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First time visitor - Carers UK Forum

First time visitor

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Don’t know if I’m posting in right section as this is my first visit here.
I’m presently caring for my mum and dad who are divorced so live separately. I find this difficult but cope as they are my parents and this is what happens. Eighteen months ago my husband was diagnosed with advanced prostrate cancer this I’m finding almost impossible to deal with. We’ve been told that his cancer is life limiting so know that our time together is coming to an end he is only 62 and very optimistic I’m 60 and only seem to be thinking negative thoughts. I want to enjoy the time we have together but can’t stop crying which I know isn’t helping him. I feel useless and guilty all the time. If I’m with my dad I think I should be with my husband or mum and vice Versa Does anyone else feel like this?
I had counselling when, like you, I was torn between carees.

I would suggest that your husband is your top priority, and you will never forgive yourself when he is gone, that you put your parents before him. I'm widowed, by the way.

Tell us more about mum and dad. What do they need you to do for them?
(my son with LD is here at the moment, I'll be back later)
I completely agree. I lost my husband to cancer some years ago, and my MIL was still 'alive and well' (dreadful for her, obviously, and she was already widowed too). But of course your husband takes priority. This time is PRECIOUS.

Please don't give up hope for him entirely. These days, the dreaded word 'terminal' is less used (thankfully) than previously. 'Then' it was a case of 'well, they've got a bit of time, but put your affairs in order and wait for the end to arrive'. Basically, if the docs couldn't cure you (ie, you had early stage, operable cancer, where they could treat you and 'get it all out' or whatever) then you were just 'written off'.

NOW it is much different with the docs - INCREASINGLY it is becoming a situation of 'living WITH advanced cancer' not 'dying immediately of it'. Yes, it might still be classed as 'terminal' AS IN 'not curable' ....but, as you are now discovering, it isn't a question of 'curing' cancer, it is a question of 'not dying from it soon'. After all, diabetes is not 'curable' (Type 1), but it is perfectly 'treatable'.

The 'good' thing about having a cancer such as Prostate - one of the Big Four - is that there is a LOT of research as there are, sadly, a lot of patients, so drug companies, the NHS etc, put a lot of effort into getting treatments out into practice to sustain patients. It is, in the end. a question of 'stepping stones'....can patients get to the next 'stepping stone' (new treatment as it comes out of trials, or is on 'the list' to move on to once one treatment starts to fail), before the cancer 'outruns' them.

So, please do bear that constantly in mind. That said, cancer treatment is always 'ongoing' and it is always 'chancy' and that is why, given your husband's age (younger than me), you must focus on HIM, and your time together, not your parents.

It is not your responsibility that your parents are divorced - that was their choice, not yours. I take it they haven't remarried or don't have partners at the moment to help with them?

This may sound 'harsh' but it is true, for all that. Your parents are older than your husband, they have had longer lives than him. They have, in a way, HAD their life. Your husband has not. He is being 'short changed' compared with them. THAT is why your prority is him, not them.

What help with their lives do you parents need (not 'want' by the way - not always the same!)? And do they understand - and accept - that they do NOT come first with you now. I do hope so. If not, well, they have to 'accept' it, even if they don't like it! Tough. Your husband 'deserves' more time than they do, etc etc.

And, if the worst comes to the worst with your husband, and you lose him, THEN your parents can have your undivided attention. Till then, no - they go to the back of the queue. End of. They should agree with me on this. Any 'good' parent would.

PS Are your husband's parents alive still, and does he have any siblings, or children?
Hi Allison
Your body and subconscious mind are trying to tell you that you can't do it all. And you are starting to mourn for hubby.
As well as the practical things mentioned earlier, I'd suggest a trip to your GP as I think a touch of depression has crept in (perfectly natural in the circumstances) and he may well suggest some mild antidepressants if only to help with the crying. I see it as just another tool in the box of tricks you are going to have to build to cope, and at this stage you should e.g. accepting all the help you can, from where ever

Thank you everyone for replying I’m not alone. The replies were both helpful and I supppse confirm what I already know. My husband should come first.
My dad needs care as he is totally dependant but he has carers 5 times a day so really I should just visit rather than care. My mum is quite Independant regarding looking after herself but she needs or rather wants attention and seems to be jealous of the attention I give my dad and my husband. I think as said in one of the replies I should try and differentiate between want and need.
Thank you so much for replying I felt very low this morning and just up know there are other people around that listen and can give advise was do comforting.
I did try to approach my doctor but no help he just told me I should google counsellor and see if I could get help that way? Really felt he had just closed a door on me.
Sorry your GP was like that.
Maybe try another appointment with a different one?

