Sis received some great news a week ago. Her tumors from ovarian cancer have shrunk, her numbers continue to improve, and she is feeling good but still weak. I spent 3 months far from my home caring for her while she endured great pain and very rough chemo. I was on conference call for her oncologist appointment. She's not out of the woods yet, as her tumors have not gone away completely.
After that appointment, she sent a long email to everyone in her email address book, including me and didn't mention that her chemo will continue. What she told everyone was mostly accurate, but stated that all tumors were gone. I was pleased that she felt well enough to write about her news. Like her, I'm grateful for and celebrate her dramatic improvement. However, I feel hurt that she didn't mention in a phrase or sentence that I had contributed my time and a considerable amount of money. After receiving the email, I got two messages asking whether I changed my plans to go to stay with Sis.
I don't expect any awards or medals, so why do I feel this way? Am I being too sensitive?
Thanks in advance for any insights.
Connie, I have been a caregiver for my mother and now my husband in a years time. They were both diagnosed with cancer. My mom always praised me, was there for me even when she was so sick, however my husband, he thinks I need to be there because....... I had to retire to take care of him and I left the best job I ever had I don't regret it but a Thank you would be appreciated! I finally had to talk to him about my feelings because I was starting to resent him. That may have been one of the best conversations we ever had in the 22 years we have been married. But my husband always had the box syndrome. (He is in a box and he only allows who he wants in the box with him - box syndrome or Self centered more or less.)
What I am saying to you is express your feelings with your sister. She needs to hear this from you not from the grape vine. You have every right to feel the way you do I know I am there now. But I am a strong believer in talking, talk through your hurt with your sister and you will feel better even if she does not realize all you have done.
I just had to take my husband to the hospital and I felt so alone fighting with doctors and nurses over his condition. I was so upset with worry I sat in the corner of his room crying my eyes out and all I wanted was for someone to hug me and it never happened. But my mom always taught me to be tough to get up put one foot in front of the other and move on. And that is what I did. When I brought my husband home he thanked me for saving his life and he hugged me. That is all I wanted.
Please talk to your sister before it festers into something else. In your heart you know you did right and regardless if she knows this or not you were there for her and that is what counts!
Hope this helped you. Take care and pray! Prayers really do move mountains!
Thanks so much, Jane. I suppose I knew that I'll need to talk to Sis. I dread any kind of confrontation, but as you say, I must not let this fester. I'm thinking, I'll call her tomorrow, which will turn into another tomorrow, etc. Best to gather my thoughts and do it asap.
Seems as though as caregivers we often find ourselves marginalized when it takes so little to make us feel better (like the your husband saying thank you--finally!). You gave up a job you loved, and we both know what's involved in caregiving. It's no vacation to say the least. I'm sure your Mom's expressions of appreciation help keep those lonely feeling at bay. Both your Mom and husband in one year. It's hard for me to imagine, much less understand. You are doing the most loving thing for both of them. Many in your position would not/could not do what you are doing--an ultimate act of love.
Thanks for your understanding, and I'm taking your advice seriously.
I will keep you, your Mom and hubby in my prayers.
Sis and I had a talk. She apologized, sort of. Her explanation was that she didn't think, which is not news. As I continued to fret, a couple of my friends pointed out that many cancer patients, when asked "How are you?", prefer to say "Fine". I think Sis gets tired of reporting her aches, pains, scan results and CA125 numbers. For her to tell everyone that she needed me for three months would have indicated the seriousness of her condition.
On a brighter note, her chemo cocktail has been reduced to a much smaller dosage, or maintenance therapy. She will be on this regimen as long as she can tolerate it, or when she has no evidence of disease. Sis is back to work full time, and recently we had a wonderful long weekend together. Whether or not she thanks me, I want us to be okay with each other. Life is way too short.
As for my feeling hurt, I think I was justified. I don't think I was being too sensitive. Sometimes, however, we need to let go to see the greater picture. If and when I go back to TX to care for her, I'll arrive with no resentments.
Thanks as always, Carlo, for your concern. I hope you are doing as well as possible.
Thank you for the articles. They really hit home. So much has happened since I posted, so I'm going to post a new one.