Insensitive people

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janderson1964
janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member

So my dad called yesturday a couple of hours after I got the news about my third recurrence. He asked how I was doing so I told him the scan results. Heasked what the doctors plan of attack. I told him that  takes time to determine. So he then proceeded to talk about his ddiarrhea from antibiotics he is taking and asked my advice on how to deal with it since he knows that is part of my life. He never asked how my last scan went three months ago. About two months ago he was telling about a spot on his back that he was worried could be melanoma. He is 89 years old and has repeatedly told me he will be happy when he leaves this world.

So then why does he seem more concerned about his own issues which pale in comparison to mine. Am I wrong to feel this way. He was always a good father but I get way more support from the people I work with. 

I know that I shouldnt let something so stupid bother me when I am now back in the fight but it is this thing that I cant get out of the back of my mind.

Thank God for all of you who understand and listen. Just tell me am I right or wrong about my feelings.

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  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
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    Sorry Jeff. I agree it's
    Sorry Jeff. I agree it's insensitive, but my husbands dad does the same thing!! He's in his mid 80s and my husband has not walked unassisted since Sept. He just recently started dressing himself and walking very short distances with a cane, and his dad is always complaining about his back and leg pain. Makes me want to scream. He cares very much though...I've seen him cry several times as soon as he is out of sight of my husband. I'm betting your dad does the same. I guess it's just the way they are, for whatever reason. We too have received more support from friends than most family. Kind of strange, but what can you do. I'm sure you know there are so many people pulling for you and praying for you to be well!
  • lp1964
    lp1964 Member Posts: 1,239 Member
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    Dear Jeff,

    I am very sorry about your new troubles. You have been through this, you are gonna get through it again and things will be fine.

    Regarding how people relate to you: the way many people want to connect to you is they express their problems too. It doesn't mean that they don't care, they just want to relate to you. Nobody can I understand something fully they haven't experienced. We, cancer patients couldn't understand what people with multiple sclerosis are going through for example. I'm sure your dad cares and loves you and so do we. 

    Let us know how you are doing and what the plan is.

    With brotherly love,

    Laz

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    He's still a good father

    Jeff, I'm sure he's still a good father.

    I've noticed that peoples response to Cancer is all over the board. My bestest friend in all the world, just basically ignored it. She lives far away, so we email each day. She would barely mention the cancer, even when I emailed about how hard some of the things I was going through. I was hurt at times, but I learned to live with it. I know she loves me still, its just her way of handling it.

    I also had an friend here in town who would burst into tears every time she saw me. That doesn't help either. I think I'd rather have it ignored. 

    I'm thinking (because I obviously don't know) that maybe your dads response is just his personal way of handling your disease. I would imagine he is hurting to think that you may preceed him in death. Can you just imagine, being almost ninety, and watching someone you love more than life, struggling to live. 

    Deep breath my forum friend. You could even mention it if you feel it wouldn't cause friction. Neither you nor he need that at this point in life. 

    Blessings.

  • karguy
    karguy Member Posts: 1,020 Member
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    I think

    I think your dad loves you,but he is afraid to talk about the cancer.When I talk to my mother about cancer I try to avoid talking about myself because I don't want her to worry.I think it could just be the way your father deals with it.Good luck.

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571 Member
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    I can understand how upsetting that would be, Jeff.

    He sounds a lot like my mom, who was still alive for the first three years of my having cancer.  She rarely asked me how I was doing, and was very caught up in all of her own physical issues.  But I honestly think that it was fear driving her behavior, rather than selfishness.  She was just plain afraid to find out how I was really doing.  Add in the fact that in her day people didn't even publicly talk about cancer, and it explains her behavior, at least in part.

    I had to learn to just accept that she was not going to be the source of much emotional support, and take what I could (luckily) get from friends and other family members.  I'm glad you've got others in your life who can fill this role.

    And imo, there is no right or wrong about feelings, and it's totally natural to want our parents to be thoughtful caregivers for us; sadly, I think that many of us who have parents in their 80s or older don't get that from them.

    You've got us!  Big hugs~AA

  • Chelsea71
    Chelsea71 Member Posts: 1,169 Member
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    Thats really interesting.  I

    Thats really interesting.  I don't blame you for being pissed off.  You too Jen.  It would be festering with me too.  I wonder if it could be guilt.  It sounds like both fathers really love their sons.  I wonder if perhaps they are feeling guilty for living so long while seeing their sons struggle so much?  Maybe they are intentionally looking for their own problems to ease their guilt????  Clearly I'm not a psychologist. I would think it would be the worse thing in the world to watch your "child" go through cancer treatment.  Jeff, you may feel better if you mention it to your Dad.  I tend to hold things like this inside until I explode.  Not the best way!  

