The Problem with Family (Feeling Betrayed)

Ktmg
Ktmg Member Posts: 24

I was recently diagnosed with Renal Cancer, and I decided to keep things private. I only told my mom, my husband and my boss (I needed days off for testing and appointments) and my aunt Nancy (my mom needed someone to talk to) I swore them all to privacy. They agreed to maintain my privacy.

I also help take care of my grandpa. He's in his 90s and he needs a fair bit of help with day to day stuff. We have cameras in the house so we can be sure he's okay when he's with the aids the VA the provide and so my extended family can make sure he's safe.

Needless to say, I forgot the cameras were on all the time (the indicator light dosent always turn on when people are using it), and that people were possibly listening in when I talked to my mother at his house one day. I would have thought anyone who had a shred of sense would have used the cameras for the only intended use, but apparently my extended family isn't worried about little things like my privacy or basic decency.

My uncle (one I'm not close with at all, we tolerate each other at family events) overheard the news. He talked to my aunt, who decided to break her word and confirm what he knew to "get out in front of the problem" but also told him the matter was private. He went on spying on he behind my back, and talked to my mother who also broke her word. Then he told other memebers of the family behind my back ( you know, gossip)

As you can hopefully understand I'm angry, and I feel very violated. I just wanted my privacy, since I know my extended family isn't very supportive based on previous experiance with a cousin who was diagnosed with a different type of C. The worst part is my mother keeps telling me that "He meant well" and I should "Let it go and just be nice." I dont want to be nice, honestly, I'm not sure I want to see these people ever again.

I could use some perspective here. Any advice is appreciated and thank you for listening/reading my troubles. I just cant help but think about it over and over again, its like someone took the worst moment of my life and made it worse just to satisify their own curosity/ for fun, and my own mother is taking his side.

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Comments

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    Hi ktmg

    And welcome to the group.

    Please tell us more about your tumour.

    Maybe it is not as bad as you are currently thinking. Let's hope not!

    I'm not sure what to say about your feeling of betrayal.  I'd probably feel the same way. This is certainly your private business and you have a right to keep it that way.

    On the other hand I don't have your need for privacy.  Since I found out about my tumour I have been talking to anyone who will listen.

    Steve.

  • Dutch1
    Dutch1 Member Posts: 152
    Our experience with family

    Our experience with family and friends is that, when news of your cancer becomes known, some family and friends will be very, very supportive.  But, Some will drop away.  You will be surprised at some of those who you'll find to be among those who stand with you.  Likewise, you will be surprised at some of those who are not supportive.  With cancer, we found that the support of other people is very important to us.  It's worth the risk of becoming a momentary target of some gossiping in order to find who the real supportive people are.  You're dealing with cancer -- having a support group can be very helpful to you.  Take the risk of experiencing the bad (gossip, which will relent) so as to gain the longer-lasting support system.  That's the route we took and I wouldn't change that decision.

    Dutch

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    my 2 cents worth

    KTMG, in my opinion, you have every right to let those you confided in know how betrayed you feel.  Make no mistake about that.  Unfortunately, the information is out there now.  Try, hard as it may be right now, to see the bright side of this.  As Dutch said, you will soon learn who your support system is and who isn't.  Another point I'd like to make is that just because your trusted confidants confirmed what was overheard, does not necessarily mean they were gossiping.  They did not go to your uncle with it, he came to them, please keep that in mind.  I, personally, try to put myself in others shoes.  In your opinion, how should they have handled that differently?  You have so many bigger fish to fry right now, try not to alienate those that have true concern for you, you may very well need them.  Pick and choose your battles carefully.  Right now you really need to battle the little beast residing in you and get it out, i.e.... the cancer.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

  • DAC677
    DAC677 Member Posts: 59
    My 2 cents worth part 2

    I agree and understand your feelings.

    Each of us have different ways of deeling with this and different approaches to who we want to know and when. Your choices are totally yours and should be respected by your family and friends. IM 4 months removed from that stage your at and can tell you that I thought I was handling everything well and level headed but looking back there were some things I was more emotional about in my approach or responses than is my norm. I think its good to know and accept this diagnosis has a prfound emtional impact on each of no matter what the stage and severity level and also fr our friends and family to try and understand that as well and respect your wishes 

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    edited February 2017 #6
    In Times like this

    Word always get out. I made no effort to publicize my cancer, nor did I try to keep it secret. Frankly I felt I had other things to worry about. Like how big was the cancer, was it treatable (yes!), what happens next.

