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Does this seem completely insensitive to anyone but me?

(12 Posts)
FlossALump Fri 03-Aug-07 14:01:18

My MIL made her first visit in about 2 months while I was at work at the weekend. My mum was staying so for the third time ever they met. MIL's friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. My mum had breast cancer this time last year and had a mastectomy. MIL then proceeded to discuss all about her friends circumstances (she has become very involved with this lady, who is it seems her only friend), and talked very negatively about the prognosis and how drugs such as tamoxifen, which my mum is taking in the hope she doesn't get a recurrance are a waste of time. Basically I feel she made my mum relive what was a difficult time for someone who my mum has never met and who MIL seems to be overly involved with. Am I right to be annoyed?

Twiglett Fri 03-Aug-07 14:05:24

yes you are

but MIL will never understand why

Twiglett Fri 03-Aug-07 14:05:49

that's 'yes you are right to be annoyed' (and not yes you are unreasonable)

Jojay Fri 03-Aug-07 14:06:18

Yes, I can completely understand why it touched a nerve with you.

Does your MIL know that your Mum has suffered with this too? I'm sure she didn't mean to be insensitive - maybe she doesn't know all the details of your Mums case???

FlossALump Fri 03-Aug-07 14:09:52

No she is fully aware. And if it were her going through it then I'd feel differently. TBH I'm at the point where I don't want anything to do with the woman and was before this even occured!

grouchyoscar Fri 03-Aug-07 14:10:00

It does smack of your mil being totally insensative and rather self obsessed. You are NBU.

I know how you feel. My 'estranged' mother proudly told me how a school friend's mother was becoming increasingly disabled by Multiple Sclerosis. Then comes across like a knowledgeable neurology expert Yeah, like cheers, just what your daughter with ms needs to hear!

Hope your mum hasn't taken it too much to heart and is on the road to a full recovery.

Lucky13 Fri 03-Aug-07 14:15:55

I think you are right to be annoyed and perhaps explain that it is a sensitive subject and that your mum finds it upsetting. I'm not saying that no-one should talk about it (far from it), but having negative comments does not help your mum keep a positive attitude.

My mum has breast cancer and although it has come back for a second time, i can promise you that for her tamoxifen and other hormone drugs are not a waste of time. Three years ago her current doctor said there was nothing more they could do for her. She moved and changed doctors who changed her drugs and she is still here now!! In fact she was told just yesterday that her situation had improved from the previous time and she has no other treatment than these drugs.

I really believe that getting the right drugs, a good doctor and most importantly a positive attidue is essential. Your mum is bound to feel down, so she doesn't need anyone else to make things worse.

I hope you manage to explain to your MIL the situation and you can tell her from me that these drugs do work!!

Hope your mum stays well.


alicet Fri 03-Aug-07 14:18:18

I think she was being grossly insensitive if she knew your mum had also had breast cancer. However maybe she thought it was OK to vent on like this for precisely this reason - unreasonable of her but lots of people seem to do this in my experience.

Kind of like when strangers / aquaintances see you are pregnant they think that means you automatically want to hear all their horror stories - Er - NO!!!!!

Was your mum upset or did she manage to take it in her stride? Hopefully having been through it herself she is knowlegable enough to ignore these thoughtless comments. If not she will have been given contact details for a breast care nurse at the hospital where she is being treated and could give them a call for reassurance. Alternatively if it is a year since her cancer treatments she should be coming up to a followup appointment soon....

Do you think you could mention to your mil how you think this was a bit insensitive of her?

FlossALump Fri 03-Aug-07 14:24:02

My mum is fab. Although she can see why I am annoyed about it and feels the same way she says it is all fine. All three of us are nurses (mum MIL and me). None of us work in the breast cancer field and my knowledge on it, and mums knowledge on it isn't a lot. neither is MIL's but she believes differently. She knows little but think she knows a lot. Not the best combination IMO and she is obviously forcing all her misplaced opinions on this friend who is probably quite vulnerable right now. Ohhhh it makes me .

FlossALump Fri 03-Aug-07 14:25:15

Lucky, glad to hear your mum has done so well.

alicet Fri 03-Aug-07 17:09:11

Floss glad to hear your mum is OK with it and it hasn't worried her.

Annoys me too when people think they're world experts on something they don't know that much about or 'I found it on the internet' sort of knowledge - we all know what cr*p can lurk there! Particularly bad imo when that person uses the fact they're a nurse to say they know a lot about something when in fact its nothing to do with what they do all the time. Not saying that only nurses do this - I think people in all professions can do but just using that as my example!!! I'm a doc and my family constantly ask my advice on all sorts of things. I am more than happy to say 'sorry - haven't a clue about that - see your gp if you're worried' when its about something I don't deal with all the time!

FlossALump Sat 04-Aug-07 08:53:42

Alicet, you are right! Have been stewing about this again already this morning. Must get over it now!

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