will tell him and when I do he just thinks I’m being nasty to him which is not the case. Have any of you been in a similar situation and how did you cope?! I’m at my wits end. He’s not poorly enough to warrant a carer but I just feel like I can’t leave him because he can’t be trusted. His life is encapsulated by this illness and he doesn’t talk about anything other than his treatment. I get that it has changed our lives for now but this cannot continue for both of our mental health. I’m sick of being in this frustrating cycle. It’s taking my caring nature away and leaving me feeling annoyed. Luckily I have a lot of support but that doesn’t change my situation. Any advice welcome, sorry for the rant I just have no idea what to do. 

Posted by

Hi Amy, 

Am sorry to hear about your Dads diagnosis and can relate to much of your post. My mum has stage 4 ovarian cancer which has returned  and is undergoing chemotherapy. Like you I am my Mums main source of support and often struggle in that role. I think there is so much information and focus put on the physical side and not on the persons mental health. I also feel, I don’t know if you do to, caring for a parent comes with its own set of challenges. My mum will often use the “I’m the parent card” which can often cause tension between us. Like your Dad my Mum can push people away which at times can be very overwhelming as the load isn’t spread around. With your Dads drinking it sounds like a really difficult situation which must be hard on top of everything else. Unfortunately as your Dad isn’t worried about his drinking and is still in denial all I can suggest is to try to talk to him. But instead of talking about how much he drinks maybe talk about how is drinking impacts you and how it makes you feel. 
Practically I would suggest looking into some professional support. My mum doesn’t have carers but receives support from the local palliative care team. Also maybe a local support group ? As I am sure many people feel the way your Dad does, if he is ready to attend one. Am glad to hear you have a strong support system. But maybe if you have the time you could find a carers group helpful. 
Sorry I could offer more advice. But you are doing really well in a tough situation! 

Posted by

Hi Amy,  I have just joined and posted on this group tonight . I understand your frustration and pain with your dad not doing the healthy things needed . My mum has COPD and lung cancer and will not stop smoking , I know it won't change anything now , but sometimes I just feel so angry when I and trying to improve her breathing with nebulizer  etc and then she wants a cigarette.  Often the needs the nebulizer again .  The responsibility for caring for someone is enormous and so depleting,  we need to ensure that we get and take a break,  just time to breath and  top up again . I am trying to get some kind of help and respite as I want to care for my mum till the end,  but recognise now I need breaks as well . I hope you get  the support you need , and never worry about ranting , you are hu man and have needs to x