Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My Family

Now I first published this post on 8th May 2013 and apologise to those of you that read it then ........

As no, nothing has changed in it.

I actually took it off my blog as my sister sent me a get well card - six weeks after my operation  seemingly as a result of what I'd said.

Great you say ....... you got through!

 No, I'm afraid not. She wrote a critical message which inferred  I was making a mountain out of a mole hill about the lack of communication between us and washing my dirty linen in public.

She'd clearly told my parents as well.

Soooooooo I did what I do best at and came down below the parapet and took the blog post down to avoid any conflict!

Yes I'm a coward and hate conflict. (Except where OH is concerned apparently ...... so he says!!!)

OH was cross that I had (taken the post down) and on reflection I feel I was too hasty but at the time I thought that I'd gone too far and that they'd been hurt by it and perhaps change and call/visit.

On the other hand I though perhaps its me that needs to change ............

Anyway nothing changed .........I met my parents twice in a pub for a total of three and a half hours, and both times it was very strained. They avoided mentioning the bastard cancer and changed the subject when I mentioned it.  (thank goodness for The Ring of Bells!) 

My sister did her duty and phoned briefly on Christmas Day but avoided asking 'how are you?'

My mother left an answer phone message the other day and mentioned the annual Easter visit to Devon in passing ....... of course there was no 'will we see you that week?' or 'are you at a market nearby?'

So bollocks I thought!

I realised nothing has changed so that's why I'm publishing this post again. Its all part of my dance........ which is slowly coming to an end!

I started this post just after Easter and I've thought long and hard about whether I should publish it. I found it cathartic at the time just to write it. To some it might appear that I'm washing my dirty linen in public but I've decided that its my blog, my journey and my family.

I'm sure it seems strange to some that I haven't mentioned my family at all since I started this blog and when I was interviewed by Fitz on Radio Devon he did mention family in a question which I side stepped as I couldn't say that they'd given me support. What could I say?

After I'd been for my second scan and biopsy I phoned my parents who are in their seventies to let them know what was happening, my dad answered the phone which suddenly seemed to become a hot potato and he handed it to my mother 'because she'd like to hear about it'. Now my Dad is having some heart problems and I asked him about his latest hospital visit but he'd already passed the parcel. My mothers first reaction was 'have you told your sister?? ' 'No' why should I tell my sister when nothing has been confirmed and as we don't get on that well there's no point. 'She gets so upset about these things and when your father was last rushed to hospital she was in floods of tears and I had to speak to L. (her 16 year old daughter) She did manage to say she was sorry to hear my news before then telling me about someone she knew who was 73 and asked for a scan which picked up a lump and resulted in 7 weeks of radio therapy , adding that it involves going everyday and you have to go to a hospital that does it. Yes, THANKS Mum thats all I need to hear.

On the day of my diagnosis I phoned her to tell her the shit news and her first question was 'have you phoned your sister?' 'NO'! (I bloody well haven't). We then had the she gets so upset conversation... in the end I said it was probably best that as they were staying in a holiday let together over Easter that she told her after a glass or two!!

Her next call was on my loss of positivity day. OH answered and she did ask how he was and he told her that we were having a bad day, handed the phone to me and she didn't ask how I was but just discussed the weather and what she'd been doing and how a friend who'd had cancer years ago still had problems where her lymph nodes had been removed. THANKS Mum.

On the way back from the hospital after seeing the registrar I phoned her to let her know my operation date and guess what the question was??? ........No I haven't phoned my sister. She then said that she'd phone her that night because although she'd considered not telling her until after I'd had my operation she decided that perhaps although we didn't get on she might like to talk to me about. Yeah right. Oh, and she managed to tell me about someone she knows who had a lump removed and and lymph nodes but then amazed the consultant by being able to lift her arm and move it normally after such a short time blah blah blah. THANKS Mum.

When we got home OH phoned my sister and told her the news and she said she was sorry............ but didn't get upset!

For years every Easter my parents and sister and her family stay in South Devon for a week. We used to drive down and visit but due to work and more recently markets we haven't been able to for sometime. They have never made the trip to us and this year we texted my Dad and niece to let them know that we were 20 miles down the road at a market on easter Sunday, hoping that they'd pop by but got a phone call at lunchtime to say they'd only got the messages due to no signal in S. Devon! and due to the fact that they were out walking and their was a landslip etc etc.  Wouldn't be able to make it.

Today my mother phoned to say they'd just got back from Devon and she thought she'd just phone before unpacking etc. There was no, how are you? how are you feeling? straight into how cold it was in Devon (Hello yes I know we live in Devon) and what they'd been doing all week!

I suppose everyone deals with things differently and I've got used to the fact that my family don't come to visit but I had hoped that they might pop by this week.

Since writing this I have spoken to my mother on several occasions. During one conversation she mentioned that she'd booked to go for breast screening. When I asked if it was because of me, her response was no she'd been thinking about it for the last month. Coincidence then! Other than that its always the same old conversation about the weather or the garden or that they are coming down to S. Devon in May and perhaps we could meet for lunch somewhere!

On one such occasion I snapped and got very angry with her and had a rant. Her response ' we do care about you' and 'we see you when we come to Devon'. We only see your sister at Easter, in August and at half  term .... that will be 3 weeks then! Yeah right..... and you see me for one and a half hours once maybe twice a year in a pub and still making excuses about not coming to stay.

I give up............. perhaps they do care in their odd way but they seem to be in denial about my bastard cancer.

Oh and my sister? No she hasn't been in touch................

So thats my family!


  1. Hugs to you. I understand how cathartic writing it down is. Families are such strange beasts aren't they? You could always name the fuckwit after your sister ;-) x

  2. Thank you lovely lady xxx hugs back and thanks for making me laugh with the fuckwit comment!!