    Well, welcome to the club. Nice to meet you and sorry to meet you here. Let us know how you're getting on and we'll be with you all the way.

    Good luck.

  • Qt34167
    Qt34167 Member Posts: 41
    Family and friends

    I wanted my family and friends to know what I was going through.  Most have been very supportive but some have become silent.  Amazing how women I meet react when I tell them.  They are supportive, motherly and take interest in me.  I like it! 

    Anyway, that was my decision to be open about my battle. If I did not want that and specifically told people that, then I would be pissed too.  Unfortuneately a camerera picked up what you were saying.  Only way to keep a secret if to not tell anyone, sad but true.

    God bless and as Steve says, how big is your tumor?

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    edited February 2017 #8
    it doesn't matter

    So you keep it a secret. Then what? No one would recommend a pregnant young teen keep it to herself. People will find out sooner or later anyway. Once you understand this, you won't be disappointed any longer.  Believe me it is a burden to carry. Let it go. All that anger and wasted energy needs to become positive thinking. How you feel is your choice. It is going to be a new life going forward. Your emotions are normal. Now take the next step.

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited February 2017 #9
    Dealing With Cancer - Family

    You agreed your mom needed someone to talk to, so you opened up one more person. It's evidence you understand that being alone with this is not easy. I know you may feel like it's your issue and not their's, but they also have to deal with this news. All of them. You may assume they don't care, but cancer affects everybody in the family. It affects everybody that knows you and cares about you. There's no way to keep it isolated to just you, in my opinion.

    You tried. I think it was doomed to failure from the beginning.

    If you really want to keep a secret, don't tell anybody.  I'm pretty sure you probably already knew this! You can't stop people from talking.

    I personally can't blame your aunt or mom for talking after the uncle found out about it by hearing you talk on camera. The uncle knew. What would be the point of continuing to act like it wasn't so? I don't agree that they broke their word. They agreed not to tell. It doesn't sound like they agreed to not talk about it to someone that already knew about it. You spilled the beans to the uncle (accidentally).

    Having cameras in a home and not knowing who/when people are watching is something I wouldn't and couldn't tolerate. That's a whole separate issue to me. I'd be very careful when I'm there what I say and do (or I'd find a way to turn them off when I want privacy when I'm there). That part seems to be on you.

    There's just so much to be worried about and upset over with cancer. I'd try, if you can, to take this one off my list.

    Wishing you well,

    Todd

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    edited February 2017 #10
     

     

    I really feel for you and understand your disappointment in your family but I’m with those who say to try and let it go. Right now you have bigger things to deal with and you’ll need all the energy you have. Don’t waste it on anger. Easier said than done but try. There’s always the chance that they’ll come through for you and support you. I really hope that will be the case.

     

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,024 Member
    Some very good advice has been offered...

    So now what will you do with it.  I live in a relatively small town, and my husband was really concerned.  It was not a secret, so he was looking for help, info, and resources with any one he could.  I had almost strangers coming up and asking how I was...and 10 1/2 years later asking how I am.  Fine, thank you.

    The cat is out of the bag.  Disregard the relatives whom you feel will not care about you-it makes them feel important that they knew the info before anyone else.  The close relatives should have evaded the question that confirmed you Dx.  If it makes you feel better, just say you were disappointed they talked about you.

    I am not affilliated with any of the mainsteam, American religions, so when someone said, "I'll pray for you.", I just said thanks.  No offense offered, none taken.

    In the future, be prepared with a polite, but simple response, i.e.  "I don't want to discuss my treatment plans; or "I need more information from my Dr; or "I'll let you know if there's anything you can do for me."  Then change the subject.  Be glad that relatives and friends care enough to ask about you.

    My mother was deceased by the time I developed RCC.  Had she been alive, her response would have been extremely self-centered...she would have become the star of the care facility with, "Oh woe is me, my daughter has cancer."

    Your job now is to put your survival plans together and do just that.  Survive and thrive.

    Keep us informed.  We all care.

    Hugs,

    donna_lee

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #12

    Hi ktmg

    And welcome to the group.

