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Resentful caregiver


curlysue50

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My husband helped me so much while I was going through chemo. I have been fortunate to have found a genetically-targeted therapy that has pushed my stage 4 cancer back and maintained stability in areas that have not cleared. When I was the most sick, I was required much care. Now, I am able to do so much more. I still face some issues, weakness and pain in spine and ribs. Occasional vomiting and nausea. Limited lifting ability. But, I CAN drive, get groceries, fix meals, fold laundry, pay the bills, pick up clutter, dust, keep counters clean, make the bed etc....

The issue seems to be as we get further away from my total helplessness, my husband seems to be getting more resentful about me being home during the day and him going to work. He makes snide comments almost every day now when I ask him how his day was. "I am tired, I was WORKING all day you know." He complains about helping with dishes. We have never had a dish washer, and it tires my back to stand a long time to do dishes. I always do my own baking dishes, sometimes do the meal dishes,but when I suggested a dishwasher would make my life easier, my husband said absolutely not and HE would do them. I had no choice but to agree. He tends to let them build up and when he does them there is a lot of huffing and puffing and pot banging to let me know he is not happy about doing it.

Yesterday I put up our cottage for sale. We had gone to a financial advisor at the beginning of the summer. To try and reorganize BEFORE we get into any trouble. I have handled our finances and the advisor said our credit cards were all at our better rates than they could negotiate. Financial advisor suggested we liquidate some our assets and pay off credit cards OR increase our equity loan on our home to pay off all credit cards. My husband refused to increase the loan on our home or to even ask our bank about it. So, I chose the other option of selling the cottage. We have not even SOLD it yet and my husband is telling me he wants to pay off our mortgage with the money. Our mortage payment is much less than credit card payments. He does not know this, even though I tell him this because he does not look at or pay any bills. (Just the morgage because that is at the bank where he goes to deposit his paycheck). Paying off credit cards will free up more monthly money.

When we got married 15 years ago, Jim cashed his paycheck and carried it around in his pocket. Spent until it was gone. Did not carry car insurance which cost us $2500 when he got into an accident. He had bill collectors calling almost every day. I paid everything off and I knew, even though I was not perfect, I should handle the bills. I am the responsible one, when it comes to my financial obligations.

So, to make a long story even longer, and I am sure I could have left out some details, my husband is resenting me being sick and costing us so much money. I feel we should pay what we can and he is talking about filing bankrupcy after I die to get rid of the credit card debt. I MAY LIVE FOR AWHILE! We have to be able to pay the bills until I die!

This makes me feel terrible. I am getting disability through SSI. I will also be drawing a small pension from my previous marriage. That will start next month. I feel like I am the cause of all this and now my husband's comments and actions confirm this for me. How do you deal with this sort of guilt?

Susan

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I am embarassed by my rant from earlier today, but I realize cancer not only affects the health of our bodies, but our emotions, minds and relationships as well. As much as I try to keep functioning as normal, there is much I have not dealt with yet. The same goes for my husband. I was tempted to just delete what I wrote by editing the post, but someone told me I should not censor myself. The frusrtations and guilt are real. I just have to figure out how to manage and cope with them.

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I wish I had advice for you.. But the best I can do is offer hugs prayers and a shoulder to cry on so to say and an ear to listen with always...the situation is a difficult one and I was on the other side as the caregiver.

When Deb was diagnosed we were working in our own separate places but both working in Food service. we made enough to pay bills and stay out of trouble. when she was diagnosed she stopped working because the smell of certain cleaning chemicals and foods were not good to her so she decided to avoid them. I was the sole provider and she was doing what you are doing now... But even through all the years she was the independent one and that made me happy to see her happy. we took short local vacations when we could afford them and did what we could when we could. I bought her a car and got her into Art program at the local college. she took care of the house and I took care of bringing home the bacon and it just worked for us..

can not say for sure what is bothering husband though right now or how to fix it.. I think he needs to enjoy the fact that your are well and doing as much as you can now before you might not be able to. (Long ways off I am sure :wink: )

I know someone is going to come along with great advice on how to handle this but never feel bad about ranting because it will help in the long run to get it out there off your mind Susan..

