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Need advice!!


Unfortunately we just found out that my husbands youngest brother has cancer and is only expected to live for maybe four months. The poor guy is only 45 and has three daughters. Two are older 22 and 18, but the youngest is only 4. So it's very sad for all of us.
The thing I'm having trouble with is that his side of the family doesn't want to tell they're mother who is 85. She has 7 kids in all and this is her baby. I don't understand how they can keep such a thing as her baby dieing away from her, but it isn't my place to brake that kind of news to her, especially when the rest of my husbands family don't want anyone to tell her. I did get a little mad when we were told this by his sister and said what are you going to to wait until he gone and then let her know, or wait for her to find out about it from someone else. I know her sisters kids will find out about this with the way his family talks to others and if she hears this bad news from her sister and not from her own kids, all hell is going to brake lose. I'm hoping that after this bad news settles with my brother in law he'll come to his senses and tell his mother on his own. That way she could at least spend some good time with him before he does pass, but what if he doesn't. I can't face her knowing what I know and not being able to tell her. I just don't know what to do. I tried talking to me husband, but he just tells me it's up to him whether or not to tell her. What would you do if you where in my shoe's??
Aug 28, 2010 @ 09:16 am

9 Replies

Ali de Bold

There's nothing you can do

I'm so sorry to hear this. This is such sad news. I feel terrible for your family. Unfortunately though I agree it's a really unfair situation, it isn't your call. Your brother in law should be the one to make the decision. I agree it isn't right to keep it a secret but it is their right to make that decision.

Your job right now will be support. Make his last months as comfortable as possible and keep any family drama to a minimum. His poor kids!
Aug 28, 2010 @ 10:43 am


Ali, I just hope after this all sinks in he does tell his mother on his own. I know I would have a hard time telling my own mother something like this, but I sure wouldn't keep it from her. I just don't want to lie to his mother when she calls me. I hate to be lied at and always do my best to tell the truth even if it made hurt someone at first, I feel it's better to be truthful from the start. I guess for now I'm just going to have to find a way to talk to her with out saying a word about this to her and say a lot of prayers.

Aug 29, 2010 @ 11:17 am


Takoda:I'm sincerely sorry you are going through this.It sometimes is so hard to have a spouse that comes from a large family the dynamics are that there are always different personalities in larger numbers.There is nothing you can do because if you do say something you will have some angry family members and that will create so much more tension.As a mother even if I was 102 I know I would want to know if my child was ill I dont care how frail and sick I am I would want to be there for my son and be able to say goodbye to him.I also would know that my son would want to have his Mom there for him what child doesn't want there Mom when there sick and can you imagine knowing your passing away you need your mother !So that being said personally I think its wrong they are keeping that from her Im sure it is madding for you.The second thing is sorry but when he passes away what will they do then?They have to tell her at some point and I would think shes going to be very upset and distraught that no one told her.(The only exception would be is if she has Alzheimers and remembers nothing then I could see why they would keep it from her)Is your brother in law who is passing away one of them who doesn't want her to know I sure hope he realizes that he should have the chance to tell her himself and be able to have his goodbyes with her.Hang in there Takoda it may work out things have a way to sometimes work out the way they should.At this point just be there for support for your husband,brother in law and his Mom and his children.I'm very sorry your going through a hard time right now take care Takoda.
Aug 29, 2010 @ 02:24 pm


So sad! Thanks for sharing, Takoda - it's such a tough situation and we want to be there for you, even if it's just online :)

I agree with what others have said - it is your brother-in-law's decision and while I don't agree with it, I have a lot of sympathy for his situation right now. He's in shock and can't make certain decisions with clarity. He probably wants one small thing to remain normal, and that's his relationship with his mother. I can understand that.

Eventually though, he'll become so ill that his mom will realize something's going on (unless she's ill herself) and then he'll have to tell her. Is his mom the type who'd spend these last weeks/months sobbing every time she sees him? Or would she take things in stride? If it's the former, he won't want the additional stress of having to comfort his mom. If the latter, then he absolutely should tell her so she can be a comfort to him.
Aug 30, 2010 @ 08:51 am

sorry to hear that!

