My Father-in-Law was diagnosed with Lung Cancer after several bouts of Pneumonia. He received one palliative radio therapy treatment in August. He now wheezes all the time, has difficulty breathing at night, and is coughing up bloody phlegm. He has been in and out of hospital with Pneumonia, Kidney Infections, Kidney failure ever since August. The cancer nurse told me to expect 3-6 months life expectancy my In Laws don't want to know any details. As My Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law both think that he is cured and are in denial, I feel I need to know when the right time is to talk to them, how will I know when the end is near. My husband and I call in and check on them both 2-3 times a day, I can see he is getting worse although he is in no pain. What are the next symptoms. I also need to prepare my 3 Children as they are very close to him. Can anyone tell me what help we can expect to get, as both my husband and I work we have 3 children and another set of parents, I feel that we cannot increase on the help we are giving and to tell the truth we are run off our feet. My husband works Nights so when Father is ill in the day up he gets to deal with it then has to do a full nights work. When he is ill in the night up I get to deal with it. Sometimes I am called out to him at 2or 3 and I start work at 5.30. Any advice will be gratefully received
Last edited by tadalaja; 02-12-2007 at 12:36 PM.
Reason: missed word out
I can understand what you mean about the denial. My husband was diagnosed with large cell in November. He could not face the truth. He would say something completely opposite than what the doctors would say. It was very difficult for me to deal with then I spoke a minister at church that is a nurse and he said many cancer patients go through denial. It is their way of coping with the disease. He told me as long as I knew the truth that is what matters.
Your parents will come to terms with the disease in their own way and time. I suggest you just let them live their final days as happy as they can. Tell your children the truth. Make them understand. That is all you can do.
Thanks for your input, it is so hard to know what to do for the best. I think I just needed to hear from someone else. My husband is also in denial although he is great with his dad , he will not talk about his illness and just tells me that he is happy for me to deal with everything. I am the only one who will ask the doctors any questions, but as I am not next of kin they tell me very little. Had a chat with his cancer nurse today, she has asked my In-laws and husband for permission to deal with myself which they have all agreed to, so hopefully I will have more information as we go, and can help them have quality time for as long as possible.
My mom lived in denial too as she was convinced she would beat stage IV NSCLC. At first it was very hard for me to listen to her making plans for things that were years away then my friend that had Hodgkins Lymphoma told me that for some denial is the only way they can cope. She lived in denial all through her treatment and still does as she can not even say Hodgkins Lymphoma or cancer she says she had hodgkins disease as admitting she came so close to death is just more then she can accept.
After our talk I just accepted the denial as my mom's way of coping and living as normal a life as possible, yes we all sort of joined her in the denial though I knew one day the other shoe would drop but the truth was she was alive and deserved to life each day to its fullest and believe that she would still be here the next day. When she did finally accept it and decided that she was going to quit chemo for fear it would kill her before the cancer did ( she was on 4th line chemo that just left her exhausted 24/7 and it had been almost a 2 1/2yr battle at that point) I have to say a spark went out of her eyes as she knew yes she was dieing and I think I preferred the denial as at least that spark was in her eyes. She lived about 5 weeks after she accepted her fate. So let them live in denial if that is where they need to be. Bless you all. JanMarie
Wow it all comes at once, Mother-in-Law has been taken ill waiting for results from tests too ill to cope with my father-in-law who is now in a nursing home untill she is better. So hard to have them appart when there time together is limited. Father-in-Law lung cancer seems to have slowed down and he doesn't appear to be any worse. Time is limited such a shame to have them apart.