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BIL has terminal cancer, Just told my nieces..

(41 Posts)
gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 20:16:35

My wonderful brother in law has pancreatic cancer and has come home today in an ambulance to die. He is 40 years old with 4 girls under the age of 12. I can hardly believe it let alone write it. He had the tumour out a year and a half ago and he was flying it. He had a check up in Jan, all fine and in April he felt sick and they gave him 3 months to live, liver secondaries....

How can this happen....we can clone a sheep but can't cure this aggressive cancer.....He was getting chemo but yesterday they told him he would be dead in 2 weeks....(BTW he didn't want to know...they told him anyway...)

We are all decimated.... I feel so angry... He is such a beautiful man, life and soul of every party... he is in our family for 20 years, my sister and him were child hood sweethearts and all our family's went on holiday together, had christmas, etc together, there will be such a gap in our lives and I can't imagine him dead......

My 2 older nieces are dumbstruck and distraught and we have yet to tell the 6 year olds......

How will 4 girls marry without there dad.....I'm sorry about the long post but if you knew my BIL you would be in tears, people who have hardly met him are crossing the road to tell me how devastated they are..

I've been watching OJ and how strong she has been for Steve and her family and I really don't know where we will find the strength for my sister and her kids....sorry for rambling, I needed to get it off my chest....

constancereader Fri 04-Jul-08 20:18:43

God I am so sorry to hear this sad

Blandmum Fri 04-Jul-08 20:23:21

My dh died of this 10 days ago, he was cremated on wednesday. Have they offered your BIL any treatment? My dh lived a year longer than they initially gave him

he was initially given 3-6 months . He lived a year and a half and we had good time together

Goober Fri 04-Jul-08 20:24:17

Lost my lovely Mum to terminal cancer this week. She was a very brave lady.
It is the saddest thing and there are just no words.
I flip between Mrs.Angry who is aggressive and nasty to floods of tears the rest of the time.
So sorry that you are all going through this too.
I feel for you.

NorthernLurker Fri 04-Jul-08 20:26:06

I'm so sorry to read your news. I don't know what to say except that you will find the strength you need and your nieces are losing their dad, your sister is losing her soul mate but their whole family will hang together and be there for them because of him, for him.

gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 20:31:48

Thanks for your replies, mums netters are fantastic, you never feel alone. Yes, MB they have done everything they can for him, he has lived over a year since his inital diagnosis... In fact they were not even going to operate in 2007 as they felt it was too risky???? But they did and he has been brilliant up until 2 months ago and I have never seen a person go downhill so fast.
I went down the alternative route with him trying everything from essiac to Zeolite but it is sadly not to be. The pallative care team kick into action today and my mum is a nurse so he is in great hands but I hate this pancreatic cancer so much there seems to be no hope...5% of people with pancreatic cancer only survive... I really thought we could be the 5% but we won't

gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 20:34:45

I'm gonna post a photo of him with my little boy. It was taken less than 2 months ago.. we had no idea than.... in fact we planned our family holiday that day and yes thankfully we took that last week in Cornwall and although he was very ill he made it....I think he held out for it actually..

Blandmum Fri 04-Jul-08 20:34:49

He needs to get linked up with the palliative care team in your area asap. Does he have access to a hospice?

Does he have any views on where he wants to die? Dh wanted to be in the hospice to save the children from the more unpleasent aspects.

This is something that your BIl and SIL need to discuss asap.

Dh's end wasn't 'easy', but it was pain free, thank god, and I was with him at the end

Blandmum Fri 04-Jul-08 20:36:43

dh became satonishingly ill in the last month of his life, whith the last week being even faster.

A week before he died he had a balloonn trip, on the friday before he died, we managed to get him his MBE presented.

But the end was very swift.

Did the children not know in advance how ill their father was?

gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 20:42:59

Hi Martian Bishop, He wants to die at home and we are hoping to facilitate that. The hospice have a bed if it becomes too difficult.

My BIL did not want the kids told as he felt the chemo was going to work. Infact they only did their will yesterday(Yes, we have all been in denial)...

The kids have known that daddy was very sick but once they told him yesterday he was days from death we knew the children had to be told.....

Blandmum Fri 04-Jul-08 20:50:06

I'm glad dh died in the hospice, and I couldn't have put the children (and dh did not want to put the children) through his last day. I could only cope with staying with him because of the 20 years of love that we had shared. The end was hard.

This is a very individual choice, and I fully respect your BILs choice, but you will need to have some stratagies available to look after the kids if it gets too much.

and you, and the rest of the family may need to do this for your BIL and SIL.

Sorry of this seems harsh, but you need facts not hope at this time.

gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 21:03:36

MB, Children are staying with me, all 4 of them so that's taken care of .... My sis and BIL are married 15 years and together 20 years and like you she will be with him at the end wherever that may be.....

Yes it was harsh......

TheOldestCat Fri 04-Jul-08 21:08:16

Gingerino, I'm so sorry to hear your BIL is so terribly ill.

You say you don't know where you will find the strength for your sister and nieces. But you will, you are already there for them (the girls staying with you must be such a help for your sister) and that will mean a lot in the hard days to come.

