Posted by: henna | 2009/09/09

Stop smoking and father dying

Hi Doctor,

I have tried (unsucsessfully) to stop smoking on 4 occasions now. The thing that gets me is stress, I' d stop for 3 days (managed 3wks at most) and then my stress gets me down. I feel like such a failure to start smoking again, I am mother of a 5 yr old and 1 yr old. Myhubby is overseas for most of the time, my father has cancer (although he never smoked) and he is on his last legs (? he can' t walk any more...). Even my gp suggested that I' d rather try to stop after my dad passes away, I shouldn' t put additional stress on myself for now.

What do I do? I am not coping very well with the fact that within the next few wks my dad will be gone forever. My mom died 15yrs ago and my dad remarried a horrible woman. She is very possesive of my dad - always has been, even his brother and sisters stayed away because of her. She is extremely deceitful and tells lies to keep my children away from him. Last week she told me tearfully that the oncologist said my kids (not my brother' s kids) must keep away because they make too much noise and upsets my dad - which is absolute nonsense as my dad always asks me to bring them. The only time he smiles is when he sees them... he is in SO much pain it is unbearable to watch him wither away.. He was a giant of a man and there is NOTHING left of him... he is a skeleton.

Anyway, I told her my dad wants to see the kids. The next day I phoned the oncologist to double check and she said that she never said any such thing, she would recommend that the children and grandchildren visit him as often as possible - it does him the world of good.
They found out that I phoned the dr and ALL hell broke loose... I was even chased away by her!! This happened on Saturday - since then I have seen my dad every day - she sms' s me and says I must come. Now in front of my brother on sunday she changed her story and said that the dr said it is because of germs that my kids must stay away, not the noise. Now my brother is angry with me??? He even screamed at me on sunday in front of her... I was upset - she knows which buttons to push and unfortunately I became angry at her because she lied again in front of my brother to cover her lies of last week...
There is a calmness now for the sake of my dad, and she said that I must keep the kids quite when they visit and must wipe their hands before they come in.

How do I deal with all this? My brother badmouths her behind her back and he hates her, but why did he scream at me and said that I don' t have respect for her. I don' t have respect for her, why should I lie??? She takes excellent care of my dad - for that I do respect her.. but she lies constantly. She' s disrupted our family for the past 14yrs!!! I didn' t see my dad for many yrs before he became ill (I wrote to you abt a year ago wrt this), I am thankfull for the past year I had with him - I even became a rock for her, we became very close, comforting her etc... and this is what she does??

I am a mess......... what do I do??

Thank you very much... :-)

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Our expert says:
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You need something like CBT counselling to get better ways of handling stress and of avoiding some unnecessary causes of the stress. I understand your GP's point of view, as it is seldom wise to choose to take on even an important and healthy challenge like giving up smoking, when some other major and unavoidable problem is taking up your time and concentration.
Why isn't your dad being seen by a local hospice team or the equivalent palliative care specialists from the Cancer Association ? With very rare exceptions, terminal pain CAN and should be controlled adequaely. And a social worker could help keep the focus on what he needs, rather than on what his second wife wants, which is less important. She is not entitled to have you or your children "chased away", as she seems to be using thios as an opportunity to show her power rather than to genuinely care for the man himself.
And tell her that you will believe the doctor's advice when YOU hear directly from the doctor. Tell her you know that the doctor would speak directly to you and the rest of the family about anything so important. Sounds like she's irritating everyone, including you and your brother. Talk this over with him, so you two can stop allowing her to stir things up between you.

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Our users say:
Posted by: henna | 2009/09/09

Ps: My dr prescribed xanor and stilnox, but I only drink half a xanor in the evenings to help me sleep. I am scared to drink the stilnox because my 1yr old still wakes at night and I am scared I won' t hear her. And: I don' t smoke near my children...

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