  • ketziah35
    ketziah35 Member Posts: 1,145
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     First of all I am sorry for

     

    First of all I am sorry for your recurrence and offer my prayers. I want to share something with you.

    When my mother was diagnosed, my father shut down emotionally. I had to take about a month off work to take care of my mother. He was there, but he didn't and will not talk about my mother's illness. However when she was diagnosed, he went to church and broke down emotionally. He never told us this, but we heard about it through friends. He had cancer before her and could easily talk about it with bothers, but somehow he can't take talking about my mom's. He switches the subject when it comes up. It doesn't exist to him in a way. It is too painful for him to verbalize. I saw something about Nelson Mandela that said a similar thing. He could not express emotions or anything about one of his relatives deaths. His son died of AIDS and spoke about the disease, but his children said he would never talk about his feelings about it or their feelings about it. During the death of his former wife, he went to the hospital, went to the gift shop and bought his children watches- no hugs no comforting words a watch. His family said he did not have the ability to share his feelings with anyone. Do you think your father may be on the same category? I am not defending. 

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    Thank you all for your

    Thank you all for your responses. you are all such beautiful understanding people. I know he loves me and is just trying to block out the pain of reality. When I was first diagnosed I found out that he told his neighbors that I didnt have cancer after my first surgery so I realize he is blocking it out however as you all know us survivors and caregivers dont have that luxery. It is with us all of the time even we are not in the fight.

  • geotina
    geotina Member Posts: 2,111 Member
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    Oh I hear you:

    I remember when George was diagnosed in 3/09 and I called my sister telling her there is a tumor, it is cancer, they are doing surgery, the cancer had already spread to the liver and lungs and her response was, Oh, I hope he feels better.  I was dumbfounded by her response, are you kidding me, that is all you have to say.  I thought she would come and spend some time with us at the hospital, etc. but nope, nothing.  Ok I know they live 4 hours away but geez, they are 100% retired.   After that I never called again.   At George's funeral they were all teary eyed and stuff and I thought, where have you been the last three years.  

    Ok, I have managed to put it aside, family is family, and I do call from time to time but forgiveness, that will be a hard one.  Her actions broke my heart and that will be a long time healing. 

    So I do know exactly how hurtful insensitive people can be.  I'm sorry.

    Tina

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    geotina said:

    Oh I hear you:

    I remember when George was diagnosed in 3/09 and I called my sister telling her there is a tumor, it is cancer, they are doing surgery, the cancer had already spread to the liver and lungs and her response was, Oh, I hope he feels better.  I was dumbfounded by her response, are you kidding me, that is all you have to say.  I thought she would come and spend some time with us at the hospital, etc. but nope, nothing.  Ok I know they live 4 hours away but geez, they are 100% retired.   After that I never called again.   At George's funeral they were all teary eyed and stuff and I thought, where have you been the last three years.  

    Ok, I have managed to put it aside, family is family, and I do call from time to time but forgiveness, that will be a hard one.  Her actions broke my heart and that will be a long time healing. 

    So I do know exactly how hurtful insensitive people can be.  I'm sorry.

    Tina

    I amsorry to hear that

    I amsorry to hear that Tina.

    Thank you for still contributing here even after loosing George. You have no idea how much I admire you and other caregivers here who have lost thier spouces and still contributing. i dont know if i could do that if I were in your position.

  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
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    diarrhea

    Have him get script for LOMOTIL.  It stops diiarrhea cold.  Being in my 80's as well, it is hard to consider others problems when you have your own.  No your feeling are your feeling !  Just love him and take care of yourself.  GOOD LUCK !!!

  • Helen321
    Helen321 Member Posts: 1,459 Member
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    I'm 44 and my mom is 75 and

    I'm 44 and my mom is 75 and I'm her youngest daughter.  My mom has always been very loving and giving although we don't have very deep discussions and she has always had trouble expressing physical love.  When I told my mom I had cancer my mom's exact words were "you can't die, I can't handle any more".  She actually wanted me to promise.  I told her I'd do my best.  As I started treatment my mom opened up to me about living the last few years knowing her life is coming to an end, it's a hard concept.  You're ready but it's still scary.  She's 75.  She said that it's hard going to bed knowing that you may not be here in the morning, it's a hard concept,  I can relate to that feeling although not as imminently as she has to.  We starting talking about life and death and the hardships of getting older.  I'm not dismissing your feelings, I know them very well, I've had so many people say the stupidest things, yesterday I went for my one year after surgery colonoscopy and my friend told me to "lighten up and stop the drama".  I don't think I"m going to speak to her anymore but when it comes to our parents, what I've realized is that we are their kids, they're old and this is very overwhelming for them.  Existing at 89 is overwhelming.  They're looking for us to take care of them as elderly people and instead we have to have people helping us.  So unless your dad was a jerk your entire life, I vote give him a pass. I was very lucky to have my mom be so frank with me and let me know how hard this is for her and that she can't handle it and how hard it is for her to exist at 75.  

