Gransnet forums



(18 Posts)
SallyDapp Sun 26-Jun-16 15:29:26


I've had cancer 5 years now with no chance of a cure, I am statistically unlikely to make it to 10 years, I'm on my 4th course of chemo (8 month runs at a time before a relapse) which isn't pleasant and have had a bone marrow transplant as well as radiotherapy. My mobility is poor so I'm now in a wheelchair, I'm often ill and am permanently on painkillers, I have to rely on H to take me out so I tend to Internet shop. My problem is I can't do the things I used to do so I ask H and S who is 14 for help but just with normal housework stuff, they manage to forget I've asked and any housework I ask S to do is ignored, if I make a fuss then H causes a row saying I'm nagging S. S never does a thing without being asked at least 4 or 5 times preferring to sit in front of the Xbox instead. H goes around huffing and telling me I don't show enough appreciation for what he does for me and how tired it makes him loading my wheelchair into the car and taking me for appointments all the time. He told me to 'man up' when I said I felt sad. He does less than 2 hours of housework a day, I try to be as independent as I can be, I still do all the paperwork and bill paying in the household and all the washing, I find that stripping beds is my job as is wiping up cup stains, spills and crumbs, picking up rubbish and vacuuming. None of which would get done if I didn't do it. Our older children are quite helpful but have families of their own. I pay someone to do some bigger jobs but H goes around suggesting or starting unnecessary jobs, grumbles if I gently ask their importance or if they will make his life difficult and another row starts, 2-3 days of being bitched at, treated nastily or ignored. I'm tired and I feel ill most of the time, i try to do interesting things with our lives but this makes me so sad. I want to be treated like a princess or just a human being. AIBU

nanasam Sun 26-Jun-16 15:54:25

Oh, Sally, I really feel for you. It's not your fault you are ill but are being made to feel guilty. It's as if, after 5 years, they can't see that it's an ongoing dilemma. It's like you've had 'flu and should be over it now. Do you think they may have put the awful possibility out of their minds? Mind you, S is a 'teenager' and can be very difficult and frustrating at times!

I honestly don't know what to suggest but want you to know that I understand how you feel. flowers flowers flowers

rosesarered Sun 26-Jun-16 16:06:16

Sally only do the things you feel able to and leave the rest.You have to close your eyes to any mess.Your DH and son are probably as depressed as you are by your circumstances, and are perhaps doing their best in their own way.Housework will be here long after we are gone.Try and be cheerful as you can with them, nobody knows how long they have left, you certainly have my sympathy though with all you have been

Maggers Sun 26-Jun-16 16:13:55

What is AIBU?

rosesarered Sun 26-Jun-16 16:16:16

Am I being unreasonable.

Luckygirl Sun 26-Jun-16 16:37:22

I think that you can only let some of the housework drift by a bit. 2 hours housework represents a huge amount to me! Our house is not so blessed.

The important thing is not to interpret their behaviour as not caring about you - in some ways it is a compliment that they do not treat you with kid gloves or like a princess but try and keep things as normal as possible in spite of your ill health. And teenage boys find it hard to express their feelings and they tend to hide behind an xbox or whatever.

Maybe your life needs some of the more important things - companionship for instance - these might be more important than a clean and tidy house and well-cooked meals.

There seems to be a mismatch between the jobs that you see as important and those that your OH does. Perhaps a bit of a compromise is needed here.

I can understand that being so ill can leave you feeling out of control a bit, and that having a big say over how the house is run might be helpful to you. Having some area of your life where you are in control might feel more important to you.

Have you had any counselling since your diagnosis and the start of all these grueling treatments? Might be an idea perhaps. You would have someone to let off steam to and to talk it all over with.

I send you good wishes and hope that there can be a little peace in your life. flowers

Cherrytree59 Sun 26-Jun-16 17:45:25

I am so sorry sallyflowers
I think the other posts are right about the housework.
Your dear family know they are going to loose you and are struggling to deal with it.
So your DH is cross and your DS hides behind his X box.
Can you get somebody eg Oncology nurse to ask them (individually) how they are feeling and coping. Also what their fears are.
Once out the open you may then be able to discuss how you all feel as a family

People when faced with a terminal illness behave in a way that is different and often out of character

When my mother at 48 was going through what you are now facing, my father would get very angry with me if I didn't arrive on the dot to help her get ready to go for her treatment.
I had grin and bare it even though I had to get there with a baby and small toddler in tow (no car).

My sister was only 15 and had panic attacks. She would try to be out the house and away from the situation as much as possible. Just her way of trying to cope.
The housework (the bare minimum) and shopping was done by me only.

Your family will need some good memories to get them through in the future.
Perhaps when you feel up to it you and your DH could have a little outing together. Make a pact not to talk about your illness. Just live for that moment.

If your DS loves his X box then why not say 'I would love a go, can you show how to play?'
You might both have laugh and he will have good memory.

Hard I know when its you with the illness.
But when time is short make the most of the important things.

