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Let down by family during mum's pancreatic cancer

(14 Posts)
passthegin321 Mon 24-Oct-16 10:43:30

Please could you offer me some advice?!
My amazing mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March and this year has been horrendous. I adore my Mum and she was always so hands on with my ds and just, well- amazing! This evil cancer has totally changed the dynamics of our lives and I'm desperately unhappy and sad. My friends and dh have been incredibly supportive, but I feel let down by several people.

My half sister is getting married in Australia at Christmas and we are invited, although I haven't booked flights yet because of my Mum. I had every intention of going, but we haven't spoken since June! She never contacts me to ask after my mum, my son or how I am and just appears not to care! This probably started because of some Facebook remark over the referendum! I'm feeling really guilty for not wanting to go and wanting to spend Christmas with my mum and dad and support them, but I feel like people will be really pissed off at me if I don't go. What do you think? Should I go and do my sisterly duty, or should I stay with my mum and dad and help them try have some kind of Christmas?

The other thing is my MIL. Things are so hard and strained for dh and I in our relationship. We get no help at all from mil who just says " it's not illegal to smile or illegal to be happy ", (wtf?!), never contacts me personally, offers to help and just tells dh that she texts me and phones me and I don't respond, which is an absolute lie! She says all the right things to him apparently, but nothing to me at all and I don't understand why. I'm so hurt by her that I'm avoiding seeing her at all and she's now asking why I won't go over- but dh won't tell her in case she flips out at him! Please give me a brick wall to smack my head against!

I really don't want to sound so miserable, but it's so bloody hard watching my darling mum suffer every day and helping my dad struggle through, when these close family members don't give a fuck and I feel like it's all my fault 😞Am I being a little bitch or do you think I have a legitimate reason to not go to Aus and to avoid MIL?

MakeItRain Mon 24-Oct-16 11:02:02

flowers for you and your mum. Cancer is devastating. I lost my dad to cancer and know what an awful time it is.
Absolutely you shouldn't go to a wedding across the world when your mum is so ill. Don't even bat an eyelid. Just say you are unable to attend while your mum is so poorly but you wish her all the best and can't wait to see the photos etc. If people complain let them and do your best to ignore it.
Try not to rely on any help from extended family (MIL) or reach out to people who upset you. Work out who your friends are and rely on them.
Ask your DH to get your MIL to text her (non existent) offers to help to him as you're not up to orgnaising anything at the moment. Don't apologise for not wanting to socialise at the moment. Just say you're not up to it but that he can go if he wants.
Lastly be miserable if you want to, it's an awful time, of course you're sad and worried. Cry if you need to. Spend as much time as you can with your mum. Take care.

forumdonkey Mon 24-Oct-16 11:29:27

My friend has cancer, so I have some idea of the upset and trauma of it all. Do what you want to do and stay at home with your DM for christmas, fck what people may say, under the circmstances I'd think they'd be supportive and sympathetic for your reasons for not attending the wedding. If they're not, they're not the kind of people you need in your life anyway.

With regard to your MIL, reach out to your DH and ask him to help with her and intervene to take the pressure off. Don't be afraid to tell people how you are feeling either, you don't have to be strong for these people. Save your strength for your DM & DF.

passthegin321 Mon 24-Oct-16 11:29:51

I a, so very sorry to hear about your Dad. Cancer is shocking how it sneaks upon them and steals their life and joy. And it's devastatingly crushing for those of us who have watch it. I actually feel as though my life is being ruined. I hope you are ok and are coping xx

Thank you so much. My friends say the same as you, but I kind of need to ask people who don't know me! I'm feeling so awful over the wedding and avoiding my MIL, but when I'm with my poor Mum, seeing her over 4 stone lighter and so distressed and frightened, I just don't care what they think or say or do. It's only when I come away from my Mum that the guilty feelings come back. I'm sad the dh won't tell his mum how she's upset me- he's actually scared of her himself! I know it's not me as her other DIL avoids her for similar reasons. I just had hoped she would offer motherly support- I'm missing my Mum sooooo much 💔 And she is still here! I can't Imagine my life without my Mum- it's an impossible thought!

rainbowstardrops Mon 24-Oct-16 11:37:22

I would politely decline the wedding invite and explain that you just simply can't leave your very ill mum right now.
I lost my mum to cancer and I wouldn't have missed her last Christmas with us for anything! (Not saying it'll be your mum's last but we knew it would be for my mum).

With regards to your MIL, it just doesn't sound like you can count on her for any support whatsoever so just try to avoid her.

