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So, since I live in one state (three hours away) and my mom and sister who is in her late 40s (and still lives at home) are the ones in the same city as my father. However, during all of the times my Dad has been hospitalized, my sister has never took the initiative to go and see him. My mom doesn't drive (major deduction), but thank goodness, there's public transport available in her area as she must go see him everyday b/c my sister works during the day; however, my sister can give Mom a break at night on her way home (mom has to take two buses home). Mom complains that my sister takes the long route home; however, I told Mom to stop being so stubborn and have my older sister drive her and pick her up at night.

My older sister had to be spoken to by my father's best friend (who lost his wife due to a massive heart attack last year) and tell my sister to please stop being fearful of the hospital and to please go and see him. I was there this past summer and helping my Mom get around for 9 days straight while he was in there during the summer.

So, my sister said b/c he was on medication on Saturday, she wasn't going to go and visit him; however, he was alert on Sunday; however, she didn't take the initiative to go and visit him and it burned me up. She is only 3 years older than me and she's been doing this stunt for as long as I can remember. My mom had part of her lung removed in 2009 and she was in the hospital for two weeks and not once did my sister take the initiative to go and see her. I find my sister is being extremely mean and selfish and it makes her look very bad because the word is spreading around town. My sister has this huge fear that b/c we've lost 7 friends/family members in 2012, and these people went into the hospital and never came out, she thinks Dad will be the sameway. I am way beyond angry and I broke down yesterday and sobbed b/c I didn't tell my companion how sick my father has been. Dad has to go through radiation to see if it's cancer - so that's another burden on me to deal with.

I don't like the way the operation is going and I'm trying to get a report each night about Dad but my sister doesn't e-mail me much unless I reach out to her and when I call Mom after 7pm, she doesn't have much time to speak to me b/c she is so tired and then my sister is in her room in her own world.

I am so angry and upset w/my family that I don't feel like bothering with them at this moment. I do try and get through to my father; however, he can't stay on the phone long just in case his roommate's family is trying to call.

I don't know what to do at this moment, but I have been in tears for the past two days and I wish I could find a way to have my sister stop being so selfish and thoughtless and for my mother to accept Tracy picking her up everynight from her visits to my father.

I asked my sister one time if she were the one very ill in the hospital, how would she feel if Dad never came to see her - Dad would be made to be a very selfish and unkind man.

My sister helps Mom with the housecleaning and getting groceries and stuff; however, Mom is still making her lunches for work (my sister is in her late 40's - this is ridiculous and my sister pays Mom for her "services"). Isn't it about time that my sister moves out of the house?

This is a huge mess and there's nothing I can about it because I'm in another state, but I remember this happened to my late grandfather. He got very ill (he was 89 at the time) and lived 12 hours away by car from us. He had 4 sons and a daughter plus over 20 grandchildren who were over the age of 20 in the same area but no one was helping out. My mom had just retired and spent three months in his town caring for him - that was a mean thing her siblings did - it's the same thing all over again.

Can someone please read this and provide advice? Thank you.

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KeeDee, I'm so sorry to hear about your father's passing. {{Hugs}} to you.
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I'm so sorry your Dad died. It sounds like it was a big shock, which doesn't make it easier. At least his pain is over, but yours will continue. God bless you.
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OP, I just lost my dad two months ago. Mom died last year. I have a "do nothing" brother who lives in another state. He was told 4 days before my father passed that this was it and he said he would come down, well he didn't, until the day after my father died, and caused problems for me.

It was all about $$$$$$$$ for him. I agree with the posters who said to try and not let I bother you and you can't control other people. However, that is easier said than done.

I am in grief counseling now and while it does help, it is not just so easy to say "oh well I can't control them so it doesn't matter what they do or don't do"...it does impact the caregiver when you have no support.

I am civil to my brother for now on the phone, however once things are "settled" I see no reason to have any contact with him. We have nothing in common other than our parents who are now gone, and I do resent how he didn't bother with them much and now they're gone.

I think he feels guilt and rage at himself, as he should. But I don't want to deal with or be subjected to it.

I wish you luck, I also get tired of hearing about how someone doesn't like hospitals...HELLO...it's not about YOU...it is about the person in the hospital...GROW UP and go to the hospital, shame on your sister.
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To all of you out there, thank you for your comforting and soothing words; however, my father passed away this morning.

He had Stage 4 lung cancer which was impossible to treat which caused it to get to his spine and have him not walking. He didn't want to let me and my older sister know b/c he was trying to protect both of us.

