I am sorry for your dad's situation and yours.
I suspect there is an awful lot going on here and the complexities suggest, as Andy does, that we are best concentrating on helping you with positive actions and hopefully people will change as a result of that rather than trying to "fix" people directly or talking about the "why" they are doing what they do.
That being said, your mother is in good health and mind so I would suggest that you do not take her "what about me?" as an urgent call to putting her first. Your father needs the support and help because he is ill and you are the ones best placed to help. She can certainly cope.
Given that, you need a strategy to deal with your mum and dad, individually and as a pair.
I'd like to suggest some things which may or may not be of help. Take what works and discard what does not.
1) See if you can (via your dad's onco nurses) arrange a conference call between your family (you, your siblings your mum and dad) and his consultant to discuss his care. You can brief the onco on the situation in advance and that his role is to hammer home that your dad needs support and not be forced to be the one in the driving seat. See if you can get them to say clinically he cannot overdo it. As long as you get your dad to tell them he is happy with this in advance and the situation is explained to the consultant in advance, I cannot see why they would object.
2) Could you explore options for advice and support from the hospital, McMillans etc. to see if there is any help they can provide to take the load off your mum and dad? Maybe even help with housework and shopping. A naive hope in these time but worth a shot.
3) Work your mum's needs to your advantage. Tell here you would love some quality time with her. Take her out for a coffee or visit their house and say "I want some time with you. My brother will take dad out for a walk". Your dad can then go off with a family member and go to the pub or bowling or whatever. You get the idea. You need to decide whether any grandkids can help here in a safe and positive way.
4) Not 100% about to do this in detail so think really hard but big up to your mum how your mum helping dad makes her a wonderful person. If she can positive vibes from people for helping him rather than making him do stuff, she may change tack for the validation she gets from it. Just make sure she doesn't go overboard with martyring herself.
5) Do EVERYTHING you can to boost your father's self esteem and confidence. You know him best as to how this can be done but every opportunity you get, make sure he knows he is a great person and is becoming a better one every day.
6) In hindsight, probaby do this first!!!! Book an appointment ASAP with a good counsellor yourself (bring your siblings along too if this is possible) and unload everything on him / her and ask them for an honest take on the dynamics of the situation and what can be done short and long term. I have a broad feel for what may be driving all of this and you really need some face to face time with an expert to narrow it down and refine what you can do. EDIT: A counsellor won't advise on what your dad / mum need to do directly as they are not their client and not present but will be able to assess the situation and advise what you and your siblings can do.
7) Finally and importantly, please, whatever happens, do not be hard on yourself, whatever the outcome. It is important to remember that your parents are adults and their journey is theirs. You can help and guide but at the end of the day, it is their choice, individually and as a couple. Don;t let it take over your life.
Edited by member 15 Aug 2020 at 19:37
| Reason: Not specified