    Please tell us more about your tumour.

    Maybe it is not as bad as you are currently thinking. Let's hope not!

    I'm not sure what to say about your feeling of betrayal.  I'd probably feel the same way. This is certainly your private business and you have a right to keep it that way.

    On the other hand I don't have your need for privacy.  Since I found out about my tumour I have been talking to anyone who will listen.

    Steve.

    Its about 3.3cm 0n0m, not

    Its about 3.3cm 0n0m, not that I understand what that means. I think it means that the neucleas is weird but still recognizable? Hanging in the pole of my right kidney.

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    Dutch1 said:

    Our experience with family

    Our experience with family and friends is that, when news of your cancer becomes known, some family and friends will be very, very supportive.  But, Some will drop away.  You will be surprised at some of those who you'll find to be among those who stand with you.  Likewise, you will be surprised at some of those who are not supportive.  With cancer, we found that the support of other people is very important to us.  It's worth the risk of becoming a momentary target of some gossiping in order to find who the real supportive people are.  You're dealing with cancer -- having a support group can be very helpful to you.  Take the risk of experiencing the bad (gossip, which will relent) so as to gain the longer-lasting support system.  That's the route we took and I wouldn't change that decision.

    Dutch

    Thank you for the feedback. I

    Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad your happy with your decision (no sarcasam intended). Its hard to be sure I'm seeing perfectly clearly right now.

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #14
    hardo718 said:

    my 2 cents worth

    KTMG, in my opinion, you have every right to let those you confided in know how betrayed you feel.  Make no mistake about that.  Unfortunately, the information is out there now.  Try, hard as it may be right now, to see the bright side of this.  As Dutch said, you will soon learn who your support system is and who isn't.  Another point I'd like to make is that just because your trusted confidants confirmed what was overheard, does not necessarily mean they were gossiping.  They did not go to your uncle with it, he came to them, please keep that in mind.  I, personally, try to put myself in others shoes.  In your opinion, how should they have handled that differently?  You have so many bigger fish to fry right now, try not to alienate those that have true concern for you, you may very well need them.  Pick and choose your battles carefully.  Right now you really need to battle the little beast residing in you and get it out, i.e.... the cancer.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

    Gave it some thought

    Donna. I thought about what you wrote a lot. You may be right about the not gossiping, but it's just I was raised to believe that talking abouut people when they arent there to defend themselves is wrong. Maybe that's why I'm so upset with my mom. It feels hypocritcal, and if I did that now (as an adult) to someone else, she would be giving me an earful. She outright admitted that she has different standards for different people and "expects better from me". So in her mind I have to be better, but I shoudn't expect the same from others in return. Its frustrating.  

    How would I have wanted them to answer? I've come up with some options. I'm going from meanest to nicest here, so bear with the beginning of the list. I know not everyone is blunt.

    1. You really should forget about the things you hear on the camera if they're not to do with dad.

    2. Jim, if you were meant to know that, you would have been told it. You know how private Kate is, when she's ready, she'll start talking to people about it. Right now shes just not there.

    3. I appreciate your concern, but you really should talk to Kate directly.

    4. Hey look, a platypus (then run away) - sorry. I cope with humor.

     

     

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #15

    In Times like this

    Word always get out. I made no effort to publicize my cancer, nor did I try to keep it secret. Frankly I felt I had other things to worry about. Like how big was the cancer, was it treatable (yes!), what happens next.

    Well, welcome to the club. Nice to meet you and sorry to meet you here. Let us know how you're getting on and we'll be with you all the way.

    Good luck.

    Thank you. Its nice to meet

    Thank you. Its nice to meet you too.

    I'm doing all that stuff too, but there are lulls between appointments where I just want to feel normal and just not have to think about it every moment of my day. You know to try to live my life. Thats why I didnt want to go public.

    Maybe its arrogant to want life to feel the same, but there is some part of me that hopes that this can just be a blip, and that it dosent have to change everything forever?

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #16
    Qt34167 said:

    Family and friends

    I wanted my family and friends to know what I was going through.  Most have been very supportive but some have become silent.  Amazing how women I meet react when I tell them.  They are supportive, motherly and take interest in me.  I like it! 