I have been going thru the emotions all day and trying to cope w/this sudden and tragic loss; however, with the help of God and loved ones around me, I thank them all for their love and support just like I have done on this website.

Thank you and god bless, I will keep you posted.
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Don't know why your sister has the hospital phobia, but it is a huge burden for anyone to overcome a phobia at all and it may be a little less selfish or lazy than it seems on the face of it. If that helps with the resentment any, I hope it eases your emotional burden just a little!

Also, ask before selling the car. Not knowing Dad's circumstances, many people who can't walk can drive, and even if they need hand controls don't cost as much as you might think.
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Here's a big (hug) for you. I know from experience how stressful it is being out of town and out of the loop.

Call the hospital to find out about your dad. His nurse can fill you in on medical things. This is especially helpful if your family isn't good at reporting or doesn't understand the medical terms, as often happens when someone has cancer. He might have to approve them talking to you, but it's easy once he does. When my dad as in the hospital, the nurse just walked down the hall while I was on the phone, asked him if it was OK for them to give me status updates, he said yes, and that was it. They answered my questions from then out. You might need to call back again if he's not awake when you first call because the nurses might not remember to ask him later. They're busy doing nurse stuff, so I didn't get worked up about that.

Keep calling your dad to offer him your support. He'll probably look forward to your calls, especially if you don't ask for his status (because you got that from the nurse) and just chat with him about daily stuff. Don't worry too much about his roommate. You have as much right to call as the roommate's family does. I wouldn't think chatting for half an hour at a time, if he feels up to it, is unreasonable.

(Hug)
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KeeDee, I don't think you're wrong to resent being asked to bring things from the US to Canada. I don't understand what your reasons are, but I'm sure they are solid reasons. I'm guessing they want you to run around and buy a lot of stuff, then carry a dozen extra bags along with your luggage.

I think you are confused about your relationship with your family. It sounds like you love each other, but that they know how to push each others' buttons, and yours too. You have a lot of sadness about your father, and it gets mixed up in your feelings about your mother and sister. I think a little talk therapy would help you clear up that messy pile of feelings.

When you get clearer about your own desires and your expectations of others, you will see more clearly what is your problem and what isn't. You will be able to tell yourself clearly what bothers you about the requests for imports. You will be able to decide that it is something you are willing to do, or you will understand why you don't want to, and explain to them that you won't do it any more. When it is no longer a hot button for you, you will be able to refuse in a polite manner that they will accept. Saying no is much easier when you have learned how to do it calmly and kindly.

Your situation is very difficult, and you feel so sad and helpless. Your mother and sister aren't doing a good job of caring for Dad, and you're afraid that you might have to give up your entire life to make sure he gets good care.

Don't panic. He may not walk any more miles, but maybe he will be able to stand to transfer into a car. Then he COULD come and visit you. These days, you can get a pretty good tour in a wheelchair. He will be out of the hospital soon, and then it won't matter so much that your sister has a hospital phobia. It's not going to be a rose garden, but it might not be nearly as bad as you expect.

Keep coming here to vent and get support.
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I don't understand why you find it a problem to help out your family once in a while by bringing them cheaper goods from the U.S. when you visit to Canada. That's a small contribution you can make to your family, including your sister who are there all the time doing everything else. You can only control your own behaviour and this is a small way you can help. You can't control anyone else's behaviour and will stress yourself out of you try as it is impossible. Just try to focus on what YOU can do yourself to help and let go of trying to control the others in your family. It is the only way to avoid the stress.
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First of all, ignore what other people in a small town think. Second, your sister has fears that will not play well in the hospital and will upset the patient. Third, radiation does not determine cancer, it is used to treat a cancer that is already diagnosed. Fourth, do not move back and enable your sister's incapacity, nor criticize it from afar. Sell the car without clinging to false hopes. Do what you can to help and try not to control everything, let things work out.
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Thank you all for writing me back. I will have to leave it in my sister's and mother's hands how they want to schedule visits and/or how my mom wants to or not be driven back and forth to the hospital. I'm three hours away - and there's nothing I can do about it.

You see, I live in three hours away but in another country. My family lives in Canada and I live in the States. Food and clothing are a lot cheaper here in the States versus Canada so when I visit for vacation, why is it that they call me constantly and ask me to get this and that for them and I have to haul stuff in my car or when it's wintertime, I have to haul it on the train to get them whatever they want; however, I keep all of the receipts and make sure that they pay up. I just find that's taking advantage of me (e.g., a dozen eggs is over $3 in Canada versus $1.30 here in the US).

