one of the first things i had trouble with was the help being offered by friends and family. they were almost taking over at a time when i wanted to be alone to adjust to my diagnosis. how do you tell someone who loves you dearly and wants to help, and are now suffering themselves, that you want to be alone.
a father and gardener, I successfully grow plants and proudly grow children
Oh keith1155 i have been in the same predicament as you for the last year. I was a very independent person and haven't coped well with people telling me what i should be doing and what i shouldn't be doing. What is best for me and what they would do. People visiting because they didn't want me to feel lonely when i just wanted to be left alone, after all before i was ill no one ever bothered coming to see me.
I have 5 radiotherapies left to do and after 50 weeks and 1 day i will have finished all my treatment and be all clear, on Saturday my sister decided to tell me how selfish i'd been, how i had never thought about how she was feeling or how my nieces were feeling. How i had pushed her away and basically how it had been far more worse for them than for me.
All i will say is try talking to people try and make them understand that this time is about you and thank them for there offers and help and that you will be sure to ask them for help when you want or need it, most of my close friends got the fact that sometimes i just wanted to be left alone to get on with it.
It's hard learning to be selfish, but to get through this poopiness sometimes it's what we have to do.
Good Luck xx
ps i have been in touch with Macmillan about some counselling, sometimes its easier to off load to people who have no emotional connection to you.
It's gonna make us who we are, it's written in the scars "The Script"
Thank you for replying, it all helps doesn't it.
now that’s a tricky one. People do want to help but not always in ways that are helpful. A cancer diagnosis brings with it a feeling of loss of control so help that involves taking over can make you feel even less in control. Which is the opposite of what you need.
I have been dealing with offers of help for over five years and I’m fiercely independent. I think the trick is to acknowledge the offer of help and then deflect it, while leaving the door open,
The Deflect with flattery technique works well for the offers of “let me know if there is anything I can do to help”. I thank them for their offer before refusing it. “You’re so kind. Thank you. I’ll be sure to let you know if I need anything.” Obviously I will do no such thing but the dance of manners has been played out,
Then there’s the option of deflect with honesty, which is good when you really know people well. I thank them for the offer but add, for example “What I really need now is some time alone. Can I call you when I’ve climbed out of this hole?” Or “I really appreciate that you want to help but right now I want to be as independent and live as normally as possible - but I will let you know if that changes.”
Another option is accepting help. People do want to help and it make them feel good. Sometimes it’s ok to let them. It helps to play to people’s strengths. Some people are brilliant at practical jobs. Others are excellent company during long treatment days. One of my sisters is great when it comes to mowing my lawn but she’s deeply uncomfortable accompanying me to hospital. Another is great at the hospital and we usually end up in fits of laughter.
i agree there’s a time for putting your needs first. But I think there’s also room in that for considering other people’s feelings and being thankful for having so much love in your life.
Hope this helps
What is a community champ?
Thank you it is an enormous help reading your message.
I am so glad I was able to help. I feel good now
I really like the message you’ve used as your signature about growing plants and children, by the way.
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