My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet doesn't verify the qualifications of users. If you have medical concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

Life-limiting illness

Mum not coping with dads advanced cancer diagnosis

4 replies

citcatgirl45 · 23/10/2019 22:42

My dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer last month. It is incurable as has spread to lymph nodes BUT he feels fine in himself and has no obvious symptoms. He is on hormone therapy to shrink the tumour and stop the spread so he can at present carry on his day to day life as normal. It did come as a huge shock as although we all knew that cancer was present ,12 months ago it was very small and confined to the prostate ,it became aggressive very quickly. However my mum is not coping. My dad is a very placid individual and some may say under the thumb, my mum clicks and he does - always has since we were kids. My mum was spolit by her dad so much so that her siblings resent the fact she was so over indulged she then met my dad when she was 18 and he has spolit her too. Now this diagnosis has come and she has no control and she is scared what will happen when she is alone. My dad is being positive but all his energy is being used on worrying about her as she doesn't sleep and is always crying and is constantly talking about when she is alone. In one respect she is very independent and very in charge as what she says she gets. Any one pisses her off and she makes sure you know it. My poor dad is the one with this horrible diagnosis and she is making it all about her. It is horrendous what has happened and they have been married for 51 years so this is an awful thing to deal with but she needs to put her feelings aside (does that sound horrible) and put my dad first - it has always been him putting her first- so this is a new concept for her. Would it be wrong of myself and my brother to give her a bit of a pep talk about the fact that this isn't about her it is about my dad and she needs to somehow snap out of this self pity for his benefit - sounds harsh but everything has always been for her benefit before. I don't honestly think it will make any difference as she is not used to being told what to do, it is always her telling people what to do! On this treatment best case scenario he could have 5 years left - or worst case 18 months no one knows but we want to make my dads time he has left fun and enjoyable.

OP posts:
Csleeptime · 23/10/2019 22:46

Maybe that's what you lead with, you need to all focus on making great memories now, not making the remaining time miserable. But from your mum's view point she will be the one that suffers in the longer term. The person she spends every day with will be gone. He won't know about it and she will be left here alone. In many ways it's worse for her, so let her grieve too.

Csleeptime · 23/10/2019 22:47

Also Flowers for you. Sorry to hear your news.

DonKeyshot · 24/10/2019 19:50

Sounds as if your dm is long overdue for a talk on how to be an adult instead of a spoilt child.

After 51 years of marriage of course she's scared of being alone, but she needs to vent and weep and rant and rail out of earshot of your dad so that his remaining time, which will hopefully be measured in years rather than months, is spent in as joyous and calm way as possible.

Tell her it's time for her to embrace selflessness and make it all about your dad's needs rather than hers and that she can sound off, and offload her innermost thoughts, to you and your db whenever she wants.

Remind her that your df's prognosis is much better than most and that any of you, including her, could be hit by a bus before he's required to drop off the twig.

Flowers I hope you are able to get the message across to her but she may need constant reminders until she 'gets' it.

Minxmumma · 25/10/2019 22:08

Sorry you find yourself here. I can see both sides, yws your mum needs to adjust but also step up

Ask your Dads consultant for a referal to the local hospice counselling service. They will usually see close family so maybe that's a good place for your mum to start.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.