I know what you are going trough right now and it's not easy.
I lost my mother-in-law 2 years ago from ovarian cancer and even today I still can believe hthat she's not with us anymore.

It must be so hard for you to live that and knowing that his mom doesn't know anything! I would say like the others that it's not your place and even tough I wish I could say some stuff to my in-laws, you are always the one to be blamed after! Maybe the only reason I would see for not telling her it's if she's ill herself. My mother-in-law was 52 when she passed away and she was an only child. Her parents were still alive but not well. her dad passed away the day before my wedding and 2 months before his own daughter! It's hard for parens to loose children and harder when it's your only one. I do hope that they told her before he dies because it's not after that you want to spend time with that person but before.

Best of luck for you and your husband in that hard time!
Aug 30, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

Thanks you all

for doing your best to help me through this. I've only bin apart of the Chicks for a few months now and it very comforting to know you all care even if we don't all know each other on a personal level. You are all wonderful friends to have by my side.
As for his mother, she's got all of her faculties

about her, she's just old and this is her youngest baby that she's treated as a baby all of his life. I found out yesterday from his sister that she has said in the passed, if he was to die it would kill her. So that's another reason why he and the other kids don't want her to know. They don't want to be responsible for they're mothers death on top of losing they're little brother. I can understand where they're all coming from now that this is starting to sink in. I think I was just in shock when I first heard and was only thinking about what I would do if it was me. Thanks to all of you reminding me I now know that I can't do that and I see that now. This is all up to him, after all it's his life, not mine. I'm sure if she's mentioned that something like this would kill her in the past that she would fall apart if he was to tell her. Then she'd be constantly calling him crying, something I'm sure he can't deal with right now. We are also beginning to think that deep down she knows in her heart that he is dieing and just doesn't want to say anything to any of us and make it come true. What mother wants to believe something so bad is happening to they're child. I know even though I would want to know if one of my sons was dieing, I still wouldn't want to believe it at first. It's just not suppose to happen that way. The other six kids have decided to have a benefit party for him to raze some money so he doesn't have to worry about anything in his last few day with us. So that's going to help him out, but it's also going to help all of us out, just knowing we've done every thing we can for him while he still with us. It was suppose to be a surprise, but one of the kids went to visit him yesterday an told him on us. At least now he really knows that his brothers and sister really do care about him.
I will let you all know how things are going as time goes on. I can't thank all of you enough for helping me get through this, Big Hugs to all of you.

Aug 31, 2010 @ 07:12 am


Thats great that all the family is pulling together and having a benefit party to help your brother in law out.That will bond your family and make them stronger.It will also be a big stress relief for your brother in law to not have to worry about things financially so he can relax the best he can and spend quality time with family at this time.Take Care Takoda.
Sep 01, 2010 @ 05:49 pm

There's always a chance...

that he could pull through. Sometime when doctors put a timeline on death people overcome and live years longer and healthier than expected. It's always super hard to go through something like this and maybe they just didn't want to upset their mother. I hope the benefit goes well and everyone gets to spend time together and bond.

I wish your family all the best!
Sep 02, 2010 @ 12:11 pm


Thanks for your thoughts and good wishes, but we know there is no chance of him over coming this. He's only 70 ponds if he's lucky and they told him he's not healthy enough to even have treatment. So we know the Dr is right this time around. I do know what you are saying though, my sister in law beat breast cancer a few years ago and my Aunt had a huge cancerous tumor next to her heart about 30 years ago and she was able to beat it as well. So in some cases it can be beaten, unfortunately just not in this case.
I know now that the reason he doesn't want his mother to know is because she has said in the past that it would kill her if something ever happened to him. He's bin sick in the past with other things and that's when she told her daughter and him this. She 86 now and they don't want to end up losing her on top of losing him. Unfortunately she's going to find out when he is gone, we can't very well not tell her that he died. I just hope when this does happen that we don't end up losing her right after him like she said would happen.
Any how, I'm doing better now that this has sunk in more and I've had all of you to talk to about this.
Thank you all so much for all of your help.
Sep 03, 2010 @ 10:57 am

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