If you Google CBT and your area it should come up with options for free CBT counselling, by phone, online or face to face (tho the wait for the latter is usually longer). I bet he didn't say it that way to you!
I used the online service and found it good to take the edge off, but then decided to pay for more face to face.

There's aways Samartians 116 123

And here's our list of mood lifters
https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... mood-12505

We, of course, are here too :)
That's a disgraceful reaction by your GP - I can't but hope HE/SHE gets to go through what you are going through! Then maybe they'll develop some humanity!

At the very LEAST they should have checked if you are in touch with organisations such as Macmillan, not to mention the numerous support groups for Prostate cancer! They really are your best bet in terms of 'carrying you' right now, and I hope you do get in touch with them. I can remember that Macmillan has a very good Carer Forum on their community sites, so it's worth giving them a look in. And the support groups I found for my own husband's cancer was excellent - I'm still a regular penpal of an American lady I 'met' there, who also went through what I did. We helped each other 'across the water' and she was a great comfort to me, and I hope I was, and still am, now we are both widowed, to her.
Alison, you have a difficult road ahead, and your husband needs you to keep well.

If dad is having FIVE carers a day, that is unheard of in my area. Is he funded by Continuing Healthcare?

Has the time come for him to move into a nursing home? If you are the only thing that is keeping him from this, then I'm afraid the answer to this question has to be Yes.

As for mum, the more you do, the more she will want you to do, because she is thinking only of herself, when she should be thinking of you and supporting you. I was in a similar situation, the answer is to do less and less. So YOU decide how often you will visit, and when, NOT MUM.
If you say you will visit every Tuesday afternoon, to start with she will probably try and make excuses for you to come sooner, for some silly reason. Recognise that the only control she has over you is the control that you let her have, you are no longer a little girl trying to be good to please mum.
"My mum is quite Independant regarding looking after herself but she needs or rather wants attention and seems to be jealous of the attention I give my dad and my husband"

That she is jealous of the time you spend with her ex is her bringing her divorce issues into your life! Stay clear! As in, if YOU want to spend time with your dad, do so - whatever the rights and wrongs of the divorce originally they were not your responsibility. If you think your dad did nothing to deserve you cutting him for the rest of his life, then ignore what your mum wants etc etc etc. This is YOUR moral judgement on him, not hers! On the other hand, if you think your dad 'did wrong by your mum' way back when, don't be swayed by pity for him now. Karma can take a long time to come around, if your dad 'did the dirt' on your mum to make her divorce him, then no reason why you should take pity on him now (even if he doesn't think he did anything wrong originally!) (MANY 'erring husbands' seek to justify their own behaviour, and 'can't understand' why their children blame them - eg, 'Darling, I simply fell in love with another woman.....it wasn't my fault I left your mother! So can't we all play happy families again?' This actually translates as 'I got bored with your mum, another woman flattered me and I wanted more sex out of life than I got with your mum. So I dumped her and abandoned my kids. But I don't want to feel bad about it so I want you to accept this as 'normal' and treat me lovingly blah blah blah)

NOT saying this is your dad, but if it IS, I can see why your mum doesn't want you 'forgiving' him etc etc. But, it is YOUR moral judgement on him all the same - and on her, too.

However, what is a lot less 'debatable' is your mum being jealous of the time you spend on your husband with advanced cancer. Sorry, this is unforgiveable.
Hello all,
Thank you again for all the useful advise.
The situation between my mum and dad is difficult to explain so I’ll just say that even though divorced she still visits him. This can sometimes be helpful but other times makes things more difficult as neither of them has changed so still have the old differences.
My husband is brilliant and still wants me to be happy and tries to do things to surprise me. Sunday he booked tickets as a surprise to go to the ballet in our local town as he knows I’ve wanted to see a ballet and never managed to go. The problem is whenever we do something new together or celebrate an anniversary or annual event I can’t help thinking will this be he last time we do these things together, is this a normal feeling ( I hope so) .
Reading other people’s posts is upsetting but does make me understand that life can be both sad and brilliant at the same time. It shows that people can be so kind while going or already gone through difficult times they still find the time to help others., so thank you everyone it helps just to write my feelings down.