• How can I get my family to stop having the journey I'm on become their weight to carry?

    Asked by Joy535 on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    How can I get my family to stop having the journey I'm on become their weight to carry?

    My adult daughter has so much more on her plate to worry about than I do, and she's "stuffing" all of her problems to worry about me. She can't do anything about her very serious problems because she's about to have a nervous breakdown just trying to keep me from worrying about anything. My husband is treating me like I'm a fragile egg. My sister, who lives 2000 miles away, is spending a LOT of her money sending me packages because she can't do anything else.

    I know it's so much harder on them than me; but I've told and shown them that I'm fine, and their worry is not helping me; I just worry about them more... We have a lymph node biopsy and then , depending on what it shows, some serious decisions coming up in the next week. I've been off chemo for a month, have my strength and body back, and am trying to live each day to the fullest. They all just spend their days worrying about me...

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I've said this many times on this site. I think it's harder on the caregiver than it is on the patient. If you find a solution to your problem, please share it with all of us. You can tell your family members not to worry all you want but I honestly don't think it's going to do any good. That's what family does. Just means they love you and want this to go away. I don't blame them.

      over 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      Hey there.. if you find a good answer, please let me know. I also just want everyone to get back to their lives. I just try to tell them news in a good light, or just keep bad news to myself.

      over 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I don't think you can ever stop them from loving you, worry is part of loving. Share the need for laughter, tell them that the best gift they can give you is good times and fun. This not only relaxes you but also gives them relief from some of the stress. You all need to take a step away from worry so go see a fun movie or play, have your sister find and send jokes to you.
      Give them a job to do so they do feel like they are helping, they have no way of knowing how to help. Take care and find ways to get out of your own head. Tracy

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I'm with Tickling, it's way harder to be caregiver then a patient. Your family is on their own parallel journey with you. One thing I have learned as both a caregiver and patient is to accept the love and help my friends and family extend. Your family wants to help and support you, why not tell them exactly what help and support you need. DH and I, after much angst etc worked out the best way to help me - part of our solution: pick me up after tests and scans and infusions, accompany me to appoints where results are given, or when visiting a new doctor.

      My sisters and I keep in touch with a phone call most Thursday's or Friday's (Thursday is infusion/oncologist day), and I let them know how I feel and what the results of my regular scans were, etc.

      We speak with DD several times a week and text when we get home after my infusion to let her know I'm ok. Last week DH sent a text letting her know that the tumor continues to shrink.

      Why not ask your family for ideas on how to keep them in the loop, and for ways that you can all support each other without burning out.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      It sounds like you have multiple dynamics going on. Your daughter may be focusing on your situation as an excuse to avoid dealing with her own. As for your husband and sister, they may simply be trying to do what they can, not because they are worried, but just because they care. It also sounds like you may be sending them mixed signals. You said this was "your" journey but then you said "we" have a biopsy and then serious decisions to make". What I would suggest that you decide whether you really want it to be "you" or "we" and then communicate that clearly to your family members. And also consider that what they are expressing is their caring about you, which doesn't mean that "they all just spend their days worrying about you".

      over 8 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hi Joy. I think it's a good thing to start with gratitude. You have a family who loves you to pieces, and you love them. That's huge. When dad was released from the hospital, he had a home care nurse visit for a short time. She told us we'd be amazed at the number of people she sees who have absolutely nobody in their lives. No one to care. No one to worry. No one to help out. When a person gets cancer, in some ways everyone in the family gets cancer. It's everyone's weight. When you have more people lifting the weight, it's a little easier to carry. Dad's cancer is a lot for me to deal with, but I would be nowhere else. This is where I want to be. That's where your daughter wants to be. It's where your husband wants to be. It's what your sister wants to do. You must be a special person to attract all that TLC. Just communicate your feelings and needs to them. Keep a sense of humor, and of course, give your husband that list of things you want done. The Honeydew list. This is the time to crack the whip!

      over 8 years ago
    • Joy535's Avatar

      Tickling, nobrand, SueRae1, Nancyjac, FreeBird, and Tracy;

      Thank you for your wisdom and caring. I think I just needed to come here, to this welcoming and private place, to vent some of my angst and worry. I know it is a place where I'll be understood, and a place where I can explore my feelings without adding additional worry to my family. Each of your answers reminded me of things I already knew.

      From ticklingcancer's "That's what family does" through nobrand's wanting "everyone to get back to their lives", SueRae 1's "accept the love and help my friends and family extend", nancyjac's "what they are expressing is their caring about you", FreeBird's "start with gratitude; you have a family that loves you to pieces; that's huge", to Tracy's "worry is a part of loving; share the need for laughter; tell them that the best gift they can give you is good times and fun" YOU ALL HAVE WRITTEN VOLUMES OF POETRY...

      I feel I truly am one of the luckiest people on the planet. My closest family members, friends, and neighbors, and even my mail person have all expressed their love and willingness to do anything for me I might want or need. They are remarkable, and I am blessed. Even though it's hard to accept all of the love that surrounds me, I know that it's the only way others can give me their strength and courage so that they can feel whole again. I am humbled and grateful...

      over 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar
      Tracy (Best Answer!)

      One of the things that cancer can teach you is how much you are loved. People focus on the bad things about cancer (duh) but it has lessons to teach. You will become more aware, you find out you are very important to people that you may not have realized. I learned how important it is to smile and let people help me when I needed it (a big step for me). Please take care-Tracy

      over 8 years ago

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