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    Helen321 said:

    I'm 44 and my mom is 75 and

    I'm 44 and my mom is 75 and I'm her youngest daughter.  My mom has always been very loving and giving although we don't have very deep discussions and she has always had trouble expressing physical love.  When I told my mom I had cancer my mom's exact words were "you can't die, I can't handle any more".  She actually wanted me to promise.  I told her I'd do my best.  As I started treatment my mom opened up to me about living the last few years knowing her life is coming to an end, it's a hard concept.  You're ready but it's still scary.  She's 75.  She said that it's hard going to bed knowing that you may not be here in the morning, it's a hard concept,  I can relate to that feeling although not as imminently as she has to.  We starting talking about life and death and the hardships of getting older.  I'm not dismissing your feelings, I know them very well, I've had so many people say the stupidest things, yesterday I went for my one year after surgery colonoscopy and my friend told me to "lighten up and stop the drama".  I don't think I"m going to speak to her anymore but when it comes to our parents, what I've realized is that we are their kids, they're old and this is very overwhelming for them.  Existing at 89 is overwhelming.  They're looking for us to take care of them as elderly people and instead we have to have people helping us.  So unless your dad was a jerk your entire life, I vote give him a pass. I was very lucky to have my mom be so frank with me and let me know how hard this is for her and that she can't handle it and how hard it is for her to exist at 75.  

    Your are 100% right Helen. I

    Your are 100% right Helen. I know he loves me and it is hard on him. I wont give him a hard time. I just had to vent. I agree with you not talking to your friend. Its not drama. Its reality for us.

  • sharpy102
    sharpy102 Member Posts: 368 Member
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    danker said:

    diarrhea

    Have him get script for LOMOTIL.  It stops diiarrhea cold.  Being in my 80's as well, it is hard to consider others problems when you have your own.  No your feeling are your feeling !  Just love him and take care of yourself.  GOOD LUCK !!!

    very common...

    Hey there,

     

    I think it's not really insensitiveness when your dad acts this way. As others said, they cannot deal with the situation. They cannot deal with their incapability. The fact that there's nothing they can do at all. It's hard to digest, even as a caregiver, even as a friend/relative. When my Mom was sick all of her friends disappeared. The first two months they would call to ask how she is doing, but then even that stopped. I was really really mad at them and hated them all. My Mom was very sad about it, and cried and was wondering what she did wrong that they are all gone now when the most amount of help needed. After she left, I was still mad for a good two years. But through the years I figured this was their way of dealing with the complete incompetence that they cannot help at all. They could not accept, or face the fact that their best friend who was 32 years old at the time is counting her days back. It is not easy for anyone. Some people are the type who go into their little shell and completely withdraw from the whole situations, while others try to "complain" about their health to sort of sympathize with you. They are trying to show you that just as they have problems that they will try to fix, you should not be thinking you are out on the death list, but you're like them, and who needs to fight similarly. Others become very caring, and would put their whole life into your hands if they could help you with that. I know this is hard to digest for you too, but try to think about it this way. If your dad didn't care, or loved you, he would not even be getting in contact with you in any way, indeed, he would've never even cared about you even as a kid, and you would not even know where he lives, or if he is still alive as he would've long time bailed out. He loves you, he just have very hard time!

    Have patience, and I wish you peace, and strength....for everything in life!

  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624 Member
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    Your are 100% right Helen. I

    Your are 100% right Helen. I know he loves me and it is hard on him. I wont give him a hard time. I just had to vent. I agree with you not talking to your friend. Its not drama. Its reality for us.

    I'm glad

    So glad to hear he loves you and you know it.  As others have said perhaps it's his way of dealing with it.  My birth mother on the other hand, When I called to tell her I had cancer, she said she had heard, and then proceeded to talk about her knees, hips, hands, tiredness, blah blah, blah.  Any Other phone calls after that my cancer was never mentioned, just her aches and pains and putting down what ever brother or sister of mine she angry at that moment. She does not call me, ever.  I know were I stand with her, somewhere under her shoes. She simply doesn't care.

    I'm glad your father does, yet, I'm glad you came here to vent about it, because even though you know deep down he cares and this is probably how he deals with it, it still hurts, there's no way it doesn't.  I'm glad we have each other who understand our pain and help by being there for us.  Isn't it wonderful?

