• Coping with Lack of Familial Support

    Asked by PeaceAndPower on Thursday, November 5, 2020

    Coping with Lack of Familial Support

    I was wondering if anyone is in the same situation, how have you been able to make it through?

    27 Answers from the Community

    27 answers
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      I am sorry to hear you do not have support from your family? That was not my situation, but I also had a lot of support from friends. I hope you have that?

      23 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I am so sorry you're experiencing that. My husband really stepped up to the plate after I was diagnosed though over time he pulled way back (his own health took a turn for the worst). My mom was really supportive until I sort of pushed her away. My son had a hard time dealing with my diagnosis. He pulled away for awhile, but then drew near again.

      Nevertheless, I depended on my faith and on my friends as much as I did my family. Is that a possibility for you? It's hard to know much from your description what you're facing. Are you newly diagnosed?

      22 days ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I live alone. When I was going through treatment in 2012, I only had my mom nearby - she was about an hour away and she was scared to death of the freeways. So I was mostly on my own. I hadn't been in my job super long, so I didn't get much help from that part. But I managed. Some days were easier than others. And I worked through chemo. If I really needed support, I came here. Almost everyone knows what you are going through because they've been there. So we are here for you. Good luck!

      22 days ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      I’m sorry you’re not getting the support you need. I think a lot of my family wants to hide from the real issues that come with our diagnosis. They hide in fear. If you don’t acknowledge the problem then maybe it will go away. That’s how they seem to cope. They hardly ever ask how I’m doing between recurrences. They wait for me to tell them if something comes up on a scan. It’s hard to understand the fear they have when we have so much of our own to handle. This support group is very helpful. We all understand and will be here for you to talk too anytime. Wishing you well. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

      22 days ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      It hurts when for whatever reasons you lack family support. You have to be proactive, just as I am sure you are with your cancer. Seek out groups on social media. It is much easier to connect with people now than twenty years ago. Look for groups with similar interests as your own. Also look into other support groups. I belong to three cancer groups, WhatNext is my home base .. Check with your hospital or cancer center for support groups in your community. Do not settle. It is important for anyone going through tough times, and any kind of cancer diagnosis certainly qualifies, to have support and encouragement.

      22 days ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      PeaceAndPower, I'm so sorry you're having this issue. A lot of folks do. I know it isn't the same but we're here for you. Whether you're looking for suggestions, comments or just someone to listen - we're here. Hugs to you.

      22 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @PeaceAndPower, I can definitely identify. I agree with what Teachertina said. Sometimes family wants to act like if they ignore it, then it will just go away. I don't think anyone really "gets it" (I mean, the way we feel) unless they have actually battled cancer before. I have had to go through this lack of support earlier this week, and the sticking the head in the sand thing. I had a mastectomy in February and as soon as it was over, it was like "Well you don't have cancer anymore, best of luck to you." I don't know specifically how your family is being unsupportive, but I feel certain that if you explain a little more- someone here has dealt with whatever you are experiencing right now. The specific examples of lack of support I have experienced:
      Family not asking me anything about my cancer in the months since COVID started. Once COVID started, my cancer has been "what cancer?"
      Family crying a lot like it was a death sentence when I only had Stage 0 DCIS breast cancer and pulling away from me like they were preparing for my death.
      Family treating me like I had a contagious STD rather than cancer.
      Family making me feel shame for having cancer.

      Keep coming back to WhatNext. These folks are like my family now. We all are like a big family that loves each other very much that never wanted to become family by these circumstances. Our "family" has recently lost our much beloved brother, uncle, father, hero- Greg. We are all still mourning his loss to some degree.

      We all get to know each other and for the most part we are all very supportive. Sometimes there is a little bit of momentary bickering. Sometimes some hurt feelings. But mostly a LOT of love and support.

      If you ever feel like your blood family and "real" family isn't hitting the mark, come on in and let it go here. We've all got your back for sure. And chances are, someone here has gone through whatever you are going through-especially the parts where family isn't quite on board.

      22 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      I don't know much about the leukemia journey, but we are all part of the "C"lub, so ask away, vent away, laugh away, cry away. We get it.