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Thanks, Randy. I do sometimes hesitate to vent, but as you know, I usually spit it out, eventually. Sometimes I know it is just what I have going on in my head and not the fault of anyone else. Sometimes I know it is someone else's attitude that needs adjustment.

The financial aspects of cancer don't get a lot of discussion, but I know it does have an impact on cancer survivors. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, but paying big bills to stay alive can be a struggle. This week I found out my husband and I make too much money to qualify for the drug assistance program at Pfizer that I thought would help me with my $5000 deductible in January. ( my meds cost $10,050 a month). I am going to look for other resources. We still owe several thousand dollars from 2011 when I was first diagnosed. We have been making payments. I know I am not the only cancer survivor dealing with this. It just makes it hard when I can feel my husband getting resentful. It is hard to work with things we can't control.

I appreciate the support here. It makes it managable.

Susan

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Susan - please vent whenever you want - I truly appreciate it and you for doing so, and always so eloquently. I don't vent much - I tend to keep things in. I think everything you have posted and has hit home with me in lots of ways - so I'm sure there are many others out there who relate as well although they may not be active in posting. I can't remember how many people Katie said "lurk or browse" here everyday, but it was a lot, and we all like to know that we are not the only ones dealing with these problems.

I can't help but wonder if your husband isn't frustrated because in his mind he thinks things should be back to normal now - because you are doing well etc. - but perhaps he just hasn't grasped the fact that the new normal is much different and the old normal is never returning. Because I am on oxygen at least occasionally, my husband knows things are not the same, but there are still times when he just doesn't get it and expects me to be doing some of the things I used to but just can't anymore. I don't think anyone who hasn't been through treatment can completely understand how it can change us physically. I find I can only do about 1/2 of what I used to do. I can either get "some" things done around the house, or I can run a couple of errands - I can't do both on the same day.

I know many of us struggle with finances. I know that most of the people I drive to treatment are struggling financially in one way or another. I started Medicare this month, and am so happy I no longer have the $50 a visit co-pays and huge out-of-pockets -- but I've lost my better prescription coverage and will definitely be dealing with the "donut hole" under Part D. My husband figured he would be totally retired by now, but because of my illness he is having to postpone it a few more years -- that really makes me feel guilty! Have you pointed out to your husband that aside from the higher interest the credit cards charge, the mortgage payment is a tax deduction and if you pay that off you will lose it and will be paying more taxes? Maybe that will make more sense to him. I've always taken care of the finances too - and have worried about how my husband will manage when he has to take over. I finally set up Bill Pay at the bank, to make that easier for him - but there are still so many things about which he hasn't got a clue. When I've tried discussing this type of thing, he really just doesn't want to deal with it.

Thank you for venting - it helps me too.

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I just wanted to send a hug. I don't know if you've tried Livestrong patient navigation but they have access to incredible resources that provide financial assistance and grants for patients. Also Diplomat Pharmacy has patient assistance services. There are so many options that they may be able to help. (((Hugs)))

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(((Susan))),

Wish I had some advice, but I don't . I just want to say that I think it's good to vent and I love the way your share your life, the good and the bad of it because I'm sure it helps others . I just wish more people would come forward and share with you, so that you know you are not alone.

From where I sit, you are amazing and such an inspiration. You are dealing with a big , bad, scary illness and trying to make the best of everything. I find that many men just don't know how talk things out or express their feelings. Many times, I've read stories, such as what you have written, and it seems that some men come across as resentful or angry as caregivers and although their feelings should be verbalized as anger toward the illness itself, their frustrations seem to come out as misplaced anger. I am not expressing myself well, but my guess is that your husband does not resent you or the fact that you are home, he is just angry ( like you are) that your life has been altered and in some ways it probably seems surreal. He probably hasn't let himself think things out in a rational way. He is probably in his comfort zone and just not dealing with it and not really thinking things through. I just hate to see you take his actions or words to heart when he is most likely just frustrated and doesn't want to deal with reality. Please don't feel guilty because you have nothing to feel guilty about.

Wishing you the best in finding a solution to all your financial decisions and I hope you can find funding for your medication.