    Hugs to you,

    Winter Marie

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    I'm glad

    So glad to hear he loves you and you know it.  As others have said perhaps it's his way of dealing with it.  My birth mother on the other hand, When I called to tell her I had cancer, she said she had heard, and then proceeded to talk about her knees, hips, hands, tiredness, blah blah, blah.  Any Other phone calls after that my cancer was never mentioned, just her aches and pains and putting down what ever brother or sister of mine she angry at that moment. She does not call me, ever.  I know were I stand with her, somewhere under her shoes. She simply doesn't care.

    I'm glad your father does, yet, I'm glad you came here to vent about it, because even though you know deep down he cares and this is probably how he deals with it, it still hurts, there's no way it doesn't.  I'm glad we have each other who understand our pain and help by being there for us.  Isn't it wonderful?

    Hugs to you,

    Winter Marie

    I am sorry about the

    I am sorry about the relationship with your mother. I am so glad we have each other here. I dont know how I survived without thi site for the first six years that I was fighting cancer.

  • lilacbrroller
    lilacbrroller Member Posts: 412 Member
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    I am sorry about the

    I am sorry about the relationship with your mother. I am so glad we have each other here. I dont know how I survived without thi site for the first six years that I was fighting cancer.

    great goat!

    I know people who just communicate that way - If I start talking about my vacation I just took, instead of just listening to me and maybe saying things "oh, how nice" they match the story by not missing a beat and launching into a monologue about their vacation.. They listen to me for a nanosecond and they start in about something they did, or have, or whatever..  sickness, travel, just about anything.  Thankfully not all my friends and family are like this, just a few. I actually had a conversation with work colleagues at lunch once that went like this:  

    Me:  (talking about something I did, I don't even remember)

    Colleague: Well, do you want to hear something more interesting? Here's what I did...

    (arrrgh)

    I don't think they are being competitive or engagin in oneupmanship - I just think it's how they communicate, or at least with me anyway. chemistry is a funny thing and does change relationships.

    that is a very cute goat! Now, let me tell you about MY goat (!!!!) kidding

    ditto for liking this board. 

     

    atb

    Karin

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    lp1964 said:

    Dear Jeff,

    I am very sorry about your new troubles. You have been through this, you are gonna get through it again and things will be fine.

    Regarding how people relate to you: the way many people want to connect to you is they express their problems too. It doesn't mean that they don't care, they just want to relate to you. Nobody can I understand something fully they haven't experienced. We, cancer patients couldn't understand what people with multiple sclerosis are going through for example. I'm sure your dad cares and loves you and so do we. 

    Let us know how you are doing and what the plan is.

    With brotherly love,

    Laz

    I agree with you Laz. MS is a

    I agree with you Laz. MS is a good example. I have often maintained that there are worse diseases than cancer. ALS, Alzhiemer, or worse yet Huntingons disease which is basically a combination of both. How brutal is that. No one could possiby fully understand what people with those diseases are going through.

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571 Member
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    Thank you all for your

    Thank you all for your responses. you are all such beautiful understanding people. I know he loves me and is just trying to block out the pain of reality. When I was first diagnosed I found out that he told his neighbors that I didnt have cancer after my first surgery so I realize he is blocking it out however as you all know us survivors and caregivers dont have that luxery. It is with us all of the time even we are not in the fight.

    Oh yes...

    the old "you had surgery! you must be cured" approach.  I had several family members take that angle.

    They've been stunned, just stunned, each time I've landed back in surgery. Foot in Mouth

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571 Member
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    I'm glad

    So glad to hear he loves you and you know it.  As others have said perhaps it's his way of dealing with it.  My birth mother on the other hand, When I called to tell her I had cancer, she said she had heard, and then proceeded to talk about her knees, hips, hands, tiredness, blah blah, blah.  Any Other phone calls after that my cancer was never mentioned, just her aches and pains and putting down what ever brother or sister of mine she angry at that moment. She does not call me, ever.  I know were I stand with her, somewhere under her shoes. She simply doesn't care.

    I'm glad your father does, yet, I'm glad you came here to vent about it, because even though you know deep down he cares and this is probably how he deals with it, it still hurts, there's no way it doesn't.  I'm glad we have each other who understand our pain and help by being there for us.  Isn't it wonderful?

    Hugs to you,

    Winter Marie

    To WM...It's sad,

    but some people are simply narcissists, who suck up all the emotional energy in any situation.  I'm sorry...it sounds like your birth mom might be one of those people, WM.  They can be very toxic to those around them. Frown