I was getting upset b/c if they want me to do this and that; how come they can't come up with a better scheduling process for my Dad? I don't call, I wait until they call me to let me know what's going on. If my father can't walk anymore (the nurse said his chances are extremely low), that means that's another obstacle/challenge to deal with and Mom's thinking of selling Dad's car b/c he won't be driving anymore. The part I'm most sad about now is that he has been anticipating to come and see me since 2012 (way before he got sick) and now, he will never be able to travel anymore either (he's 72). I will miss all of that and now that he's disabled, I'm not accepting it as well. I got married and moved to the US; however, I got divorced after 2.5 years of marriage. I am a Permanent Citizen of the US; however, I feel guilty that now changes are in effect, that I am afraid that my parents are old and that I may have to move back to Canada in order to take care of them which I really do not want to do.

Can someone help me on this one?
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KeeDee, I feel so sorry for you, because you want what's best for your dad. I understand being burned up at your sister. Maybe 20% of the posts on here are about problems with family members not doing "their share."

What CAN you do do help your father and feel better? I bet he would be willing to sign a release for HIPPA, so that the doctor and nurses could discuss his medical condition with you. As JeanneGibbs suggested, calling the nurses' station will probably get you even better information than you could get from your mother or sister.

You talk about your sister "taking the initiative" to go to the hospital. She REALLY doesn't want to go to the hospital! Why would she ever do that without someone dragging her? She is acting rationally, even if we don't admire the result.

When Mom complains about the route your sister drives, you don't have to fix it. Just listen to her complaint, and agree that it's annoying. Listening to complaints is a loving thing to do for your mother. If Mom prefers to ride the bus, that's her choice. You don't have to fix that. It's not your problem.

Forgive me for saying this, but complaining to your mother about your sister isn't the most helpful thing you can do, even though she complains to you about her. It's very satisfying. Believe me, I know! But not that helpful.

It is your problem that you have to get off the phone in case the roommate's relatives chance to call. You can't stay on the phone for an hour, but you can talk for 15 minutes. They can figure out to call the nurses' station if it's an emergency. If someone is spouting blood or being resuscitated, of course, hang up right away, but Dad has the same right to use the phone as they do.

You feel helpless, being so far away. You would still feel helpless if you were there, because he will die someday, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. It is normal to feel helpless, because we do not have control of our destiny. If you can come to accept that, maybe through calling on your God, or the Serenity Prayer, you can be less unhappy and more able to support your parents by listening to them and loving them.

We all struggle with these issues. Good luck to you, and come back and vent as often as you like.
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As usual, I totally agree with JeanneGibbs. You can't change the situation, you can only change how you react to it. I used to be so angry at my brother because he did (and does) nothing for my parents. It was hurting me and not him. I was a wreck and he didn't even know it (or care about it), because he lives in another state. It finally dawned on me that my relationship with my parents wasn't my brother's relationship with my parents, even though we grew up in the same house. I can't make him be the loving child I think he should be. So I LET IT GO. Once I let my expectations go, my anger went and I was much happier. Did my brother change? No. Did I change how I perceived the situation? Yes. Am I much happier and healthier as a result? Yes. Whatever happens between my mom and my brother is between them. I'm sorry he's not more loving towards her, but she raised him, I didn't. I can't change it.

So LET IT GO and you'll be much happier. Your sister's relationship with your parents is HER relationship, not yours. LET IT GO. Do what you can for your parents, but let the rest go.
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First let me say that I do sympathize with you. Your situation is very stressful and you deserve better.

You have hit upon the truth in your post: "there's nothing I can do about it." There is exactly one person in this scenario whose behavior you can control, and that is the one who looks back at you from the mirror.

You have tried to influence your sister. In fact you've tried repeatedly. Unfortunately you have not been able to help her overcome whatever obstacles she has to visiting a hospital. You have tried to influence your mother's behavior to accept a ride to and from the hospital. Trying to influence them was a reasonable thing to do. But you cannot control either of them. Try to let their behavior go. You are not responsible for it.

Continue to call your dad. Try also calling the nursing station for updates on his condition. (You may run into privacy issues, but it is worth a try.)

I understand your stress and unhappiness over this situation, but crying for two days does not improve anything. You wish you could change your sister. You can't. Perhaps seeing a counselor would help you cope with that fact.

Where your sister lives and what kind of an arrangement she has with your mother is really not your business. It is what it is. Stop wishing for change and live with the reality. All of you will be better off.
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