Friends with no boundaries

5 Posts | Page(s): 1 

Friends with no boundaries

by CarryingOn on Thu May 24, 2012 09:19 PM

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My husband has metastatic cancer. We have a friend who phones us every day during treatments and procedures to check on us. We're both typically exhausted (duh) and/or dealing with effects of chemo (report doesn't vary much), and I'm not much of a phone user under the best of circumstances. I do believe he is mostly showing that he cares, but I also think he wants to be uber involved with our process (he runs various cancer support groups in our area!) and is a bit nosy. I don't even check in with close family every day! He can text but doesn't seem to want that to be our mode of communication. I think a bold and jarring approach is needed with his personality or he won't get it. I don't want to hurt his feelings or ruin a friendship, but any suggestions on getting him to back off? My current approach is not to return every call. He has also showed up at the house unannounced. I told him that he should phone first, but the next time he showed up he phoned from the driveway! My husband wanted to see him, so I let him in the house. I am truly uncomfortable about his intrusiveness. Thanks for the help!

RE: Friends with no boundaries

by Sdurnell on Thu May 24, 2012 09:32 PM

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On May 24, 2012 9:19 PM CarryingOn wrote:

My husband has metastatic cancer. We have a friend who phones us every day during treatments and procedures to check on us. We're both typically exhausted (duh) and/or dealing with effects of chemo (report doesn't vary much), and I'm not much of a phone user under the best of circumstances. I do believe he is mostly showing that he cares, but I also think he wants to be uber involved with our process (he runs various cancer support groups in our area!) and is a bit nosy. I don't even check in with close family every day! He can text but doesn't seem to want that to be our mode of communication. I think a bold and jarring approach is needed with his personality or he won't get it. I don't want to hurt his feelings or ruin a friendship, but any suggestions on getting him to back off? My current approach is not to return every call. He has also showed up at the house unannounced. I told him that he should phone first, but the next time he showed up he phoned from the driveway! My husband wanted to see him, so I let him in the house. I am truly uncomfortable about his intrusiveness. Thanks for the help!

First of all, does your husband feel the same way you do?  Or might he appreciate the attention (even though a lot of the work of it falls to you).  Just wondering.

I learned to use my cancer to my advantage.  For instance, it got me out of jury duty (couldn't fit that into my radiation schedule, and probably wouldn't have been able to stay awake anyway).  This is the perfect time to use the big C.

Tell him that your husband appreciates his visits, but sometimes the exhaustion is just too much for him.  He needs to schedule visits AHEAD of time, not from your driveway.  And he is often just to tired to talk on the phone.  "Since you know so much about cancer, I'm sure you understand how exhausting it is to talk on the phone, let alone have visitors.  Could you give us a call just once a week, and then we could set up a time for a visit?"  Or some such request. 

And I like your solution of not returning every call--"just too busy and tired" if asked.

Susan

RE: Friends with no boundaries

by CarryingOn on Thu May 24, 2012 09:44 PM

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Susan - I love your suggestion on what to say to him. Thank you! Good question about my husband: he does like the attention and the visits, but doesn't/can't talk on the phone much either. I told him we needed to compromise on the level of the friend's involvement in our life since it does fall on me to be the communicator/hostess. He says he understands my position and supports whatever I need to do. I've just been at a loss on how to deal with this situation.

RE: Friends with no boundaries

by phredsilas on Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:37 PM

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Wondering how your husband is doing now that some time has passed and if you have been able to deal with what you felt was the intrusiveness of the friend?

 

RE: Friends with no boundaries

by matlar25 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:46 PM

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Wow.  First, a little about me.  My first husband died from primary brain cancer, I remarried and now, my husband has metastatic kidney cancer.  He is undergoing interleukin 2 as I write.  I learned alot from my first experience and vowed not to do those things on the second.  So here goes:

When my husband was diagnosed and was to have surgery - I told people I didn't want anyone to come to the hospital during surgery or to visit.  I explained by saying that people in the hospital are sick and they are discharged home sick.  They don't need visitors.  I am a registered nurse and have been so frustrated when I need to give a patient a treatment, or get them up to the bathroom or whatever, and a "concerned friend" shows up unannounced bringing smiles and cookies.  The patient and his weary family did not want their visit, but felt obligated to allow them in.  I became a real gritch in telling these visitors that the patient couldn't have visitors at this time and I would deliver the cookies for them.  Always with the families approval of course.  I know that many people want to be involved and are very well meaning - wanting to bring meals, give comfort etc. But, sometimes, the best thing they can do is to send a card sharing their support. 

If the visitor makes your husband feel good, then do it. But talk to your husband - maybe you can set aside a certain time of day for a visitor to come by. Otherwise, I would tell people that it's just not a good time to visit.  You can open a caringbridge account and give day by day accounts for those who need to know everything as it happens or start a blog.  IT is good for you to have someone you can count on to be there for you when you ask them to. I am fortunate that my friends understood and assumed that I knew best in the situation.

The most important people to be around your husband is your family or his close friends.  Maybe they can come visit and give you a break so you can go take a long bath, or have coffeewith a friend.

I hope this helps some.

Feeling your pain!

Jan

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