View Full Version : Mother with terminally ill cancer

November 12th, 2007, 10:57
My husband and I just found out that his mother's bladder cancer has metastesized to her bones, her doctor giving her 1 year to live at the most. This is a big blow for us, since she is only 56 years old, extremely healthy and full of life. Her cancer has spread to her bones in only 2 months, so we know that the next few months are going to be exteremely hard to see her be in pain and see the cancer progress.
I wanted to know if anyone had any good advice on how to make the most of our time left with her, how to preserve her memory, and how to keep her happy. We are newlyweds and for me, the biggest thing is that our own children won't know her. I've thought of asking her to read children's books into a tape recorder, so our children could hear her voice and know her in that way. I also thought it would be nice to have a special day with her once every few weeks where we just take her away for a picnic or something, to let her forget about her pain for just a few hours.

I'm looking for any help. My husband is devasted. His mother is his life, and he doesn't know how to handle this. Just looking for advice, anyone who has any tips. Thank you!

November 16th, 2007, 01:00
My grandfather was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer in July. I just went to his house everyday and hung out with him, talked to him, etc. Then as he got sicker and sicker, I just couldn't bare to go over there as much. He died at the end of October this year, about 2-3 weeks ago.

I like that idea of recording her readin children's books. I wish I would have thought to record my grandfather's jokes. He could tell the best jokes!

Anyway, I'm sorry about your mom-in-law. I really hope that she can fight it off better than my grandpa did.

November 16th, 2007, 07:34
reading children's books is an awesome idea!! maybe she could read some of your husband's favorite childhood books? For me, the voice is the first thing i couldn't remember. I can remember how my mom and dad looked, of course, thru photos. And i can remember the essence of their personalities b/c i see it in myself, my brother and our kids.... but their voices i can't "remember".

I would video record as well as audio record.

I have a very dear friend who is recovering from breast cancer. During the painful times, she said one of the best ways to relieve pain was massage. Maybe you can find a massage therapist who specializes in pain relief who can travel to your MIL and treat her in her own surroundings.

God bless you all; this will be a difficult journey for you.

December 1st, 2007, 12:08
You will have to take your cues from your mother-in-law, as her physical stamina may not always fit in with plans. Would she be willing to video tape messages to the grandkids? Even if you don't get anything recorded, her memory will live on when you and your husband share stories of her with your children and talk about the special things she did. Whatever you do, treat every remaining as a gift to be treasured.

December 2nd, 2007, 12:47
The way I see it, don't remind her or him of the situation. You want to enjoy each day as if you're looking forward to the future. Don't treat her any differently like she's helpless but more like she's full of life, and her happiness will help her cope and come to terms with what is too come. I think we should do this everyday since you never know what the day will bring, or if you will even see the next day. Life is unpredictable.

December 19th, 2007, 10:08
How tragic, especially as she is so young. My heart goes out to your husband and you, and to her too of course. It's hard to imagine how people get through, and cope with these things. I think deep down, we know "life" goes on.. that there is indeed, "light beyond" and all will be reunited one day, so videos of her would be especially excellent! As she will still be, and always will be, grandma..
I think the most important thing would be to continue involving her in your lives.. And when, or if, pain gets to be a big problem that she get the medication she needs, without anyone worrying that she'll become an addict. I think not allowing terminal patients pain medication enough to help, because of such concerns is completely hard hearted and ridiculous. I hope and pray things go as well and as peacefully as they can for her.

January 17th, 2008, 07:16
It' scary to know that someone you know is dying and you have no control over what is happening with them. It is one of the hardest thigns to watch. It's like you are watching them pass on right in front of your eyes. And there is nothing that you can do about it. There is no way you can prepare yourself because no one is ever, ever prepared for death.