Hi ladies,

I'm a year after finishing chemo and still in remission (to my knowledge), I try and do my utmost for everyone in the family,helped to do up 2 buy to let's, look after my 2 year old grandson, 2 days a week and have spent the last 3 days cleaning the kitchen and bathroom singlehandedly in my sons new house, I truly don't mind but my daughter has just said why has it taken me so long?

I'm beyond being angry with her, I just said, because Im old and tired, because I didn't want to pull the C card, sorry don't usually rant like this, is it normal to still feel tired? And am I doing too much?

Anyone else feel like me where we are trying to help out family and act like normal, but maybe we can't do what we used to?

Would like some advice

Love to you all

Carole xx

33 Replies

  • Shame on your daughter we all like to help our families out but there is a limit and it's probably about  time you took some time out and did something for yourself, I have the same sort of thing with my family I love my daughter's to bits and help them in any way I can but they don't seem to realise I have a life and there are things that I want to do for myself and yes it is normal to feel tired we have been through this treatment and at the same time we are all getting older,

  • Thank you, I've calmed down a bit now,but you are right, they don't realise what we have been through and , yes, I'm going to do more for myself, we are only here for a short time and yes, we are all getting older,

    Hope you are well, Carole xx

  • Yes I am well thank you although tired, 4 hours in my daughters garden today and 5 yesterday,just cooked dinner and washing up still sat on the table, what is it with sons and Daughters? Think I'll go on strike. Although I must say I'm glad to be alive and  able to do it.

  • You and me both Hun, love them to bits, but sometimes wonder why they expect so much.I think it's because they don't want to recognise we are getting older and because we have been through what we have,they think if we do all this stuff we are truly well!

    It gets on my bits sometimes, but I'll always be there,but have to say I am thinking on some me time, Dubrovnik next month looks tempting!

  • Oh Carole how I would love to give you a big hug right now but the best I can do is send you a virtual hug. Yes you will still be tired , I am 9 months post chemo and am more tired than ever.I would tell your daughter if she could do any better to go ahead and as for your son  I would tell him to get his sister to help him . The most important person in your life is YOU, so until get used to your new normal just do what you want or are able to do and if it doesn't suit other people tuff. Kittie

  • Thanks Kittie, I go between being complacent and then being rebellious, I was a bit weak when I posted, but now Im like.... U! I too am more tired than ever and have to pace myself, always thought Id get back to normal, but don't know if that's ever going to happen.

    Appreciate your reply, it is just another step in the journey, hope you are well and life is treating you good,


    Carole xx

  • Chemo really depletes your body Caroles1, I had 4 chemos for breast cancer when I was 51 and returned to work about 9 months later.  I remember being on my knees at the end of each day.  I was only 50 so it wasthe chemo and not my age.  

    I would recommend barley grass each day for and a good soak in a bath with added Epsom Salts every few days to remove all the toxins and metals from your system which would have built up during your treatment. 

    I take drid herbs every day which protect me and help with my energy levels.  Look on the HerbActive site if you are interested.  

  • Thanks for the lead on the HerbActive site.  I have been considering the use of barley grass.  A friend believes that taken the tablets the past 20 years has kept him cancer- free. 

  • I am going to look into this, I am desperate to help myself and try and restore some sort of energy and strength level,