      22 days ago
    • KB2013's Avatar
      KB2013

      My father had CML, I was his caretaker. Good news is today, this cancer is treatable! I was his only support within our family and just as he suffered being shunned by our family, I also was shunned by them when I got my ca diagnosis. I haven’t heard a peep from my relatives since 2012 and I never will. This is on them and I don’t make excuses for their lack of concern/contact. The only advice I have for you (hard as it is) is to accept that they have chosen to abandon you and you must begin to form new alliances with those people who remain in your life. Many cancer patients can attest to being abandoned by family so, take comfort in knowing it’s a common experience. Your onc center must have a social worker and support groups that will fill the void your family has left and of course, you have WhatNexters who are always here for you. We care.

      20 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @KB. Wow. As much as my situation is a little weird, it is terrible to know that one's entire family would abandon them. That is definitely sad. Yes, the WhatNexters are always here to pick up the support. I hope you, Peace and Power, find some support in your community or with your oncology practice. I had thought I was going to have to utilize the social worker to get my mother to stay in her place and not second guess everything I was doing, but she handled that all on her own.

      I have become much more focused on "Framily"- Friends that are family. Friends that become family.

      20 days ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      PeaceAndPower -- I wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said. There's not much that can surprise our members. Been through it all. Just know that even if you don't have a question, and want some company, we are here for you. May your journey have many Blessings in the way of new friends that you will make. Remember, we are just a few clicks away.

      20 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      PeaceAndPower, I’m so sorry your family isn’t supporting you during this difficult time. I hope they wake up and start being there for you. And I’m glad you found us. Others here have said it so well I have little to add but that we’re here for you. BTW, I love your screen name!

      20 days ago
    • Terri's Avatar
      Terri

      It is amazing to me that this happens. It happened to me too. My daughter totally abandoned me. She just couldn't handle it. My husband is clueless but there for me. I get impatient with him but I need to realize people can only do what they can do. I am grateful to have him. I have nobody else.

      20 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Terri, one of the most helpful things my surgeon told me was that my family was all processing this in their own way too. Some of my family is prayerful. Some members are very much "answer" people. They need to read, research, get answers. I can't tell you how much "I talked to my friend and she said this is what you MUST do." Most of the time, I just said "Thank you. I will give that some thought." Usually, it went right into the round file in my brain. LOL
      My husband was clueless for awhile until I was pretty specific with him about what I needed in terms of support. He will do anything I ask or need if I will just let him know instead of assuming he knows.
      I got a lot of hurt feelings from those friends and family who said "I am here for you no matter what. Any time, day or night." Almost without fail, they all bailed when it came time to "collect." I told my husband I didn't need all that much from him, but if he promised me he would do something for me or spend time with me at a certain time- I needed him to keep his word.
      Don't assume your friends and family know what you need. That is an issue I am once again covering with my counselor as I have been feeling a lot of that lack of support. No, sometimes we don't want to have to say what we need or what we want. However, sometimes what we need most is not what people think we need.
      I have a friend who has started coming one day a week to straighten up my house. She loves to clean and organize and it helps me so much. If your friends/family offer to do something for you that takes the burden off of you in any way, consider they may want to do that to help you and it may make them feel good to do it. We all try to be so self-reliant and say "Oh no. That's too much. It's not necessary." Well maybe it's not "necessary," but it might be helpful or appreciated. If someone offers something specific, unless you absolutely don't want it- trust me they wouldn't offer if they didn't want to do it.
      It's the ones that say "Let me know if you need something. Anything." They are the ones who hope you never call. LOL

      18 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      I never fitted in with family or friends as long as I could remember.I was very lonely(there's two different loneliness in this world more ways than one.I went and still is going through life here by my self as far,as humans are concerned.(Just being careful how I word things here now so not get anyone upset
      Just a couple of strangers made me feel worthy in this world ,because of my Faith and Belief.Greg is one and someone(Mark) from a Crisis Center.Greg as always never left one of us out of likes and/or comments.And Mark after hearing as much as I remembered of my life and we were saying our goodbye on a Friday evening he looked at me and sincerely ,seriously said "You're an amazing woman".I never forgot that support to today.

      17 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Pauline, I’m so sorry you’ve felt lonely so much of your life. As a kid, I was very close to my younger brother (still am), but I never had many friends back then.

      You know I’m not a believer, and I’m Jewish, but as one human being to another, I send you virtual hugs. I look forward to “seeing” you here.

