Dealing with relatives

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Thank you for having this forum exist. This is my first post on this page (I think). 

Like many, I'm well on the journey, through surgery,  stages of spread and chemo not working. I'm on Regorafenib now and whilst I know it won't last, it's stabilised things and I have a new clinical team who are supportive and quite cheery. (The last lot were OK but kept making me feel I'd be lucky to see the next morning). 

I just need a little rant. I can still do quite a bit, prefer to be independent and have found only a very select few mean it when they offer help. I decided that the 2nd coat of paint needed to go on the ceiling and stupidly, forgot that ladders tend to mean I do my back in. Felt a little sorry for myself but the back didn't play up till I'd finished.

  • However, then mother in law phoned. I'm used to this and even a year ago I would have had a worse reaction. She knows I'm on borrowed time. My late husband (her son) died quickly from cancer 4 yrs ago. Just as I got bad scan results this time last year, her youngest son (all of us early 60s) died quickly with a return of an old cancer.
  • She phoned to tell me how bad her life is. She is 98, (hasn't had a hard life) in a residential home has some sight and heart issues but can look after herself and is generally thought to be doing well. She asks about me but cannot hear my answers if they relate to my health. Other topics are easier to hear. I'm not so furious as I used to be but I am becoming a bit speechless as she regularly rings to announce how terrible her life is. 
  • Yes she's old and the deaths are hard but she hasn't said one nice thing about her sons (who paid her quite a lot of attention) and tries to end with 'I'm glad you're doing better' when I've said no such thing. 

Sorry v long rant but with a bad back and shock at her behaviour, I'm so pleased you have this page. Thanks and I hope everyone else is as well as they can be.

  • Hi FendiP and a warm welcome to the forum, no in laws here, just us guys and ladies trying to make the most of the time we have left, who find comfort and support from others going through the sane thing, and who understand as only we can what it means to be terminal. So please feel free to rant, ask questions or just have a chat, you will always be welcome here and never judged, great to hear you are stable, good news is always welcome here. best wishes.

    Eddie xx

  • Hi perhaps she does not want to say something nice, or mention , there names, in case it may upset you.

    No one used to say my husbands name, and i asked why, and that was the reason, now they do, and i do appreciate it, he did live once, and should never be forgotten he was a real good man.

    Some people like to bury their heads in the sand, perhaps again she does not like to think, that it may happen to you and can not face up to it.

    Though my kids, do not like to think, one day i will no longer be here and carry on like mum is still mum, which in one way i like, though it is always me saying things when i am no longer here, and the come back with a silly comment., and we laugh.

    We have to see both side's of things, at times.

    Pleased you got it put to paper and had a little rant.

  • The last lot were OK but kept making me feel I'd be lucky to see the next morning

    Made me laugh!  You don't need a team like that!  

    We didn't tell my MiL.  We had planned to, but when we told my SiLs the day before, they advised not.  She's 92.  I haven't updated the in-laws since.  

    Hope your back recovers quickly.  

  • You're very welcome to the site and very welcome to have a good rant, take care


  • Hi FendiP


    I'm sorry you're feeling upset! it's lovely that you've had replies from some of the other 'regular' members of this forum. You will get plenty of support on here, even if you don't get it from your MiL Wink

    I'm wondering if you always automatically answer your phone when your MiL calls? Could you 'accidentally' have your phone in another room/on charge/ on silent? Could you put off returning her calls until you feel you are in the right frame of mind to answer her? Try to be in control of the situation, rather than being controlled by it? Maybe that might help you to put some emotional distance between you and her.

    Your new clinical team sounds good! You are stable too, which is the best news. Hope that continues for as long as possible.

    Having a good rant is the best medicine!



  • Hi  

    A very warm welcome to the group. It's a great bunch of people, very friendly and supportive. We know how you feel when others don't get it. I'm sorry to hear that the phone calls are difficult. I definitely think that some people don't like to talk about death and either can't face it, as it means facing their own mortality or they think that it is not the done thing, it is maybe unseemly in polite conversation. 

    I have close older relatives that find it hard to accept my cancer and although I've had to be blunt and tell them exactly what I've been told by doctors and my prognosis  (which should frankly, be my business only), they still tell me health stories of so and so down the road that is still alive after 15 years. It's aggravating and feels dismissive.

     Toxic Positivity 

    I've linked this thread above for you, it may be interesting to you. How about next time she rings, doing the Victor Meldrew trick of putting the phone under a cushion and picking it up now and again, to say "oh yes, ah ha" then back under the cushion. Still makes me laugh.

    A x

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  • Thanks everyone. You've heard me and given me a little laugh. So appreciated and hope I can return the favour sometime.

  • Thank you. It does help to know I'm not alone and I'm going to brainstorm methods of dealing with it this weekend with supportive family. I'm thinking I might develop the same selective deafness. At least my own mother has stopped competing! I'm v grateful to her GP who stepped in. She doesn't have cancer and I didn't ask him but might be an idea for others? People do behave oddly because of their own issues. I'll explore that link.