    Thanks Mokin xx

  • Thanks Maggie, will take your advice, thanks for replying

    Carole xx

  • Carole, your post could have been mine,   I feel tired at times after having three chemos and rt in the past ten years and also shoulder impingement,  My son thinks nothing of landing in on me with his partner and now almost five year old.  I got the mads on Thurs he came and my grandson had got sick in the car,  He had left his bride to be in town,  She could have popped into a shop and got the child a pants, but no, Gran was the one who ran out to the shopping centre to buy a pants and boxers as the little fellow wanted rid of his yucky clothes.  I feel, I do and do and do and asked to do more,   So now this weekend I have having very little contact with them, They live far away anyhow but the wedding is in a few weeks.  So of the details have to be sorted and they are just zoned out and expect my daughter to do ceremony booklets but havent supplied the names of the readers.  I have indicated my unhappiness with the behaviour but it falls on deaf ears.   The the stress makes you tired.    Our bodies are not the same.  Our families dont want to acknowledge that we feel old and tired.   Some day I wont be able to fix problems for them and I feel its time it was realised.  So making hubby take me out for lunch tomorrow because I am worth it,   I have the wedding gear, not sure about hairpiece but unable to get anything else which matches the dress.   My hair is fine so a big thingy is out of the question,   My doggies will be settled with a petminder so I intend to enjoy the day at the end of the month as best I can. 

  • Hi Suzuki,

    Don't know why my replies to you don't appear!

    Seems we are both going through it a bit at the moment,maybe we should stop being so accommodating, difficult if as I guess neither of us are like that!

    I did make it quite clear today I was having a quiet day and although I have pottered about a bit, I haven't done anything I don't want to do and I have sat watching some mind numbing tv.

    I'm sure you will look lovely at the wedding, another thing we all struggle with I think is appearance and that isn't always understood,but we must grit our teeth and get on,just you make sure YOU enjoy yourself at the wedding and maybe we should both stop making ourselves too available,

    Keep in touch,

    Carole xxx

  • Hi Carole's

    I am 18 month from treatment and still have times where feel exhausted I think a lot of the time we tend to think we'll treatment over back to normal but it doesn't go like that unfortunately our bodies have been battered with chemo we have to find a new normal and as for using the c card tell your daughter try go through what you have and do it any quicker 

    The kids do tend to get the mind set that your ok now so all back to normal.  

    If only 

  • Thanks babsclunn,

    It made me smile,we have spoken this morning,but not argued, I told her very much I was having a chill out day and I so have!

    Thanks for your reply


  • Time to have a grown up conversation. These are adults we're talking about and while our natures as mothers are probably to try to do what we can for them they are capable of understanding what having cancer has meant and the toll it takes. I do feel that if we don't have these conversations that we store up a big pile of guilt for them in the future when they might look back on our lives and think 'I had no idea it was so hard for her'. I think we do our children a big favour by making them confront the ultimate adult issues. They're old enough to hold down jobs, get married and have children of their own and we have to allow them to see us as people with the same needs and vulnerabilities as everyone else. It's not our job to protect them from reality any more and we probably do them a disservice if we do. I've been thinking about this a lot just recently as I've been reflecting on my own mother's life. I was fortunate to have her around for a long time and to know her as a person in her own right but it still makes me very sad when I think how little I understood of her feelings when she was my age and probably struggling with her own problems. So I think the ultimate kindness will be to have that grown conversation, hard as it is.

    Beth x

  • You are so right Beth, my Mum died 6 years ago and my Dad 5 and I so think about them and their lives, I did everything for them being an only child for about the last 5 years of their lives,but I didn't appreciate getting older or Ill until I got diagnosed.

    Going to get them both together and make them aware I still struggle and I do think how we all feel is our new normal,

    Thanks Beth xx

  • What a minefield this all is!

    My pennyworth of thoughts for what it's worth....

    We bring up our children and the expectations they have of us are - at least in part - the product of how we go about this.

    However much they may have been told what a horrid sneaky disease OC is, they probably will still be clinging to a medical model of treatment followed by cure. Everything will fuel that from the TV to their wanting to hang on to you. So of course they want you to be more than normal!

    I think I sometimes overdo it, as it sounds as if you have been doing, partly because I'm not sure how long I'll be around to do so.

    We and they are in a very difficult position and it's not surprising that one or other of us gets it wrong quite often!

    I say this as I've been amazed sometimes at the timing of volatile behaviour and how wide the spectrum can be between bending over backwards and kicking in the teeth.