HUGE HUGS,

Sue

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi my name is Cindy, and I just found out my husband has stage 4 cancer that has gone to his brain. I am confused, because I am trying so hard to talk to my husband and be there for him. But he wont talk to me and when he does its not nice.

He was diagnoised Sept 10, 2012... He had 10 days of radiation to his head, and is on his third treatment of chemo. He doesnt eat, but has put on allot of weight, which I think are the steroids.

But what I like to ask is I feel guilty, that I am not doing more?

I had 2 opnions, and he has had everything you could imagine done to him. I feel why go to another Cancer Center, just to have them poke him again, and tell us the same results.

I am sad, and confused and would appreciate any input here to help me help my husbad.

Thank you,Cindy

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It is a hard road to take we try the best we can for those who need us. all we can do is be there for them and respect their wishes and encourage them on in this fight..

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Cindy please feel free to get in touch with me. It has been 10 years but I did learn many lessons and I hope that some will be of help to you. We all have that frustration and sadly one of the side effects of cancer of any kind but especially lung cancer is personality changes in both the loved on and the caregiver. So much trama especially emotional trauma can cause havoc in a person's life.

I am leaving tomorrow for a long trip but will be here off and on and will check my email. If you write to me please just make sure that you put the topic as LCSC message so I won't think it is spam. [email protected] or [email protected].

God luck and please take care and don't give up on Hope it is the one thing that can keep you going. There is a post I wrote one time called a message for all new caregivers. Please if you can find it and read it until we can communicate. You will a find me sometime on Just for Fun forum. Saddly I have to tell you that we lost the lady who made this original post last week. Lillian

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Hi Cindy - I'm a patient, not a caregiver, but I did want to welcome you here and tell you that this is a great place to come even if just to have a place to vent. There are a number of people here, as you can see from Randy and Lilly, that have been just where you are today.

Please let us know how you are doing. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

Diane

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some of it is the cancer i think talking per se.. Not him especially the bad stuff you refer to. Is this something new since it spread to the brain? How are treatments working? IS CyberKnife an option? guys are different they dont like to talk about their medical condition. I think we see it a s a sign of weakness that there is something wrong with us. we are always taught to be the strong silent warriors and never show fear or emotion all too often. That gets us in trouble. we liek to maintain our pride and dignity and not say there is something wrong with us !!!

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some of it is the cancer i think talking per se.. Not him especially the bad stuff you refer to. Is this something new since it spread to the brain? How are treatments working? IS CyberKnife an option? guys are different they dont like to talk about their medical condition. I think we see it a s a sign of weakness that there is something wrong with us. we are always taught to be the strong silent warriors and never show fear or emotion all too often. That gets us in trouble. we liek to maintain our pride and dignity and not say there is something wrong with us !!![/quote

Hi its Cindy, I am trying to work and be home all at the same time!!

But my daughter is coming home on Saturday to help me out.

Gary going for a CT tomorrow and we will find out if the chemo is working or not.

No he doesnt talk, he is in more pain everyday. I have the patches on his back up to a 100 and now they have him on Oxtcodone. His ankles and feet are swollen really bad.

We went to the doctors last week, and they want to drop the steroids, but I think I have the steroids it figured out where he can sit up and talk with out falling asleep like a rag doll. He is terminal, and I am trying to make him happy. I havent told him how sick he is, ecause I dont want him scared, but after the CT we may have to go there.

I am told I am in denial, but mircles do happen right?

Thanks for the vent, good thoughts and prayers to all of you.

Cindy

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Pain management is priority number one in all cancer cases.. is there any other options besides patches and oxycodone without doing further damage to his system? My late wife was on Hydrocodone for breakout pain and oxy codone for regular pain. Not sure how that would play out with the patches of course though. I hope you get some answers and he gets the needed pain relief... thought and prayers always...

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Pain management is the priority, but it is totally understandable that the best thing is for the pain to be managed in such a way that he can talk and interact as well if at all possible. This must be a huge stress trying to work and at the same time trying to be there for your husband as much as you want and need to - I am really glad to hear your daughter will be there help you. Having hope is not the same as being in denial.

I hope you come here to vent whenever you want or need to. I am keeping you and your husband in my prayers.

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