Jan 05, 2005 - 2:20 pm
I am new to the board, but have already posted one question...here I am again.
This is my second encounter with ovarian cancer. I am 24 years old. It all started when I was 21 and still a senior in college. Here's my problem...my family.
I have been reading about how supportive family members have been. Many of you have discussed spouses and children and parents. My parents have not been there for me at all and I am trying to figure out how to get through to them. The first time I battled with the cancer was over winter break in my senior year. I had surgery to remove one of my ovaries. I had no chemo to follow up partly because I wanted to go back to Delaware to finish student teaching and graduate...priorities were a little out of line and I am a workaholic. The thing was, my parents never called to ask how I was or what was happening with my appointments in Delaware. I tried to offer the information but received little response. Finally, I got tired of trying. It was hard enough to be diagnosed with cancer, but to add to it the feeling the my own family couldn't be supportive would be unbearable.
Over time, I came to the conclusion that my family could not handle the fact that their daughter had cancer. I have allowed that to be their excuse.
Now, as I face the cancer in my other ovary and am going through chemotherapy, their excuse works less help me accept their lack of support. I have been married for five months,and my husband has been fantastic. His family (HIS WHOLE FAMILY) came over to my house after my first chemo session just to see that I was ok. They have been amazing. MY parents, on the other hand, never even called. I finally called them four days after the session to let them know that I was ok.
I don't really know what I should do. I would hate to cut them out of this whole situation, but it is painful to continue to be put off with one or two word answers. I know that I should focus on what I do have. I feel like I should say something again, but if there is one thing that cancer has taught me it is not to do or say things that you may regret because you just might not have the time to take it back and say the "I love you" you mean. Unfortunately, I am so angry inside that I am not sure I can control myself. My husband was even courageous enough to ask them to be supportive through the chemo. He held back his anger as he tried to politely convince them that their support was important to me. I have been unsuccessful with my attempts.
I am slightly lost on this one. Any advice from you would really be appreciated. It is just so strange...and really sad.
Thanks for your help...Marty