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Do we or don't we

Sweetpea2
Posted by

My 90 MIL lives with us and has been diagnosed with Cervical cancer. It's 99% diagnosed as she refuses to have a biopsy.

She is upbeat because she believes it's not cancer.  We know her and she will fall like a stone if she knew the truth and be gone in a matter of weeks.

She has no pain and our decision may have to be changed if the symptoms become to bad. At the moment she has water etention in her tummy but nothing else.

A Macmillan nurse is due to come and see her. So now we.are worried she will sus out what happening.

We made  a conscious decision not to cause her any more anxiety than is necessary.


Are we doing the right thing ??


barbaral
Posted by

Hello  

I don't know enough about cervical cancer and I don't think you've told us enough about how advanced it might be for anybody here to be able to give you an answer to whether what you are doing is right. We also don't know your mother-in-law. And you probably have to go along with what your husband and his siblings think is best as you're not the blood relative.

I would suggest that you take the Mac nurse aside when she visits - perhaps grab her as she arrives - and warn her that your MIL doesn't know it's cancer so she doesn't drop you in the doodoo. But equally, I think you need to have a long chat with the nurse about your MIL's chances. If this has been caught early enough, treatment might give her a longer, more comfortable life and not telling her would rob her of that chance. If it's already advanced, you might feel the payback for treatment doesn't justify the upset and the trauma of treatment.

I would suggest to maybe have a look at the Macmillan pages about cervical cancer so you can have a good discussion with the nurse and with your MIL's medical team. If you have detailed questions, you can post in the cervical cancer group here. You can also call the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000 Monday to Friday 9 am to 8 pm and talk to one of the advisers.

Sweetpea2
Posted by

Thank you for your response.

She has made it very clear for over 4years that she doesn't want any "messing around" anymore. She has a very severe anemia a d has regular blood transfusions this has caused the heart to work doubly hard and as such she now has a faulty heart valve.

At 90 she has had enough.


My husband like me is an outstanding child so we discuss things just amongst ourselves.


If she knew she had cancer she would be dead within 4weeks. When she first came to live with us she lost 2stone because she co Vince's herself she had renal cancer which took her husband.  It's amazing how powerful the mind can be. 


I just want to to the best thing 

barbaral
Posted by

I think you have answered your own question.  If she has clearly indicated she wants no treatment then of course she should not be made to have any.

Good luck to you all and please speak to the Mac nurse before she sees her. 

Sweetpea2
Posted by

I don't have a problem with her refusing treatment etc, what I am concerned with is

Is it right not to tell her

And once Macmillan start to finish is that the start of the slippery slope and how long is the slippery slope.


barbaral
Posted by

Many people are under the misaprehension that Mac nurses only deal with the terminally ill and dying. That's not the case at all. They are often confused with Marie Curie nurses (who I think DO take that role). Mac nurses come in many types. You can read a bit more about them here.

You have told us that even the thought of having cancer would be enough to make your mother very anxious and would be likely to make her more ill than the actual cancer. On that basis it sounds like you're doing what she would want you to.