My Father in law who is 92 has just been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and is declining quite quickly. My aged mother-in-law seems to be in slight denial and some of the family INCLUDING my father-in-law think it would be better shielding her from the severity of his condition. My husband and I think she should know and I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice or can anyone point me in the right direction for some information. Thanks so much.
This is a tough one because of the age of your parents in law.
I'm assuming your mother in law is also elderly and has no dementia. The Aged Care Line may be able to offer you some isight. They were really helpful when I was needing advice with my 85 year old mother.
The chances are she has insight into the fact her husband's health is deteriorating and the implications of that deterioration. She's probably putting 2 and 2 together in her own way - he is 92 after all. Even some people who are told a loved one's dying remain in denial. It's so lovely her husband is trying to protect her and I'd be inclined to accept his decision.
Your mother in law will be seeing her husband receive treatment as well as his decline. Sit with her and tell her you feel sad to see her husband feel so unwell. She may open up to you...or may not. Times have changed. We talk so much more openly now.
I'm a new widow myself (on the one hand I'm sad for our children and me that he was only 52, but I'm now feeling so sad for your mother in law) and over the 13 months my husband was dying of brain cancer, we were so protective of eachother. My husband didn't want to tell his mother and sisters he was deteriorating. They were interstate. I explained to him that is was really important they knew and I placed the phone in his hand and said he had to call them. I would never have called them.
When my husband's father was dying of cancer he chose not to tell his ex-wife and adult daughters. They hated receiving that phone call saying he was within days of death. Once again, they were in another state and hadn't been witness to the deterioration.
I wish you and your family all the very best.
Thanks so much Tropical,
Im just finding that with no experience at all with this kind of situation we are all at sea and quite frankly frightened. We are all desperately trying to do the right thing but its very difficult, they have been together for so long just the thought of losing her husband would be just unimaginable. I guess we thought that we didn't want to rob her of the chance to say her goodbyes at her own pace?
Thank you so much for your fantastic advice. Im so sorry to hear about your husband. Losing him at 52, I can't even begin to comprehend the pain and anguish of what what you have all been through.
The fact that you have taken the time to sit down and help us when you have been through so much already, has touched me deeply. Thank you Tropical and God Bless
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.