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Frustrated. Need input please

wlkdnose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2011

My 30 year old sister was diagnosed in June of 2011 with stage 3c Ovarian cancer. She has undergone a debulking surgery and has been on chemo since July of 2011. Her numbers are still not back to normal. A biopsy of a suspicious lump in her breast this fall confirmed it was metastatic ovarian cancer. Luckily she has fared well through all of this and has been enjoying life with her 6 year old daughter. My sister and her daughter had to move in with my dad. Our mother passed away 6 years ago from small cell lung cancer. My dad is angry. He is angry that my sister has not paid rent and is not working and is spending her money on a trip to disney with her daughter and bought a new used car. He feels that she is being lazy by not working. He wants to start living his life and move in with his girlfriend. He believes my sister should move out into section 8 housing so that he can enjoy his life. After all he says "If it wasn't for me she would have to get by on her own. What would she do?" I am so mad at him. I want to scream at him and say "grow up and be a parent!" Suck it up! AM I being too hard on him? I am so mad at him for being so selfish.

here4lfe
Posts: 296
Joined: Jan 2010

Cancer does not ask permission, it just shows up and a caregiver has to make a choice: Deal with it or move on (and alot of men move-on). In your father's case, that's twice in only 6 years and probably before that depending on when your mother was diagnosed. A decade dealing with treatments, financial worries, interrupted life routine, etc. That's a lot.

No parent wants to bury their child. To bury his wife was probably hard, but the propect of burying a daughter is hard too. He just may not want to face it right now.

Give him some space, support your sister, and take care of yourself. You're going to need support also having lost a mother and now dealing with cancer again in your sister.

Best to you and your family

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1213
Joined: Apr 2009

There are times, I suppose, where it is a good thing to be a "tough love" parent. I don't believe that this is one of those times. I would be more than willing to help either of my children if I could financially. I stayed with my daughter, a colorectal patient, for six months at the beginning of her treatment and never thought twice about helping her in any way that I could. If she had come to my house, I would not have expected any money and not considered it an inconvenience. Your dad should realize that cancer is very unpredictable.
How would he feel if another Disney opportunity never came around for your sister and niece?
Has he considered that your sister may not feel well enough to work? I know many cancer patients are unable to work for a variety of reasons.

This is just my opinion, of course, but I hope all of you are able to come to a better understanding of the situation and resolve it in a way beneficial to all.

Luv,

Wolfen

AnneBehymer's picture
AnneBehymer
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

June of last year I was told I had stage four ovarian cancer, in July I started chemo I finished front line chemo in October of last year and went on maintance chemo. Just last month I was taken off the maintance chemo because it looks like it is not working. In saying all of that I am not working and living at home with my mom and dad I moved in with them before that cancer a long time before. I now am not working so I am not paying rent my mother has been by my side through all of this and my father now having the only two woman in his life now not working could be pissed off my mom has been on disability for about 15 years and now I am on it. He has taken me for chemo treatments when my mom was not able to drive and then headed to work just to come back and pick us up I know sometime it gets on his nerves I can see it in his eyes, but he has never said a thing to me and for that I am glad. I don't think I could handle my dad getting upset because he has to do so much because then I would feel like his anger is all my fault. I never asked to be place on a list of ladies that will die from cancer but yet I am. I never asked for my hair to fall out, to use a walker at 45, to have to run to the ER everytime I can't have a bowel movement, or to have my mom help clean me up because I have the runs so bad that I can't make it to the bathroom but yet I do. I know his anger is not at me or my mom but at the fact that he can't fix this problem. You should sit down and tell your father what I said and tell him is daughter is probably going through alot of what I just talked about. Let him know that when she put her daughter down to sleep she cries because she does not know if she will see her on the day she says I do. He needs to know what she is facing he want to go live his life.......she just wants to live. Sorry if that sounds mean but it hurts my heart that any father would say that even if he has not said it to her the fact that he has said it to you is enough.

I will pray for you and your sister

Love, Hugs, and Prayers
Anne

Noellesmom
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

answers because I don't know ALL the details about the situation but I would say wherever your sister can go and be safely with her daughter has got to be better than living with such negativity as your dad is presenting.

Was this behavior totally unexpected with your dad? Does your sister seem bothered by his attitude? These are questions that can help determine what needs to happen.

Ovarian cancer runs in my mother's side of the family and I am familiar with its course: could it be your father is terrified of having to be there for your sister (hopefully) years in the future when/if the cancer recurs? If your mother's death was difficult for him, this may be what is behind what seems like hostility - it could be fear. And as much as we would like for them to, some people are just not capable about standing strong when it comes to death of a loved one - it just is not in them.

I'm sorry so much is going on. Will be praying good decisions are made for everyone.

wlkdnose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks for all of your replies. Things are just getting worse between them. To the point where I feel like its verbal abuse from him to her. This behavior was totally unexpected from him. She is so upset about it and struggles on a daily basis just to get through the day with him. I know she feels stuck. Her options unfortunately are limited. I just don't know what to do. Her and her daughter could come live here (we live in the same town) So it wouldn't be a change of school for my niece. But, we are in a two bedroom house with two small kids 5 and 2 of our own. I guess we could manage though. I am so furious with him and I feel alone instead of a team trying to fight this together. Thanks for letting me vent here.

Couchie
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

Hey wlkdnose, thanks for writing. You're not alone. I'm in a similar situation in that my wife has cancer and it's lead to a lot of ugliness between her and her mother. Oftentimes the mother takes it out on me as well. It's really unfortunate and cancer doesn't always bring out the best in people.

I guess I'm confused though why your sister couldn't move out into subsidized housing. Does she need a fulltime caretaker to live with her? Trying to see things from the father's perspective, I think I would struggle with her being able to pay for a car and go on vacation but not be able to pay for subsidized housing, which would likely cost less.

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