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What to do. (bit of a long winded post)

Posted by

I posted on here about my hubby being in complete denial about his prognosis for a grade 4 brain tumour.  He is still in denial which is still very hard to cope with but I would appreciate some advice about family dynamics in terminal care.

My elder daughter who has caused so much grief and unhappiness in our lives and her siblings lives and disappeared over two years ago has found out her dad is very ill.  I don`t think she knows it is terminal as not that many people do know but via internet she contacted me and hubby  when she heard.  My hubby says he doesn`t want to see her and I gave her a piece of my mind via a message so she has not contacted us again.  With hindsight I wonder whether he should see her and whether I should try to get him to change his mind, after all she is still our daughter and he is dying, not immediately but it is going to happen in months. Should we deny her the right to talk to her dad and say things that might need saying, (his tumour is in his speech centre so his talking and comprehension is getting worse). She sent a lot of photos via internet, two of which are of a little toddler and although she does not say who he is, I cannot help wondering whether he is our grandson.

Just to add a bit more into the mix is the fact that her brother and sister can`t stand her. am I going to allianate them if she sees her dad or if I just send her a message saying I will contact her if her dad changes his mind.

It is all freaking me out trying to know what to do for the best.  Any advice or thoughts anyone,. As I don`t know what to do,



Posted by

Hey Boodles,

That is a tough one :(

I live in Canada and my Mum has been ill for a while (although wasn't diagnosed until I came home and took her to the doctors), but none of my 3 sisters or my Dad told me how ill she really was (I just had one of those gut feelings) until I came home and saw for myself, she'd been in and out of hospital a few times and I had no idea...which made me angry, and I know I would have never forgiven any of them if something had happened, but I am home now and spending time with my Mum so that's the main thing.  Although we all generally get on well as a family, Mum has GBM4 :( cant pick and choose them!! haha!  Just be honest with her, send her an email explaining the cancer and the outcome, explain that he is in denial about it, explain to her brother and sister that you might do this.  You don't have to invite her to see him, but explain what you are going through and that you don't need any extra added stress at the moment, just tell her the least then she cant hold it against you.  It is a tough one, and if she does decide to visit then maybe get someone who is neutral in the situation to stay there so she doesn't cause any problems...

Posted by


I think just because someone becomes ill, it doesn't mean that arguments should be forgotten.  You have your reasons for why you are not in touch anymore and they must be pretty important to you all.  Your daughter is now aware that he is ill, so if she really wants to see him, she will be back in touch.  I don't think you should bend over backwards to try and 'fix' this relationship, it's up to your husband really if he wants to make amends or not.  Life is rarely black and white and things happen.  If after your husband's parting there is some regret, all you can do is trust your own judgement at the time when things went wrong and stand by that in your mind.  You can't control any regret other people may have, you can only look after yourself.  Be there for him and allow your other children who love him to be there and support him.  xx

Posted by

What a difficult and extremely sad situation Boodles.  I think this is something you need to talk about more with your husband and all your children.  

It sounds like your daughter's disappearance and her behaviour beforehand caused a lot of upset in your family and that there is still a lot of anger about it. But what struck me in our post was that when she heard her dad was ill she made contact and that, on the face of it, implies she has some feelings for her estranged family.  

Maybe it was the excuse she was looking for to contact home. Many people make mistakes in their lives but most will also learn from those mistakes. In the last couple of years your daughter may have changed and grown up (especially if she is now a mother herself).   Of course all of this could be wrong, it is just one possibility of many and I have no understanding of what upset she has caused in all your lives but it sounds like it was hugely traumatic for you. 

Because she disappeared you have never been able to tell her what the impact on you all was of her behaviour and maybe that has to happen before anything else (it sounds like you have already started doing that).  Do you want your daughter back in your life or want her to have the opportunity to make amends or at least say sorry to her dad?  Would your husband like to see his grandson if that is who was in the photos? 

There must be so many questions spinning round in your head and you don't need more stress but you know your family and you will make the right decision.  


Hiloa x

Posted by

I havent posted before, my husband started losing weight last december, he lost 3 stone in two moths gp thought it was his lungs so sent him to hospital, they diagnosed copd but thought they saw something on the scan, they sent him to the gastro unit for tests and on the 29th july we were told he had stomach cancer and it was inoperable, they discussed chemo but said would only give him approx 2 or 3 more months, he decided that he doesnt want to spend time at the hospital.  He has accepted this shitty illness and is glad that he has time to make peace with whom he wants and to tell others what he thinks of them.  Maybe when your husband has time to think he might make his oen decision.  Its so hard when someone you love is struggling.  Has he spoken to the Macmillan Nurse coz my husband found this very helpful.    Maybe if you looked back to before the falling out and the relationship you had with your daughter it might give you some idea of what to do. I work with people who are living with a dementia and when their speech and thought process  diminishes I look to what their life, relationships and beliefs were like before.

I feel for you it must be so distressing its enough to cope with caring for someone you love without any added stress.  I am thinking about you.


Posted by

Hi Boodles. What a terrible situation to be in and i feel for every family member involved.

I'm not going to advise you but i will tell you the simplified version of my story which has some similarities.

Our eldest daughter made some wrong choices in her life which resulted in a massive family row and her walking away from us and denying us access to her children, our grandchildren. She said some really dreadful and hurtful things to my husband and to me.

A considerable amount of time passed when one day she contacted me out of the blue. We had some 'polite' conversations over the phone which resulted in a re-uniting. John found it difficult at first to accept her back as he'd seen the heartache and upset it had caused me over the years and couldn't understand how i could forgive and forget. I explained that she had been the baby we gave life to and part of us and therefor always had been and would be.

None of us ever refer to that estranged period of our lives. We are a happy and united family once more and I thank God for that, especially as John has since been diasgnosed with his cancer.

I hope my account may in some small way help you to come to a decision as to what is the right path to take for your situation.

Good luck and thinking of you. Zute xx 

Posted by

I would like to say thank you for the replies to my post.

I managed to talk to my hubby about our daughter and whether he wondered if the picture of the toddler was our grandson. Managed to have the conversation without mentioning the unmentionable brain tumour and prognosis.  He asked me to text daughter which I did and we not only have one grandson but two. He was a bit upset but I think he was happy to know about them, whether the is a reconciliation between us and our daughter is another thing.  Think it has to be one step at a time but hubby is slowly but surely going downhill and getting more tired and sleepy and having very little energy.

Thanks again.


Posted by

Oh wow, gaining two grandchildren in one day must be quite a lot to take in, no wonder your husband felt emotional. You must have too.  One step at a time seems like a really sensible way forward.

We are here whenever you need to some support boodles,

Hiloa x

Posted by


Gaining 2 grandchildren is a lot to take in and the road forward may not be an easy one, however from personal experience I would say you are all heading in the same direction.

A little story - my mum and my aunt did not speak for 6 months following the division of my late grandparents estate, my mum had left several messages for my aunt but in the end gave up. Sadly my mum died very suddenly in April last year, 3 weeks before her 68th birthday; my aunt never got to work things out with her and had bought my mum a birthday card to try and break the ice. We were all devastated.  I did not know how to react when I saw my aunt as I think the upset played on my mums mind a lot; I was my mums "confidant" whom she talked to about everything and my best friend. My dad, however has had some heartfelt / difficult conversations with my aunt now and relationships are as good as can be expected.

i know having to deal with cancer as patient or carer demands a lot of us, more than we think we will cope with sometimes, however I also thinks it teaches us a lot about ourselves too. I hope you all manage to come to a resolution and form a relationship; it may never be the closest but surely "a" relationship is better than none?

I wish you all the very best and as you say one step at a time.