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How to deal with living overseas and being told mum has months, but not years?

(26 Posts)
somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 20:43:10

I don't know what to do or where to start. We are due to fly back in 10 days and just been told mum could have 3-6 months.

DD1 is Year 3 DD2 is starting Reception. We have been there a year and their school and friends are there.

We have no proper base in the UK and have never lived in my mum's home town.

Not sure if to do frequent visits without the children, or just let them be schooled temporarily in UK while renting a short term let. That would then mean exposing them more to the horrible situation.

Anyone have any experience?
It's stomach cancer, now in the peritoneum.
I need to be realistic and know what to expect.

somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 20:44:15

It's a 16 hour journey (2 flights) door to door.

somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 20:52:01

I'm not thinking very clearly, and probably should not have started this thread. Nobody can really give me those answers. I'm just sad, that's all.
I think I just need time to digest everything.

LynetteScavo Thu 07-Aug-14 21:15:35

How awful!

I think finding a school at this late stage may be tricky... As well as finding accommodation etc. tbh I would travel back and forth and let the DC stay settled.

skinnyamericano Thu 07-Aug-14 21:21:23

So sorry to hear your sad news.

Do you have siblings? Is your Dad still alive/with your DM?

What a difficult situation.

Could your DH cope for extended periods of time on his own with the DC?

sandgrown Thu 07-Aug-14 21:22:38

I would want to make the most of the remaining time with mum and concentrate on her needs. If possible I would leave DC in school and travel back and forth for the short time your mum may have left. When the cancer advances it may be too distressing for your DC to see your mum so I would take them to visit now and create some memories. Good Luck smile

somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 22:51:38

Thank you. Yes, I thought that too sandgrown. We have had a lovely summer while waiting for results of tests. Unfortunately I have a terrible fear of flying, which won'thelp at all, each 12 hr + 2hr flight really takes it out of me. But looks like I will just have to get on with it.

I have a brother currently living in Asia. I am in Africa and mum in Uk. My dad is helping her day to day.

I think frequent visits is the only way to go for now.

Barbie1 Thu 07-Aug-14 22:57:48

Sorry to hear this.

I'm currently back in the uk to support my mum during her second diagnosis of breast cancer. We find
Out next week if it has spread.

I'm sat here 27 weeks pregnant in the middle of a relocation from Korea to Kuala Lumpur.

I have no idea what will happen next week.

I can't fly after 30 weeks so will have to either stay and face setting up here and leave and potentially fly back and forth.

There isn't a right answer. sad

Wishing you strength at this difficult time

somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 23:04:08

You too Barbie. Where were you planning to give birth? Is it your first?
Good luck next week. Wishing you strength too.

Barbie1 Thu 07-Aug-14 23:09:12

It's my third smile found out the day my mum found out her cancer was back....

I'm going to give birth in kl, unless the news is so terrible that I won't leave in a few weeks.

We plan on starting in kl on the 1st of September as planned. We want the dc's to settle and for normality to resume as much as possible.

My fear is something happening once I get to kl an I won't be able to get back until after the birth so a potential 3 months.

somuchtosortout Thu 07-Aug-14 23:17:01

One thing this has taught me is that all fears and contingency plans are futile. We can only deal with what we know and cross each bridge.

Enjoy this week then see how it goes.
I think newborns can in theory fly at any point. The vaccination thing is just advice, not compulsory.

And if breastfed they have good immmunitym
Don't think o am making that up!

BakingEating Fri 08-Aug-14 09:51:09

Easyjet won't take babies under 14 days, but other airlines may be different. Perhaps it's worth checking with the airlines you'd usually use. You could probably travel sooner than you think.

Sandgroper Fri 08-Aug-14 14:31:09


I am really sorry to hear your sad news about your Mum.

I have been through a similar thing with my Dad. Was diagnosed with terminal cancer (messatheilioma) in Oct and only given till Xmas to live. He was in Perth and I was in UK so a 19 hr flight (plus 7 hr time difference).

I had DS1 who was 18 months old and I was 16 weeks pregnant with DS2 but we hadn't told anyone yet as I had 3 previous miscarriages and wanted to wait. After talking with his Oncologist I made the decision to fly to Perth and planned to be back in the UK to give birth the following March.

So I left DH behind and took DS to Perth, but Cancer has an agenda all of its own. To cut a long story short my DH ended up coming out just before Xmas (and staying), I had DS2 in March and my Dad died 2 days after he was born. We ended up staying a further 6 months to sort out his affairs.

I can truly say even though it was a massive upheaval and expense for our family, I got to spend 5 very precious months with my Dad which I appreciate so much and have so many special memories of that time together.

So I would say if you can do it spend as much time with her as you can and your kids too, if you don't you may regret it! flowers

Barbie1 Fri 08-Aug-14 18:49:53

sandgroper I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Cancer is a bastard sad it's lovely you got to spend that precious time with him.

The problem re flying is as soon as I leave the country at 30 weeks no doctor will sign me a fit to fly letter any date after due to a heart condition I have. I have pushed already for an extension on the 28 week deadline they initially gave me.

So I will have 7 weeks at least until the c section plus 7 weeks after the birth until I'm fit to fly post birth (Asia has some pretty strict guidelines for flying) so I'll be at least 14 weeks in Malaysia before I can possibly get back to the uk...

somuchtosortout Fri 08-Aug-14 21:53:02

Barbie it's all so awful isn't it. It makes me feel so crap about the fact that we live overseas. My poor mum was so looking forward to us settling back down in the UK after this last posting. I always worried it would be one posting too many....

