Am I selfish!

Just needed to have a moan. My brother- in-law has had to go into hospital and my husband is his only relative,so it’s down to us to visit etc.He has alot of “issues” and is going to be very dependent on us when he comes out.
This is going to sound like I’m the most selfish,hard-hearted person around but I’m so angry that he’s encroaching on my time.I finished my treatment just over 3 weeks ago & I wanted to spend the next couple of months sorting my body & head out before going back to work,but now it’s all about him & his needs.I feel that whilst I want to support my husband I’ve had enough of visiting hospitals etc.
I’m not sleeping and it’s on my mind all the time.I’m getting ratty & tired & trying not to take it out on my OH.
I’m definitely not going to heaven!
Thanks for listening girls,

Love Little H x

NO ur not neing selfish, you need to look after yourself, and be looking forwards.
If your brother in law is going to need ‘help’ with his living arrangements, then there should be help availablw. Tell the nurses what has happened to you, and how far into your treatment you are. They will understand your limitations, and will know which buttons to press to make things happen. It might help to go to CAB and see if they can help. If your b-i-law has a social worker she/he should be a good one to speak to.
Hope that this has been some help. please dont try to cope on your own, it will only set you back.
I’m at about the same stage of my treatment as you, mx July, rads August/September. Got my prosthesis yesterday, Now waiting to see onc in Nov. and hoping to go back to work in new year (work nights at my local hospital) so need all the energy that I can find!
Let me know you get on
All the best

Hi Little H

No question of selfishness. It sounds as if your husband doesn’t understand what you are going through. It takes around a year to fully get over the treatment. Some days will be OK and some won’t be quite so good. You have to have the time to recover in both mind and body. There’s no way you can look after someone else at present you really have enough on with yourself.
I understand that you and your husband in particular are in a difficult position but as Julia says you much explain both toyour husband and also to the medical staff looking after your brother in law that you really can’t take on his care at the present time.
You need to be very gentle with yourself.
Love and hugs

Jan xxxx

Oh god no yourre not selfish! i cant face my inlaws visiting and have cancelled them as i can not face anyone at the moment and want to concentrate on me and getting better!
No one truly understands the nature of cancer and its treatment apart from other women having it.

Dont feel bad!

Thank you so much everyone for your comments.Only those that have gone through this all can really understand.
It’s as if you’ve given me permission to feel this way & I couldn’t be more touched & grateful.
Good idea about visiting the CAB to see what help there is out there for my b-in-law, to take the pressure of us abit.Also encouraging my OH to go with him to see his GP and tell him just what our situation is.
I’m off to bed now & I hope to get a better night’s sleep now I’ve got rid of some of my resentment.
Thanks again ladies,

Love Little H xx

Little H
I hope you are able to be kind to yourself and give yourself some leeway. Jan’s comments about mind and body are absolutely spot on - this is a complicated illness with complicated treatment and it leaves us all with complicated issues to resolve. You need time and space to support yourself to move on, no one else can do that for you
love Monica xx

No you are not selfish, can totally understand were you are coming from, you still need time to recover only just realising how much time we do need!!!
Hows the hair now and we must meet up soon you can get it all off your chest then!!

love debs xxxx

Hi Debs,

Lovely to hear from you,I guess you’re starting rads soon.You’ve done the really hard part now & hopefully this bit will go quickly,it did for me.
Feel alot better today,didn’t visit my b-in-law,went into Kingston & enjoyed a spot of retail therapy.
I’m not a great shopper as a rule,but the sun was shining & it was nice to forget about everything for a while.
I’ve got my first counselling session at the Marsden tomorrow.They offered it to me during rads & I thought, why not? You don’t know till you try.
Hope to see you soon,

Love Helen xx
…almost forgot…the hair…it’s coming back ok,a kind of light greyish/brown and possibly going to be curly on top! Haven’t worn my wig for a few weeks now & only really wear a hat to keep me warm.

From what you have written, it doesn’t sound as though you are physically or emotionally well enough to offer someone else support. If you overstretch yourself, you will end up very stressed which is not good. I think under these circumstances you have to be realistic and work on getting yourself better before you can give time to someone else. Your husband will have to accept that you can’t go to visit him all the time and that you need support from him too and he can’t devote all his time to his brother, no matter how ill he is because his first priority is you. As for looking after him when he comes out of hospital, there are many systems in place for looking after people in their own home and there are lots of medical social workers who job it is to organise this.

You are not being selfish, you are being sensible and responsible.

Dear Helen - don’t know what to say, but my thoughts are with you. Sometimes we have to do just what is right for ourselves so that in the long term we can give to others.
Love Clare X

Hi Clare,

I think you’re so right in your comment,as you said,I’ll be no good to anyone else if I don’t look after myself.
How was the first couple of rads? Hope your don’t get too tired or sore.
Had my first counselling session today,I didn’t know if it would be my kinda thing,but I’m glad I went.In fact I’m going again in a couple of weeks.
Also seeing the occupational therapist to get some tips on relaxing as I can’t seem to switch off my thoughts at night.
I’ve decided that if things are offered to me I’m going to give them a go…nothing ventured as they say.
Right,off to watch Have I got news,
Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks once again for all your kind words this week,it really has helped.