I'm so sorry you're all going through this hell flowers

forumdonkey Mon 24-Oct-16 11:51:30

I think you know where your heart lies and with your DM, is where you want to be. You've made your decision, so send an email today, decline the wedding, explaining your mothers illness and how you need to be with her, press send. Hopefully once you've done it and confirmed your decision, you will feel a weight off your shoulders.

ohgoodlordthatsmoist Mon 24-Oct-16 11:57:14

I think you should stay at home, your half sister might fume but I wouldn't be surprised if others told her to wise up once the situation became clearer

If you can ignore the mil - it may be that she just really doesn't know how to approach the situation and doesn't want you to think she is trying to be a mum to you as well, how was she before your mum took I'll.

Lastly cherish the time you have with your mum, laugh with her and try to look for small moments of joy in an otherwise dark and rubbish situation, I lost my dad to cancer 6 years ago and it truely is heartbreaking.

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Oct-16 11:59:42

Is your sister marrying an Australian or does she just fancy marrying abroad?

Do you share the same mum?

sadie9 Mon 24-Oct-16 12:09:42

Having a close relative with a serious cancer is a pretty big deal. It takes all your resources and more. It's like being kicked by a horse. It hurts bad and knocks all your stuffing out. Sorry your mother is suffering this.
So look at taking pressurising things off your plate. Like the Wedding in Australia. Be honest and upfront about it - tell them you guys are likely not to go as the situation stands with your Mum. Can you see yourself enjoying yourself over there worrying about your folks at home? Running about Australia being the life and soul of the party? I don't think so...
If you need a break for yourself, think of doing something nice for yourself closer to home. Like a shorter break for a few days with close friends, something like that. You can tell your half sister you will visit her in Australia some other time. And to be honest, you'd hardly see them anyway as the wedding would have her very busy. People are very busy with their own lives and sometimes out of sight is out of mind. It doesn't mean she's a bad person, or that she is actively avoiding contact with you.
In regard to your MIL. Just park her. Tell your DH to tell your MIL that you are naturally very worried about your Mum and you just don't have the bandwidth for socialising or visiting at the moment, and hope your MIL understands.
Your resources are very very limited at times like this. Take that into consideration. And you are very emotionally raw a lot of the time. So you will find yourself questioning other people's motives and relationships, and reading a lot more into things than you usually might at easier times in your life. Go easy on yourself and notice when you need minding yourself. So, take unnecessary things off your plate for now. flowers

Hecticlifeanddrowning8 Mon 24-Oct-16 12:21:24

I think your half sister is being unreasonable if she doesn't understand that her wedding may not be your top priority ATM . It may be that her and your Mil don't know what to say to offer any comfort, or that they really don't understand how much strain you are under. Either way don't let yourself feel guilty for their selfish bad manners.

Cary2012 Mon 24-Oct-16 12:26:00

All above posts are right, take their advice.

I lost my best friend way too soon to Cancer, the time I spent with her has left me treasured memories.

Forget all about Aus, the right sort of people would understand completely and support you in this. If they don't, then quite honestly they're not worth another thought.

Your MIL isn't stepping up, so step back from her and mentally tick her off your 'people to lean on' list. Do lean on friends who understand and other family members.

Love and support your dear mum and dad. You need to draw strength and love from each other. That's all that matters. Let other people deal with it as they will.

Spend time with mum and dad at Christmas, and try to stay positive and strong.

CPtart Mon 24-Oct-16 12:38:39

I'm afraid pancreatic cancer usually has a very poor prognosis and deterioration can be sudden. There is no way I would go to the wedding, spend it with your parents. I lost my mum in tragic circumstances very recently and am dreading Christmas but so glad we spent the day together last year.

bassetmum Mon 24-Oct-16 12:57:15

I would spend the time with your mum. I lost my dad in july to metastasised lung cancer ten days after being told he had 4-6 months to go (he had been battling the original lung cancer for 2.5 years). I am not looking forward to the first Christmas period without him.

I would hope your half sister would understand that. Why not see if they could skype the service so you could watch from over here?

passthegin321 Mon 24-Oct-16 16:39:48

Wow- I'm pretty overwhelmed by the support of you lovely lot! Thank you so much- it kind of feels like a warm cyber hug 😊
It's my dad's daughter and he isn't going either, but in reality, we don't think she will care and want her step dad to give her away anyway. So I guess I won't be the only 'villain'. My MIL has always been weird- even dh says she's a bit tapped! I'm just very sensitive I think and feel panicked by what life has thrown at me/ us.

Thank you so much for your support though! 😘 And I send massive hugs, cyber cake, wine and support to you who have lost loved ones, are facing Christmas without them or are just having a crap time in general. 🍰🍷

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