I wish you and your family a little bit of sunshine

SallyDapp Sun 26-Jun-16 20:38:20

Thankyou all so much for your support flowers it's good to hear how others see things. I would so like to ignore the mess that builds up around me but it's so depressing, I will try. 2 hours of housework seems a lot but that covers everything done in a day including the cooking and school runs. I'm after simple things like cleaning up after themselves and not having to argue about bed stripping etc, after all DS is a teenage boy and we all know how smelly they can be. Now that the net curtains look filthy I'm frightened to say anything, guess I'll buy new instead, good excuse eh! When I'm well enough we do go out to shows and the cinema a lot so as well as memory building I'm avoiding seeing the mess by not being in the house wink

cornergran Mon 27-Jun-16 08:46:09

sally so sorry for your situation. I expect others are spot on, the frustration you see expressed over household tasks is displaced anger about the prospect of losing you. This might sound a cold suggestion, I don't mean it to be so, but could there be a cleaner once a week for a couple of hours? Someone to help with the heavier things to save your energy? If I look back to teenage years in our home I now understand that mess is in the eye of the beholder. smile. There was a time I struggled physically (fortunately for me my illness improved) and my own frustration at not being able to somewhat I believed had to be done felt uncontainable, my family just didn't see it the way I did. They weren't being unkind, just a different view on what I saw as mess. We finally agreed that there would be delegated tasks (these were written down and left in the fridge as a non verbal reminder), that some things just didn't matter and would be left and a cleaner would mop up the rest. We got through it. But for a time it was bumpy. It must be so hard for you wanting to do what you have always done but knowing you can't now. Being reliant on others while using a wheelchair can be frustrating too, although of course it also gives you freedom to go out. I hope there are many moments you can enjoy and the memories of relaxed times continue to build. You have coped with a lot, sending you flowers and a wish for sunshine along with many hugs and good wishes

TriciaF Mon 27-Jun-16 11:38:30

I was going to suggest a cleaner too.
People here with a serious chronic illness get some financial help towards the cost of a cleaner. Maybe try ringing social services. I think you have to have a letter from your doctor.
I do hope things improve for you, both on the health and family fronts. You have a lot to bear.

Deedaa Mon 27-Jun-16 21:02:17

Have you spoken to MacMillan? I wonder if a visit from one of their nurses might help. She might be able to make your husband see that you are doing too much. Are you getting all the benefits you should? Do you get DLA or PIP? The money could help pay for a cleaner.

whitewave Mon 27-Jun-16 21:09:55

Yes my friend who is terminally ill with cancer has a lady who does, paid with by some sort of benefit

My kindest wishes

SallyDapp Mon 27-Jun-16 21:45:05

Thankyou, it really puts things in perspective hearing others. I do get all my DLA, it gets used on transport and nice easy meals as well as the bigger household jobs but I think I am going to get myself a cleaner, it seems the logical step to follow now for all our sakes. smile The last thing I want to do is turn my DS into a carer, he didn't sign up for that when he was born and if I can avoid that.....

vampirequeen Mon 27-Jun-16 21:52:04

Do you get DLA or PIP? If not you should apply. Is your husband your carer? If you get higher level care component he can claim carers allowance.

I would leave your son's room to become a pit. It's his room. Tell him where the clean bedding is then leave him to it. My girls were incredibly messy teenagers. I decided that was the reason doors had been invented. If I closed the door I couldn't see the mess so didn't stress about it. I only had one penicillin should grow so plates and cups had to be brought downstairs. Other than that it was up to them. If they wanted clothes washing they had to put them in the wash bin (each only ran out of clothes once lol). Ironing was only done once. If they chose not to put it away then they either ironed it again themselves or wore it creased. Everything except the penicillin was their choice. It was amazing how quickly they chose to put their clothes in the wash bin, change their bedding, hang up their clothes etc. They even vacuumed and dusted occasionally when it became too much for them to bear lol.

midgey Mon 27-Jun-16 22:01:13

I agree about your son's bedroom, it is his space even though it's in your house. A cleaner is such a help do see if you can do it, very best of luck.

Deedaa Tue 28-Jun-16 20:58:40

When DS was a teenager (and beyond actually) you rarely saw the carpet in his room and every flat surface had a half empty cup growing strange, alien life forms. Now with partner and toddler his flat is kept spotless. Shoes off when you cross the threshold and everything!

Teetime Wed 29-Jun-16 09:29:10

Sally I'm really sorry for what you going through and the strain it is putting on you all. There are some really hepful suggestions and advice here and I would just add Macmillan Cancer Support are very helpful (they have a helpline) with these situations in finding the right kind of extra support for the whole family. Why not give them a call? My best wishes and hope that things will improve. flowers

Elrel Mon 04-Jul-16 16:39:17

Dally, Huge sympathy, you must have the irritation and frustration we all sometimes feel x 10. I'm only mildly disabled but have felt so much more free since having a cleaner for 2 hours every 2 weeks. Maybe DH becomes huffy because he really wishes there was more he could do or thinks you regard him as useless. All good wishes ?