My sister-in-law was ill for a long time, but the end came swiftly and it was still a terrible shock.

Words seem inadequate at such a time; only know many of us will be thinking of your family.

TheOldestCat Fri 04-Jul-08 21:10:46

Also, Martianbishop, so very sorry for the loss of your dear husband.

Goober Fri 04-Jul-08 21:15:56

If ever the Oxford dictionary are looking for a new definition of the word: HELPLESSNESS, they ought to watch family members of a terminal cancer patient.
How many times did I wish I could swap places with my Mum? I still would.

TheOldestCat Fri 04-Jul-08 21:28:08

Oh Goober, that's so spot on.

Sorry you lost your mum.

gingerino Fri 04-Jul-08 21:36:17

Thank you all again for your replies,God ,goober you are so right, this is something none of us can stop now, it's like a freight train out of control and we are just waiting for it to crash. I'm hoping my sister will come on this site soon as I feel she will get comfort from you all.....

MB, I can't even begin to imagine your pain at the moment. I hope my sister can communicate with you via mumsnet in the future....

TheOldestCat Fri 04-Jul-08 21:38:50

Take care, gingerino. You sound like a fantastic sister and SIL.

kiltycoldbum Fri 04-Jul-08 21:41:20

im so sorry gingerino pancreatic cancer is awful truly awful, my thoughts are with your whole family at this very sad time x

lilyloo Fri 04-Jul-08 21:41:39

So sorry for your bil

Agree with MB your sister needs to prepare herself for the end.

I lost my mum to cancer too , the end wasn't pleasant either but she was in a wonderful hospice.

My heart goes out to his girls you will find the strength to help them all because that is what we just do, we don't have any choice sad

onlyjoking Fri 04-Jul-08 23:17:43

so sorry to hear about your BIL.
you will find the strength because you have too.
it comes down to personal choice with regard to home or hospice, Steve spent some time in the hospice whilst they sorted his meds out and then more time whilst they sorted out funding and care package for him to come home as that was what we wanted, i can't pretend it was easy and we had 24 hour carers in place, but i am glad that steve got his wish to die at home in my arms.
Steve was in a coma for over a week before he died so for him the end was peaceful.
just do what you can to be there for them, which it sounds like you are.

onlytheone Fri 04-Jul-08 23:30:09

So sorry to read this. Agree with Martianbishop re palliative care team. Need to get access to them quickly. It will make a big difference to him and the family. The end for my DH was very swift and no one knew that he was actually dying. We had no discussions re hospice or home because we didn't realise we were at that stage. The palliative care team arrived the day he died. His last week would have been much calmer and less stressful for us all and we would have had a little time to prepare. The palliative care team arrived with a syringe on the day he died to sedate him. At least I was there with him. Ask the questions of the medical and nursing staff directly and as only joking has said, be there for him and do all that you wish to do.

gingerino Sat 05-Jul-08 08:06:49

Thank you so much again for replies. My Dad, mum and my husband are there full time now and will stay until the end. The Pallative team locally are meant to be brilliant so that will be a help. My mum is matron of a nursing home so this is not unfamiliar territory for her.

My BIL used to be so strong, we used to call him the british bulldog because he always jumped to attention if anyone was in distress. He has a strong heart so only god knows how long this will take.

He was up last night having soup. You can scarcely believe how short his time is.

We are a very strong family unit and there are a lot of us familywise so I know we will all pull together but not to see him again will be hard... I'm catholic so I believe he is off to a good place but I don't really want him to go yet...

Blandmum Sat 05-Jul-08 08:53:13

The saddest thing of the death of the young to cancer is that the rest of their bodies are fit. Something that our Macmillan nurse told us is that they fight to the end and when they can fight any more it overwhelms them.

A month before dh died we were on holiday. A week before he had a balloon ride. 3 days before he was presented with his MBE for 'Outstanding courage and leadership' . He was fighting it to his last breath.

Given that this has all come as such a rush, is your SIL prepared financially/legally for what happens next? I know this seems very callous, but if they have some time, it might be helpful to get so things sorted. I know that dh spent 18 months making sure that we would be 'OK' after and this helped his peace of mind.

If you don';t find it all too ghoulish I can talk you through some of the practicalities, if you think it would be helpful.

In addition have the children been linked up with your local childhood greif and loss councellors? They can help the children and her you whith helping the children, In addition they can talk to the kid's school to help them to help the kids.

gingerino Sat 05-Jul-08 10:37:01

Thanks MB, they only did their will in the hospital 2 days ago but at least it's done. They have sorted pensions and bank accounts...They have a good financial advisor who is looking at everything but I would love if you could think of anything we may have overlooked.

He has decided where he is to be buried...I think he is accepting his fate.

My mum just rang and he had a bad night, got out of bed approx 40 times....no idea where he was going and the doctor has been this morning. Pallative care are due soon as are the many visitors..(That's a tough one as he doesn't want to see anyone...)

My older niece spend the night with her best friend and has got comfort from that......Yes, very good child support network ready....

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