    Anyway, that was my decision to be open about my battle. If I did not want that and specifically told people that, then I would be pissed too.  Unfortuneately a camerera picked up what you were saying.  Only way to keep a secret if to not tell anyone, sad but true.

    God bless and as Steve says, how big is your tumor?

    My boss has been like that,

    My boss has been like that, very supportive.

    Its 3.3 cm

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #17
    foxhd said:

    it doesn't matter

    So you keep it a secret. Then what? No one would recommend a pregnant young teen keep it to herself. People will find out sooner or later anyway. Once you understand this, you won't be disappointed any longer.  Believe me it is a burden to carry. Let it go. All that anger and wasted energy needs to become positive thinking. How you feel is your choice. It is going to be a new life going forward. Your emotions are normal. Now take the next step.

    You dont know my family. When

    You dont know my family. When my cousin was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years back (in her early 20s) parts of my family (re: snooping uncle) accused her of faking it, and treated her like a pariah for years. Shes had suregery and chemo and has a port-a-cath in and people still treat her like a liar.

  • Ktmg
    Ktmg Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2017 #18
    donna_lee said:

    Some very good advice has been offered...

    So now what will you do with it.  I live in a relatively small town, and my husband was really concerned.  It was not a secret, so he was looking for help, info, and resources with any one he could.  I had almost strangers coming up and asking how I was...and 10 1/2 years later asking how I am.  Fine, thank you.

    The cat is out of the bag.  Disregard the relatives whom you feel will not care about you-it makes them feel important that they knew the info before anyone else.  The close relatives should have evaded the question that confirmed you Dx.  If it makes you feel better, just say you were disappointed they talked about you.

    I am not affilliated with any of the mainsteam, American religions, so when someone said, "I'll pray for you.", I just said thanks.  No offense offered, none taken.

    In the future, be prepared with a polite, but simple response, i.e.  "I don't want to discuss my treatment plans; or "I need more information from my Dr; or "I'll let you know if there's anything you can do for me."  Then change the subject.  Be glad that relatives and friends care enough to ask about you.

    My mother was deceased by the time I developed RCC.  Had she been alive, her response would have been extremely self-centered...she would have become the star of the care facility with, "Oh woe is me, my daughter has cancer."

    Your job now is to put your survival plans together and do just that.  Survive and thrive.

    Keep us informed.  We all care.

    Hugs,

    donna_lee

    LOL

    Your description of your mom made me laugh. For some reason I'm picturing it like a stage mom for cancer treatment.

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    Ktmg said:

    Gave it some thought

    Donna. I thought about what you wrote a lot. You may be right about the not gossiping, but it's just I was raised to believe that talking abouut people when they arent there to defend themselves is wrong. Maybe that's why I'm so upset with my mom. It feels hypocritcal, and if I did that now (as an adult) to someone else, she would be giving me an earful. She outright admitted that she has different standards for different people and "expects better from me". So in her mind I have to be better, but I shoudn't expect the same from others in return. Its frustrating.  

    How would I have wanted them to answer? I've come up with some options. I'm going from meanest to nicest here, so bear with the beginning of the list. I know not everyone is blunt.

    1. You really should forget about the things you hear on the camera if they're not to do with dad.

    2. Jim, if you were meant to know that, you would have been told it. You know how private Kate is, when she's ready, she'll start talking to people about it. Right now shes just not there.

    3. I appreciate your concern, but you really should talk to Kate directly.

    4. Hey look, a platypus (then run away) - sorry. I cope with humor.

     

     

    Hey...

    We asked about your tumour, not your humour.

    Steve.

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    Ktmg said:

    Its about 3.3cm 0n0m, not

    Its about 3.3cm 0n0m, not that I understand what that means. I think it means that the neucleas is weird but still recognizable? Hanging in the pole of my right kidney.

    It's localised

    Hi Ktmg,

    The n0m0 means it has not spread to 'lymph nodes or distant organs'.  (google 'kidney cancer stages')

    My tumour was 4cm and also had not spread. Mine was on the lower lobe of my right kidney.

    I think we both have an excellent chance of a long, cancer free life.

    It is a shock discovery, though, as everyone here knows well. It takes over your life for at least six months.

    Steve.

     

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,024 Member
    You have a sense of humor...

    That will carry you a long way in this duel with cancer.

    Good Luck

    donna_lee