      17 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      I had 5 brothers and one sister.Lost 2 through (one passed from getting hit by a driver that didn't have a license and the other had a heart attack,which runs (I thought on the men side)But I also have problems and had open heart surgery and have 2 leaks since,suppose to have ultra sounds every 3-6 months because one is moderate.I haven't been to doctors since last year,because I'm exempt to the stupis mask and they insist I need to wear a mask anyways.It seems to me masks and ceasar and this world is more important to obey than God.God gave us a breath of life and that's why we have a nose and mouth.And ceasar and this system is destroying many these days.
      Carooldoes not necessary make you not a Believer.I listen to a messianic believers/ rabbi(Greg Hershberg ) every Saturday for years > Beth Yeshua International - Getzel from Georgia .https://livestream.com/accounts/11705807

      17 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      This Corona is driving people sick Mentally into Suicidal, Blocking our Minds into Bondage. Stay 6-feet apart. wash your Hands, wear your Mask, Sounds like a Prison to me. people being deceive by thinking they are sick for Covid. Just like telling someone, hey, you have cancer, and you believe that Doctor. so your drink your Life away. Satan is Swifting people like Butter. smooth you don't even feel your getting trap. Jesus is your answer & Healing to Peace of Mind. not a bottle full of Pills.

      17 days ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Carool, I understand you are not a believer in Christ, but the Jewish faith has a beautifully deep relationship with God. My faith is rooted in yours and I have nothing but respect for it. I don't believe different faiths are our problem, just the radicalized versions.
      Pauline, I too, feel sorry to hear of your loneliness. And I am worried you are not receiving medical care because of the masks requirement. I can see you feel very strong about it so I will not try to persuade you otherwise, I am praying the restrictions will be lifted soon and you can get a check up.

      17 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Marcie I'm doing fine.And like others I believe this is not over.The tribulation is soon coming after The Church is raptured.We are just waiting to go Home.This world is not our world.

      17 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      MarcieB, thank you, and I appreciate what you said. Actually, I’m an atheist, but my ethnic group is Ashkenazi Jewish. I mentioned that because I know that Pauline is involved so deeply in her faith. My own lack of faith may be irrelevant.

      17 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Pauline, I, too, won’t try to persuade you re virus protections. I just wish you strength and hope.

      17 days ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      We all have spells where we are alone at times. I'm sort of a loner, I've lived way off the roads, and I didn't go anywhere or see anybody for months.

      But it is heartbreaking to be alone because other people turn their backs on you. I had to leave my husband in '95. I was shocked that I felt lonely and empty, when other things were going pretty good for me. I realized this was because I wasn't wanted. My daughter took his side and was hateful to me. She was happy that I had an incurable cancer, and she began taking my things because I was going to die anyway.

      Because the cancer being a rare head cancer and people didn't live long, I didn't connect at support groups. I'm not even sure that I knew what I should expect from them-- I knew they shouldn't tell me to wear pink to make people aware of breast cancer, and it wasn't a real cancer, That I should wear hats and cover my face so the sun wouldn't bother the cancer deep inside buildings and rooms without sunlight. This minute I'm thinking they didn't want to see me. Which brings me to the next Thought---someone sent my name to Whatnext and Greg invited me to join. Whatnext saved my sanity-maybe my life. I owe so much to this, and to all of you.

      All of you are talking about the cruellest form of being alone, and it weighs heavy on your hearts and mine that you have to go through this.

      16 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      meyati, I so much appreciate what you said.

      16 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      Sorry for chiming back in late. Lack of familial and friend support is so tough. I feel bad for people who feel they have nobody. I came to this forum guns blazing and stepped on toes- being political and controversial. Then I stepped back and realized that cancer does not discriminate. It doesn't care if you are man or woman, old or young, black or white, fat or thin (well, body types and other comorbidities can exacerbate things). Cancer is the ultimate party crasher. It settles in where it darn well pleases and never asks for an invitation. Terribly inconsiderate, don't you think?
      Anyhow, it stinks when the muscle you depend on- your bouncers so to speak- should be your family. Then you find out they bailed out and went to hide around the corner. Oh, it's so isolating feeling, isn't it?
      However, in steps someone to knock the bad away- whether it be your family or your friends or the beast that wears the "C." That "someone" is anyone in/at WhatNext.
      Don't let the hard times overtake you. Cling to this life raft with all your might. It may not be your ultimate saving grace, but it will keep you afloat sometimes when you feel too tired to do it yourself.

      6 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Well said, legaljen1969 (not that you need me to say this).

      5 days ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Don't be sorry for being so called late--Cancer warps time so we somehow manage to be in the right place at the right time- it might seem that way to us or others-but somehow things work out. This is such a crazy world.

      5 days ago

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