Post # 1
One of my uncles battled throat cancer a few years ago and has been fine for the last year or so. Well, he started getting tired and having chills, so he went in for tests, and the cancer is back. It’s in his liver this time, and his doctor is not recommending chemo or any kind of treatment. The doctor gave my uncle maybe six months.
The whole family is obviously devastated by this news. It wasn’t unexpected, but it’s still a major shock. I’m sad and also feeling very guilty about our wedding in September. Should we still have it? It’s likely that he, my aunt and my cousins won’t be there because of all of this, but I feel like I should tell the rest of my family they shouldn’t feel obligated to come to our wedding either during such a sad time. I feel guilty and very conflicted because while I’m very sad about my uncle, I’m also excited to be getting married. But I feel like I’m rubbing my happiness in my aunt’s face while she is facing being a widow.
My cousin’s son was going to be our ring bearer, but now that my uncle (her dad) is so sick I want to let her know they’re not obligated to do anything unless they want to.
I also feel like these worries are selfish in themselves because I’m even thinking about wedding stuff in the face of this diagnosis. I don’t want to talk about this with any of my family because they’re so overwhelmed with the news now. We just found out on Monday.
I just want some advice or feedback from any bees who have gone through a similar situation. How did you handle it?
Post # 3
I am so sorry. Yes, I know where you are coming from. I am going through the same thing right now with my father. Here is what happend with us:
Post 1 “Dad has 3-6 months to live; wedding is in 5 months”
Post 2 “19 days to decided if we’re going through with this wedding!”
Post 3 “The wedding has been undone.”
Post 4 “May have cancelled wedding on misinformation”
In the end, my dad doesn’t want more treatement. He’s tired after 6 yeras of fighting (he’s 58 now). They wouldn’t even do a full dose of chemo just a half, but he doesn’t want it. He got to see his two new grandbabies, so he is fine with dying now.
It was the town doctor that gave him 3-4 months, the guy who removed his esophagus who said 4-5 months, and the oncologist doesn’t give timelines at all and is furious at the others for doing so. So no one really can predict.
His April CT scans show that it did grow slightly from January. His is metastisized esophageal cancer in/out of his lungs and a lymph node.
Dad will most likely die this year. The wedding was for July and now we’re eloping in August, just 6 weeks later. It could be risky, he could live longer, he could die the week we leave, or while on our trip. Uncertainty is crippling. I do know I cannot put my life on hold for such uncertainties, but at least I can relieve others by not dragging them into it (aka have no guests). I just cannot think of one good reason for following through with a wedding (our was a DW for the guets – Jackson Hole) and a million pros for eloping. I did not get a wedding my first time around 10 years ago, so I kind of felt I should go through that, but it was just too hard for my family to come out.
Being that this is your uncle, and it sounds like the wedding is local? It may be a different choice for you.
Post # 4
Oh, and a ton of people suggested we fly out to my dad, have a small wedding so he can be there. I do not want to do that, it’s just not a big deal to my parents (not that it’s my second wedding, they didn’t go to that either), they just aren’t into weddings. My mom still cannot fathom why someone would get married intentially (yes, she’s married to my dad). I was told my whole life that eloping is best. My sisters also confirmed by gently saying, “No one wants to put on fake, happy smiles so you can have your wedding. We’d be crying the whole time.” The idea of moving up a wedding, making FI’s family be the only ones that travel is simply a BAD option.
Post # 5
This is an essay by a bride who found out her brother is terminally ill right before her wedding:
I don’t think you’re selfish at all to be thinking about your wedding stuff right now — it’s clear that your family is important to you and you’re trying to be sensitive to what they need now and what they might need in the future.
Post # 6
@sienna76: Wow, thanks for sharing your story. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a parent going through this.
It sounds like your family is giving you their frank opinions, which is good. I will have to talk to mine once the news settles in a bit and see what they think. The wedding is in Kentucky, but my aunt and uncle live in Florida, so there would be travel involved if they were going to come (not likely).
@happypup: I love APW and was actually on there yesterday looking for similar stories but missed this one. Thank you for the link.
Post # 7
That is a lovely article from APW. Good to just read that we’re not alone.
One month ago we undid the entire wedding. I’m mourning that a little.
I will most likely never know what it’s like to get married with family around us. This is my second marriage. No one was there either. That makes me a little sad, but I also understand that it just wasn’t possible to have all my wants in regards to a wedding.
I had to go with the wants (mountain wedding, outside, this year) that affected the least amount of people since the situation was “so close to home.” We can still make it very special just the two of us, and that part I’m looking forward to!
Sorry I’m not helping with much advice by just going on about my situation.
Post # 8
I know what you’re going through. My uncle just got diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. Along with diabetes and alzheimer’s. The cancer is advanced, but currently under control, but in the lymph nodes. I was going to ask my cousin’s kids to be the flower girl and ring bearer, but I thought that it would be too much added stress with her dad, so I didn’t. I care about my uncle and family, but the wedding is on my mind a lot too. Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way!