Sandgroper Sun 10-Aug-14 17:48:44

Hi Barbie1

Hmm such a dilemma for you and I sadly don't have the answer to that one. You probably know it already but must do what is right for your health as difficult as that sounds.

You will be better off having your baby in a private hospital in Malaysia than in an NHS one in the UK. Am sure I will be shot down in flames for that comment!!!

In my defence I speak from experience - DS1 after horrific birth in NHS hospital in UK compared to DS2 in a lovely private hospital in Perth. But then I was brought up with private health cover that actually covered most things i.e. Childbirth so not used to public hospitals.

My Mum always said my Dad waited till my DS2 was born but I will never really know.

Am sending you a virtual hug!

Happy to chat if you need to.

Sibble Sun 10-Aug-14 19:44:52

My Nan died almost a year ago (next week). My Nan bought me up so it was like my Mum dying. I live in NZ. I dithered with whether to get on the plane, what would I do with my ds's, could I miss ds2s birthday etc... I eventually decided that I would go back, move in for however long, leave the boys here and come back for them if I needed (wanted to). She died while I was in transit. My story is not yours but one thing I learned too late is that (hopefully) I have many more years with my children, who are resilient, it is our fear of change and routine that is usually an issue not theirs. I can't get that time back, I wasn't there when she most needed me and I her.

If you want to go back, go, spend that precious time with her, everything else will sort itself out.

somuchtosortout Sun 10-Aug-14 21:28:21

I'm really sorry sibble. You have prob never forgiven yourself but I am sure your gran would be looking down on you now knowing you were there all but in body.

It's funny, I keep thinking of my mum and how she will look down on me when she is gone, and she is still very much alive and kicking right now!

WallyBantersJunkBox Mon 11-Aug-14 09:53:13

Somuch so sorry to hear your situation.

I think in your shoes my decision would be to go back alone to the UK to support your mum.

Could your DH cope with the DC? Does his work involve travel? Or do you have childcare options such as a nanny as a possibility for cover?

I wish you the best in your decisions and be kind to yourself, this is hard on you too. thanks

Sibble Mon 11-Aug-14 19:59:13

somuchtosortout I am sure you are right. Thinking of you at this difficult time. flowers

Barbie1 Mon 11-Aug-14 21:35:37

Another day closer to test result day. The whole family are on tenterhooks sad

Dh and I have decided that unless it's really bad news ie only a matter of months then I will return as planned, get us moved in, dd and ds settled into their new schools and nursery and give birth. We really feel that this is the best plan overall for our little family. I can and will return as needed once baby is born and dh will take the time off work to care for the children if needed.

If at Christmas we feel I should stay in the UK we will look to arrange a longer rent and enrol the children into local schools.

It's all a lot of 'what if' at the moment confused

op I'm very very sorry for derailing your thread blush how are you doing right now?

sibble dreadfully sorry to hear your story sad

chloeb2002 Tue 12-Aug-14 01:20:50

Good luck barbie. It's very very sad times. I have no sensible advice to offer. My mum had a thyroidectomy 3 years ago and at that point I nearly flew to France to be with her. She face me very stern advice that if it all goes horribly wrong then remember her as she was. That her memories and her love for me is not based on the final throws if her life. As it was all went well, her suspected tumour was a benign mass. Still she is out this Christmas and I am helping her and her dh sort out an application for Aussie residency for her older years! I will be her carer as I'm a nurse, I'm her daughter and I won't see her in a granny farm. wink it takes 15 years to process.. So in now then we can accelerate as needed.

somuchtosortout Tue 12-Aug-14 08:04:34

Hi Barbie, don't worry, it is a good place to talk! You canonly make decidecisions based on the information you have now. Plus you have to think of your children.

I personally at this point just wish I didn't live overseas at all, but that s just me, we were just doing one more and I got unlucky this time round. My mum was so looking forward to us finally being settled again.

Thank you skinny and sally and others who replied. We live in Africa and do have a Nanny/housekeeper, but I am not as set up as other expats in terms of childcare, dds are used to me being mostly always around.
However they are fond of her and I have a few friends who I know would help. Dh s work would be quite understanding, although he has never been with both ofthem for a whole day, let alone a week! But I am sure he would cope, although may be a bit daunted at the prospect.

Anyway Barbie. As I was saying, you have to act based on what you know, no one gas a Crystal ball.

Keep us posted and feel free to talk or vent on here, its good to hear from others in similar situations.

Barbie1 Thu 14-Aug-14 19:11:52

Well my decision has been made...

After an hour wait at the hospital for the results we were told that they hadn't gotten around to reading them and to come back in a month! hmm

So I will be on the flight to KL two weeks tomorrow.

The rest I will play by ear and probably make a hard decision in the not too distant future.

JessieMcJessie Fri 22-Aug-14 07:34:51

barbie and somuch very sorry to hear about your Mums. I live in Hong Kong and my Mum was diagnosed with cancer at Easter last year. I had in my mind that I'd take a sabbatical when she was given 3 months or so, but they actually never got the chance to give a prognosis of how much time she had left because the cancer caused a stroke and she became critically ill very suddenly. I had a horrendous flight via Dubai not knowing if she was alive or dead and she died 3 hours after I made it to the hospital. I know this is not reassuring news but my advice would be to do whatever you can to spend time with them as soon as possible. I was fortunate at least to have no kids though - fully understand your dilemma about the effect it might have on them.

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