• How do you handle family behaving badly after cancer treatment?

    Asked by Laker on Thursday, March 21, 2019

    How do you handle family behaving badly after cancer treatment?

    My family has been wonderful during all the crisis events and treatments— which have been horrific. Literally everyone in my family used all of their PTO to be with me during multiple major surgeries & near death traumas.

    But now that I’ve survived (1 1/2 years out)- I find it difficult to deal with the changes in our relationships. As a single mom of adult children, I used to be in the center of all the action. They called frequently, included me in all holidays, and sought my advice. My oldest daughter frequently told me I was the kids favorite person to be with. I love my children & grandchildren and my happiest times are times I spend with them. I know this has been hard on everyone & I’m so sorry they were drug through this mess with me, but I was never demanding or ungrateful. I’ve been positive & tried to always be aware of their needs.

    Now I’m out of the loop, left alone for holidays, not included in planning events, & (although I’ve stepped up & done everything I can to be stronger & back to normal, including driving for hundreds of miles to attend grandchildren events even when it’s hard on me) my position in the family is marginalized.
    How can I restore a healthy balance in my family relationships?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Hmmmm, I'm so sorry to read this, Laker. I'm no psychologist, to say the least, but I wonder if you can just try to have a family meeting and tell your kids how you feel ... and ask them why you're suddenly being left out of family events.

      It really makes no sense to me. I would better understand if they had turned away while you were sick(er) ... but the fact that they were there for you when you needed them then but not so much now is confusing to me.

      I suspect that they are trying to be respectful of you and not asking you to do what they might think is too much ... that's why I think I would just have a family meeting and get it all out. You're obviously very sad but not angry so I think the meeting might result in some tears, but not in any angry accusations or anything that might damage the relationships.

      Big hugs. I hope you get it resolved soon.

      4 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I wonder if they have it in their mind that since you've been through this that you are weaker, tired, and not able to attend events, gatherings, etc. I remember some of my family saying something to the effect of "we didn't think you would want to come". I agree with Live, you probably should just ask them what's up, and let them know that you want to be a part of everything just like you used to. All of us on the WhatNext team wish you the best.

      4 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Hi Laker. I agree with the comments above, communication is key. I find it odd also that your family would exclude you from holiday gatherings but I also find it odd that you have not talked to them about your feelings these past 1 1/2 years. Like you, I have grown children and am lucky enough to have a grandchild. Like you, they all rallied around me when I too went through some very difficult times with cancer. After the surgery and treatment they went back to living their lives, that is as it should be. Oh, we keep in touch by e-mail . I live hundreds of miles from my daughter, so I see her two or three times a year , My oldest son lives only a 1/2 hour from me . He has a girlfriend and is very busy with his job. We have them up for dinner every other month or so.. I love everyone very much but I have never been “ the center of all the action” nor would I expect to be being the grandmother, I have my own life to live. I am sure they love you very, very, much and this is just lack of communication on both sides.

      4 months ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Wanted to comment... but reading the three posts above..... I think they've said it all..... But wanted to let you know you're not alone...

      4 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Now I had the opposite in my family. As soon as my hair started growing back, I was thought of as Well and ready to do everything I used to. It did not occur to them that I needed time to recover and was not up to do things like going to Cubs games, parties, etc. So when I said no they were disappointed

      4 months ago

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