Post # 9
FMIL died a little under a month ago after a two-year battle with lung cancer. Our wedding is in 57 days. I understand what you’re going through. We got engaged a few months after her diagnosis and her health and passing was always on our minds as we planned things.
Ultimately, these are the things that FI agreed upon and that we learned through the process.
Your wedding is your day. You only get one (generally) and deserve to have a wonderful, joyous day no matter what sad things are happening to your family or your friends. This may sound harsh but in all truth, people die every day. People get sick. People struggle with really hard things. Life goes on which can be hard, but celebrating a little, finding an evening to unwind and have fun can be a wonderful outlet for all the sadness and sorrow. I think it’s wonderful that you’re considering your aunt’s, cousin’s, uncle’s feelings but would they actually want you to stop your wedding and put your life on hold because of his illness? I know for us, my FMIL did not want that.
My grandmother was in the hospital during my parent’s wedding. She’d had a heart attack a week earlier. My parents, much like my Fiance and me, agreed that no matter what happened, no matter who was there or not there, they were getting married and starting their life.
We always want to celebrate with our loved ones. But the day is about you and your Fiance, and the committment you’re making to one another. That’s it. For us, we decided that nothing would keep us from getting married at the time, place, date that we chose. That was it and it didn’t matter if not another living soul showed up.
Finally, a bit of advice when it comes to his passing. Be ready. He may pass much sooner than you or any doctor suspects. My own uncle was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer. He went in to talk about treatment options and was admitted to the hospital. He was gone three days later. My FMIL on the other hand, was in hospice care from November until March. She was much younger (53) and had gone through 18 months of chemo that prolonged her life and suffering at the end. It was far, far, far worse to watch FMIL suffer. It’s horrible and heartbreaking because no matter what, you’re losing someone you love. Just know that may very well serve as a bright spot for your entire family. At FMIL’s funeral there were a lot of hugs and excitement about our upcoming wedding.
Post # 10
How did your FI fare through this all?
I’m not sure I could have gone on. I mean technically I could have but it would have been too hard. My dad said not to change anything on account of him, but we made our choice more for my mom, my two sisters and myself, despite his brief suggestion. If my family urged me to go on, that they needed a reason to celebrate, etc it probably would have had a different outcome, but they were not in that mindset at all. My mom was just awfully rude and I have to attribute it to the stress she is enduring.
Post # 11
@sienna76: No, thank you for sharing! Like you said, it’s good to hear about other people who are going through something similar.
@Peony007: Wow, sounds like we’re in really similar situations — thank you for sharing. Prayers for you and your family too.
@artichokey: Thanks for the comment. Another cousin got married a few years ago and it was the last big family gathering my grandmother attended before she died. People still talk about seeing her dance at that wedding, so what you said about weddings being a bright spot for a grieving family is really a good point. Also this: “Life goes on which can be hard, but celebrating a little, finding an evening to unwind and have fun can be a wonderful outlet for all the sadness and sorrow.” Thank you.
It sounds like you and your FI are a really strong couple, and I’m glad that you two have been able to stand together through your loss. Prayers for your families.
Post # 12
Continue on with the wedding planning. Anyone that is a terminal or serious health issue do not want to make people put there lives on hold or change what you what to do. It is ok to still feel happy about planning your wedding even while something sad is happening in your life!!
My FI is currently battle cancer – and we have no idea when or how much long he has (we had a dr appt today about “the future”) He might have 3 months or 3 years left. We have been dealing with this 4 months into our engagment when he was diagnosed. We had a destination wedding planned that we had to cancel. We rescheduled to have one closer to home so it was easier on him (he was paralyzed by the tumor 2 weeks in). The big thing for him is that he doesn’t want people to stop living because he is dealing with a very serious health issue that effects our families & our lives.
I wish your family all the best – BATTLE HARD & stay positive. Live everyday & enjoy life… I hate that it come down to these situations when you realize that life is too short!
Post # 13
@LAWNwrangler: I am very sorry you guys are going through this. It can happen to anyone which is so scary. I think you have a great mental attitude. Hugs to you.
Post # 14
@LAWNwrangler: I second sienna76 with the hugs. I’m sorry that you’re going through this too. Thank you for sharing your perspective, and I wish you and your fiance all the best. You are totally right that we often don’t cherish life as we should until we’re facing a major illness.
Post # 15
I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. My great uncle used to say, “We go from disaster to disaster, and then sometimes we have a party.” With all sadness going on, your wedding can give people something happy to look forward to. You seem more than understanding if someone wouldn’t be up to participating or attending; which is the most you can do.
Post # 16
My mom died exactly one month before my daughter’s wedding. We tried to move it up to have her there, but that didn’t work out. But it was good to have a wedding (something positive for the family) to celebrate with family after all the sadness and grief.