    But the stuff about extremes isn't just them. I do it too - with healthy doses of resentment thrown in.

    Deep breaths, step back, and remember we may all be adults, but we have, in theory at least, been grown ups longer than them....

    Easier said than done......

    Best of luck with it all and stay strong xxx

  • What wise words, I agree it is a minefield and if anything Im glad I posted this because it's better said and it makes us all think, it is a very emotive subject.

    It's made me realise what a valuable supportive tool this website is and I thank you for your reply

    Take care

    Carole xx

  • Hi Carole

    I am six years from 2surgeries in quick succession for a borderline tumour...so no chemo was needed. I still feel that I am improving , but a year after treatment finishing there is no way I would have been able to do what you are doing. I was 47 at the time and very fit and healthy. 

    Sorry , but your family need to get real. These diagnoses, massive surgeries and brutal treatments take ages to get over. They give us back our lives but these lives are simply not the same. Tell them as lovingly as you can , you look the same as you used to , but recovery takes ages and ages and ages.

    I wished I could give you and your family a big hug...it's so scary for all concerned.

    All my love xxx

  • Thanks Charlie,

    It's such a relief to know others in the same boat think I'm doing ok, I know I am, but I do pace myself, since I know my limitations,

    I wish you well,

    Carole xx

  • Hi Carole,  

    I'd like to think it's because you are strong and stoic that they just don't see how badly the chemo has depleted your natural reserves. I'm pretty sure that's how it was with my family. I also think they so badly wanted me to be cured and put the cancer behind me, it suited them to think that way. I was so busy trying to get on with life and to normalise things that they didn't see how much it took out of me. They still expected superwoman energy! 

    Once I recurred fortunately  (or i suppose overall unfortunately ) they had a big wake up call. Now they fuss so much they suffocate me! I used to teach energy conservation as part of my job but now everyone nags me about doing too much. Argh - I am a grown woman who can choose to do a little too much even if I pay for it. It feels like just because I have this bloody disease that everyone is entitled to microanalyse my life and give their opinion! Goodness, we have had so many choices taken from us, let us have control over what we can and can't do. They feel hurt by me saying that and say it's only because they love me that they nag me! 

    So I guess the moral of the story is, its hard being on both sides of the fence in this world of OC.  

    I do hope though that they begin to see reality and have a little more consideration for you. 

    Sandra X x

  • Thanks Sandra,

    It's funny the 2 opposites isn't it?, yes I do look well, so I suppose they all think Im back to normal, but we all know that isn't always the case, I am going to make more effort into not feeling guilty for being tired and doing more for me.

    From one Superwoman to another, let's just get on with living and making the most of every day,

    Love Carole xx

  • It certainly sounds like you are doing a lot. My daughters were great it was my mother who didn't get it, guilt tripped me into going round earlier than I'd suggested and wasn't even up yet. And she wasn't alone, my sister was there, also not dressed, at 10.30am. I was tired for a year after first line with carbo/taxol and the big op but not so bad after second line with gemcitabine and carboplatin. Hope you get some understanding and more energy soon. Perhaps you could do more for yourself. Are there leaflets from MacMillan that explain the fatigue. I find it's more than tiredness and people don't understand that. If it's tiredness we could pull ourselves up and carry on a bit but the fatigue is so draining there's just nothing there.

  • Hi Lesley,

    Yes I feel like I'm running on empty,I think if it had been a gradual lack of energy and strength due to age it would have been more acceptable,but I learnt on a fitness course I went to for Cancer sufferers that we loose a huge amount of muscle due to disease and chemo.

    We were asked how we feel climbing the stairs with a load of laundry?,getting up from a squat position, with nothing to grab on to.

    It's weird how some people act towards others that are ill, I don't like disingenuous people who give outpourings of concern and tell you they will be in touch and then you don't hear from them.Another course told us to get rid of the dead wood and I'm just now doing that, difficult if it's family members!!