Love Helen xx


came back to the site today and was intending to go on to our usual site but stubbled across this…why did I come back? Because I was feeling exactly the same as you are and knew that I could find some support here.

Finished rads yesterday and was somewhat disappointed that the hosptial didn’t have banners, ballons ans streamers for me!!! I knew from what others (including you) have said that end of rads doesn’t equal end of it all, rather just the start. You and I have been on this journey together from the start and all our efforts have gone into getting thru the treatment. It seems like others don’t realise that there is just as hard a struggle ahead to get back to where we were before this horible thing struck. The only people who really understand are those who have been through it, so, NO you are not being selfish, you still have to look after yourself and take comfort from the fact that a lot of us feel the same way so it must be quite normal to feel like this.

Lets keep in touch.

Take care

Julie x

PS…my hair is also growing well but very grey. Know exactly what you mean about hats…freezing wthout one.

Hi Julie,

Trust me to confuse things…didn’t know which of our threads to post on:)

Well done for finishing rads,& glad your skin’s holding up,no what you mean about the sense of anti-climax when you finish,maybe we should have been given a certificate :wink:
My skin’s doing really well,almost back to normal colour.Still have a hard lump where the scar tissue is but I reckon it’s looking ok and feel that it’s liveable with.

But what a roller coaster of emotions I’m experiencing,maybe it’s because I haven’t had a period since April it’s some kind of PMT!
Except it’s not really the same is it? Hard to explain how one minute you’re ok then the next fed up & tearful.

My company phoned today & without boring you with all the details said I should start back beginning of November,reduced hours.I said I intended to start back in Jan & my follow up is this Wed.I felt very intimidated & bullied,but as my husband & friend both said “you tell them when you’re coming back to work & not the other way round”
It’s not even as if they’re paying me anymore!

Had my first counselling session last Friday & I thought it was quite useful,booked in for another in about 3 weeks time.Also been refered to the Occupational Therapist to give me some tips on relaxation as I can’t seem to switch off when I go to bed,as soon as my head touches the pillow my mind goes into overdrive,not necessarily thinking bad things…just things!

Well I’ve rambled on long enough…keep in touch Julie,and let me know how you’re getting on.

Clare,hope now you’ve started rads that they fly by & you come through them with no problems.Hope you managed to sort out the cording too.

Love Helen xx

Hi Helen and Julie - I seem to be on a roller coaster also. It is very strange some days I’m really fine and others (like Sunday) I just want to stay in bed and cry. Hubbie was v. good I got breakfast in bed and a box of chocolates. 3rd rad session to-day, it was fine, just a short delay, then in and out in no time.

Helen - sorry to hear your work is not being supportive.

Take care both of you.

Love Clare

Just tried to post this , wrote loads and lost it so will try this and see if it works before I type more!

That’s better.

As I am just about at the end of my tether re waking up and night due to hot flushes and restlessness, I went to the docs today. She was very helpful explaining that the chemo causes the menopausal like symptoms and that I could be like this for up to 2 yeras!!! the good news is that periods could come back but if they do I will only have to go thru it all went I do eventually reach the menopause. She has prescibed a very mild sedative to help with the flushes etc. I was a little reluctant fearing I would become reliant on them, but she said they were very mild and pointed out that if I am not sleeping, it will take even longer to recover.

I needed to do something as I am sick of waking up (every hour last night up until 0500!). So we will see how it goes. She also reassured me that the ups and downs are very common especially after treatment. Made me realize that I am not cracking up but doesn’t really help get over it. We should all be reassured that it WILL however get better and that we just need to stay as postive as possible.

Helen…stick to your guns re work. How dare they tell you when you are fit to return to work, the only person who can do this is your doctor as he/she will have to sign you back as fit. Symptomatic though of those who think that once treatment is over you must be better.

Clare…keep eating the chocolates…you know it makes sense.

Julie xx

Hi Julie - I know what you mean about the restless nights. I’ve had so many bad nights since I was diagnosed in Feb. But yippee - Last night I slept through from 11 pm to 5am for the first time in months it was bliss. My GP has put me on clonidine for night sweats and hot flushes also to reduce my blood pressure. I didn’t think it was working, have been on it for 6 weeks now - but perhaps it just takes time.

I am nearly half way through rads sessions, finish on Nov 4th. Not really sore, just dry, but my underarm area is feeling a bit like it did just after the mx.

Helen - hope things are being sorted on the work front and that you are coping with the stuff to do your b-in-law.

Clare XX