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How do you handle?

Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2005

Good Morning,

Please let me know how to handle a family member who asks how you are doing only to one up you every time and complain how tired they are. I have offered to trade places with this person, just trying to get them to quit, but this tactic is wearing thin.


Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Stilltalkin,
Sorry about your competing family member, there seems to be one in many families. There are two in my family. Your relative is probably not going to quit doing what he/she is doing. But you have choices. You can tell her how you feel when she talks like that (you know your relative better than I do and would know if she would get upset or not). Or you could simply ignore what she is saying, don't comment or say anything and tell yourself not to pay attention.
I told my cousin when my onc said I had only 5 years left and she said, that was nothing because we will all die one day, etc. I felt my feelings were being diminished. I did write a letter telling her how her words had hurt my feelings. She didn't answer or talked to me for a looong time. I called her again recently, she still thinks the same but this time I ignored what she said, didn't comment and was surprised my feelings didn't get hurt. My other cousin is always sicker than I am or has more pain, more tired, etc. and she's never had cancer. I do not compete with them, I let them talk and I do not say anything about their symptoms. I no longer inform them about my health. Some people simply do not understand what you or other people are going thru or have the need to call attention to themselves.
Do not let it bother you. You have the power to do it! When they ask me how I am doing, I tell them I'm doing well and I do not elaborate.
All the best,

leaderdog's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Dec 2005

Hello All, I don't want to play "arm chair counselor" but I will talk about this from a my personal and hypothetical point of view. How people react to situations of stress is very unpredictable and often unreasonable, illogical etc. at least when viewed from our personal perspective, assumptions and expectations.

Personally dealing with the emotional as well as physical impact of a life threatening disease is beyond the ability of those who have not "been there" to relate to. It's like me trying to relate to being pregnant. People can only try their best to empathize. And unless they have good communication skills and can think beyond THEIR needs, you will get even cruel reactions.

I was so hurt by my father's reaction to my mother's cancer ( over a 10 year period) I can't even share it with you what he did. This among other things he did ended my relationship with him.

Situations of high stress, and fear bring out the best and worst in people.

Maybe this broad spectrum of responses is so we can really love and appreciate those who can be there for us in our times of need.

It is interesting what I'm going through now: Not knowing my future. I still can't relate with those of you who have or have had cancer. I can only tell you that I know what it feels like to face the possibility. I can tell you though it give me comfort to talk with those who have been there. That is what makes this internet site so powerful.

Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2005

You know, i just need to write you directly. Your responses pop up at the most opportune times. I truly appreciate what you responded to my post.

"Maybe this broad spectrum of responses is so we can really love and appreciate those who can be there for us in our times of need. "

My problem is this response is from the man that I have shared 22 years and four kids with. I don't hate him for it, it just makes me really, really sad. I've said it before. People without cancer or even the fear of possibly having cancer can't understand.

Thanks for being there leaderdog.


Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2004

When I was going through my cancer, my hubby could not handle it! He still can't even say the word "cancer" by making light of my pain and comparing it to other illnesses, hurt my feelings to say the least. Later, I discovered on my own, after analizing things, realized that he was angry with me for being sick! It was his way of denial! He was hurting me because me getting sick hurt him! Sounds twisted, but give him a chance, he's hurting too. I truly wish you the best and if you eed to chat you can find me in the chat room.

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