    Thanks for your reply,

    Carole xx

  • When my doctor asked me how I felt, I told him good, but I have a new norm.  I don't  judge myself by what I use to be able to do. I feel quilty because I can't do more. My family is very understanding but I feel they think, as I did, chemo is over and I should get back to normal. It's not that way, now I just feel thankful I can do somethings in a smaller way. You have a boat load, don't be afraid to tell them your not up to so much. Best wishes for continued remission. 

  • Thanks Bluehen,

    Taking all the advice on board,trying not to feel guilty,wish you well

    Carole xx

  • I found I did get my energy back after a while. After first line early in 2011 and second starting October 2013 I was walking the Pennine Way last year, just one or later two days at a time. It was a bit delayed as I broke my arm in May 2014. Don't give up on the fatigue eventually going. But yes do spend less time with those who don't understand and don't listen when you say how you feel. I'm 67 by the way.

  • Well I have been brought down to earth with a bang for quite a different reason.  A lady who runs free dinners for those in need asked for help for a young Mum on social media yesterday.   This Mum was renting a house and since house prices are on the up,the landlord had her out so he can have a quick sale and profit,   So the Mum was rehoused by a local authority in a Travel lodge near me.   I am just back from visiting her and bringing her basics and stuff for school lunches tomorrow,   So she and her three children are living in a family room in this travel lodge for the moment.   Well I am inspired by the Mums ability.   Now I didnt want to encroach on her privacy so declined to enter, as I felt it wasnt fair on the kids.  But from what I could see, she is just excellent.  The room itself was spotless and she said she had just made the children shower.  It was heartbreaking to see people living like this but inspiring to see her ability in the few minutes I was with her.  Unfortunately there is going to be an increase in homelessness not that it is pretty bad at the moment.    So I have decided to thank my lucky stars to have a home.   I have read the replies and yes it is a good idea to sit down and talk clearly and calmly about what I can or cant do at the moment.  If we dont speak out our family wont realise the way we feel,  Yes I have also dropped friends who were energy vampires because if I dont have respect for myself and my opinions nobody else will,   Sorry for the speech hope everyone has a good week.

  • You are a good lady,When it was very cold and I had my house to go back to,I had in my mind anyone who is homeless.when I go up to London for my checks, there is always a young woman, very dirty and homeless sitting out in Oxford Street,she is very educated but has obviously fallen on hard times.I always give her money and wonder how she came to that,so,yes, I consider myself very lucky even on my worst day.

    The energy vampires are too draining to waste our energy on, we need to have a certain amount of selfishness, but not enough to make us hard and thoughtless.

    Wishing you all the best and thank you all for your thoughts and care,


    Carole xxx

  • Ugh. I am two and a hAlf years post treatment. Had to retire and  still struggle every day. I have one friend that won't give me an inch. Thinks I need to do better. I am tired of being tired. I would love my old life back but reality is I am chronically anemic and fight to stay upright. Ha! This friend cuts me no slack and I am tired of her. She is about to lose me as  friend. Even my doctor admitted I have been through the wringer and probably am as good as I will be. I am alive. I am happy and, frankly, just don't care to hear from this friend much. This fatigue is my reality. I have adjusted my life so that I can enjoy what I can do. I have finely realized I am not the problem. My friend is the problem. I wish you health and happiness. Those that cannot appreciate our condition probably did not appreciate us before us being sick. 

  • Here,here,

    As I probably said, get rid of the dead wood it only brings you down, I am sure, like me you have friends and family that have been there for you and they are true friends, don't let the others drain you, you don't need them and you won't miss them they will miss you,

    Best to you, Im having one of my strong,stroppy days lol!

    Love Carole xxx

  • Carole,  read your post an just wanted to send you a hug , you sound  a brilliant mum an nanna lots of love Carole , remember to make time for yourself too xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thank you Flower,

    I hope I am,I try my best it's all I can do,

    Lots of love,

    Carole xxx

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