My sister and I are having a very difficult time getting my brother to visit my mother, who has been in the hospital for over two weeks, and in getting him to assist us with her needs.We lost my father just over a year ago and he is still having a difficult time with that. Now my mother has been diagnosed with cancer and is back in the hospital with an infection after her first surgery last month and her first chemo. I know my brother is having a difficult time dealing with all of this but, because of that he does not visit my mother as much as he could or as much as she needs. He also has left everything else to myself, my sister and his wife. I have been spending 10-12 hours a day(not counting the min. 1 hour commute each way) with my mother in the hospital. I also arrange for someone to spend each night with her, talk to the doctors, handle a lot of her needs while in the hospital(getting her to the bathroom, cleaning her, bringing her real food from outside and preparing food, making sure she walks, sits as much as possible and trying to keep her spirits up(which is the hardest part).I have go arrange for the care of my dog while I am gone everyday all day. When I get home I get things together for her to take back the next day, wash her underwear, send update e-mails on how she is doing to family and friends and return phone calls. By now it is maybe twelve at night and I start all over again the next day. Both my brother and sister have spouses and kids. My sister, who lives further away than my brother,comes down as much as she can and has taken off work several times. I moved in with my mom after my father passed and have not worked in over 10 years because of a back injury. I know it makes the most sense for me to do the most because I don't have a family of my own or a job. The thing is, I have sever chronic back pain. After a day at the hospital I am in so much pain that I cannot even sleep. I have been getting so tired that I can't even take my extra pain med. because I wouldn't be able to drive and the past couple of days have been so tired I literally could not walk or talk straight. My brother won't even return my calls when I ask him his schedule for visiting so I can get coverage before and after. When a friend called him to ask when he was going to the hospital so she could make her plans to be there he told her to call my sister. Whenever we ask him when he is going to visit my mom he starts telling us about the kids homework, sports, teacher conferences, parties, concerts, etc.... and says he will have to see what he can arrange, that they are very busy. He know other people, friends and my sister (and also his wife) are going to work,then to the hospital to spend the night and then back to work in the morning. He doesn't seem to mind that everyone else is doing all of this and never offers to help. When I try to talk to him about it he gets very defensive (as does his wife sometimes on his behalf),or avoids talking to me at all by not calling me back or having my sister-in-law talk to me instead.My concern isn't just for me or all the other people who are helping but, for my mother who really needs my brother around also. My mother defends my brother and worries that my sister and I are giving him a "bad time" (which we are not) but, I know it really hurts her feeling and that hurts me alot. How can you not be there for you mother and let everyone else do everything? A friend told me that maybe because my sister and I are caring for my mother that he thinks we are ok with everything and that it isn't hard for use physically or emotionally. I just don't understand his attitude and lack of involvement. I don't want to make him feel guilty and am afraid that he will "go over the edge" if I confront im. At the very least I know he will get defensive. I don't want to hurt him or our relationship but, my mom needs him too and we need his help. This is difficult on all of us, emotionally, spiritually and physically and we should all be working together. The reason I arrange for someone to spend everynight is that my mother has been in a lot of pain and is also very depressed.It gives he comfort to know someone is there with her. It is difficult because she doesn't feel comfortable with just any friend(and she has alot!!! of friends)spending the night (or even visiting right now) so, I have been having to ask the same few people to do it over and over. My brother act put out that he spent 4-5 hours once a week at the hospital but I spend 12 hours a day and others spend all nights. My brother started counseling soon after my mother diagnosis at his wifes insistance. I am also worried that he is going to become ill because he doesn't deal with his emotions and avoids everything going on as much as possible. I shouldn't have to worry about him too right now on top of my mother. I have missed apx. 6 appointments the past two weeks and my brother can't miss a single soccer game. I don't want to be angry but I am. I also don't want to hold this in but am afraid to talk to him and I (we) need his help and my mother needs him too. I love my mother and want to be there all of the time for her but, physically (not to even mention emotionally) it is extremely difficult and I need help. I hate that on top of everything else she is dealing with she is being hurt by my brother hardling ever being there(he seems to think his wife being there is just as good). I keep saying that men just aren't natural care-givers (and to some extent that is historically true) but, I think that we make excuses for some men and figure they just can't deal with illness so we do it all and they let us(I know this is a generalization-sorry). This is just not fair to anyone . We all need to work together to get through this and care and support my mother and her healing and each other. Any suggestions on how to accomplish this and on how to approach my brother would be very much appreciated. thank you (ps-this is my first time on this site,I am sorry this is so long.I am overwhelmed right now.