(Closed) How to comfort FI: FFIL diagnosed with cancer

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
914 posts
Busy bee

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somathemagical : I’m sorry you Father-In-Law is going through this. 

So one of my friends had prostate cancer (he was 24) and he’s super healthy now, but at the time he just needed people to listen to his fears.

This was similar with my little sister, who had an ovarian tumor (it turned out to be benign) the size of a football. My mom was researching all of the worst-case scenarios (it’s how she copes) and really scaring the crap out of my sister. Really, my role was to listen to my mom and sister and all of their fears. 

I think it’s great that you asked your Fiance how he wants you to support him, and now you just have to wait and be there for him. You can tell him you did some research, but don’t tell him about what it said unless he asks. Some people need to talk about all of their fears, no matter how irrational, and not have anyone tell them they’re being irrational. Others need to hear all the research. 

When he’s ready, he’ll tell you what he needs, and you’re already doing a great job by being there for him.

Post # 4
1736 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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somathemagical :  My Mom was diagnosed with Cancer when I was 15. Then again when I was 19. I would say try not to dwell on it. Let him talk if he wants to, but dont push it. I liked not being the girl who’s mom has cancer all the time. Be a listening ear, give hugs when needed, support his family.

Hopefully they caught the cancer early enough that treatments can put him into remission. My mother was not so lucky, but hers was very far advanced.

Post # 5
2956 posts
Sugar bee

My dad had stage 2 prostrate cancer. He had the robotic arm prostate removal surgery. Easy recovery. He is fine now. I am not sure what “intermediate risk” means but prostrate cancer is one of the most survivable forms of cancer.

Post # 6
617 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

So I’m not engaged yet, but my bf’s father passed away from cancer during our 3rd year of dating (a different kind of cancer).  It was by far the hardest thing we have gone through together.  When he initially was diagnosed I admit that I did not take it as seriusly as I should have.  I was young and had the thinking of “it won’t happen to me/us”.  Well his condition deteriorated over the next year and a half until he passed.  Even though it sounds like it is very survivable don’t take it lightly because I’m sure he is not.  When helping my bf deal I pretty much let him lead.  He would talk about it with me when he needed to.  Once in a while I would ask about it and how he/his family was doing, but I didn’t want to overwhelm him or have it be something that was brought up all the time.  People deal with things differently, which is why I think maybe follow his lead.

Post # 7
4556 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

My dad passed away during his 2 biopsy to figure out if he had prostate cancer. Me and DH have been through a lot of deaths and medical diagnosis, so unfortunately we’re kinda “pros” at this. I would say not to force the issue and focus on the positives, although that’s easier said than done. It’s still shocking for him right now and could take awhile to process. When he is ready, he will tell you what he needs. Otherwise, just your presence can be so helpful. Good luck!

Post # 8
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I’m struggling with this right now.  My Mother-In-Law has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and while given some time, has taken a turn for the worst lately and things look to be speeding up quite rapidly and she’s been in and out of the hospital. The word hospice is now being talked about.  I’m having trouble with how to support my DH and get him thru this as he’s been very stoic thus far  or just shuts down sometimes but I know its taking a toll on him. 

Post # 10
2340 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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somathemagical :  I’m sorry to hear about your Future Father-In-Law ‘s diagnosis. One important thing to remember is that “intermediate risk” with regards to prostate cancer is NOT referring to the patient’s risk of dying. It is referring to the risk of the cancer returning after treatment. Prostate cancer is EXTREMELY common among older men, and generally slow growing and likely to respond well to treatment. The best practical advice I could give your family is to make sure your Father-In-Law is being treated by the best physicians he has access to. If he requires surgery, the quality of the surgeon and the techniques used could influence the impact on his quality of life going forward.

How is your Fiance handling it? What has his response been? I would take my cues from him.  

Post # 11
598 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: A restaurant on the beach

My FI’s dad was diagnosed with colon cancer while we were in highschool. At the time we had been dating for probably 2 years. I think your response should be tailored to fit your FI’s personality. I know that my Fiance prefers not to show emotion. He didn’t want to think about his dad’s diagnosis or the possibility of him passing away. He prefered not to talk about it, even with me. So i let him have his space but I also let him know that I would always be there for him if he needed me for anything. His dad has been in remission for 7 years now. 

Post # 12
56 posts
Worker bee

Future Father-In-Law was diagnosed in August with pancreatic cancer and died right before Halloween at age 53.  Pancreatic cancer is a death sentence more often than not.

I don’t think Fiance and his family understood this until the very end.  That was tough. And then he died and that was worse. 


We’re just taking it one day at a time.

Post # 13
10223 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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somathemagical :  

My Dh has prostate cancer.  His is Stage 1, very early.  Prostate cancer is a very slow growing for of cancer and quite survivable.  His doctor said that if he did absolutely nothing, it would be ten years before he succumbed to it.

It gives you plenty of time to consider treatment options.  In Dh’s case, we’re going with brachytherapy.  He will have small radioactive seeds implanted into the cancerous areas.  It’s a pretty straightforward outpatient procedure and a one time event.  It’s a good option for him and should be the end of it.

It’s always terrifying to hear ‘cancer’ but be comforted by the fact that your Father-In-Law has a very slow growing form. And there are a number of treatment options available.

Wishing your Father-In-Law the best possible outcome and hugs to you and your Fiance.


Post # 15
56 posts
Worker bee

“Like… we can’t make the pain go away so how do you, as his partner help him cope?”


It’s tough because ultimately you cant bring his dad back.  I try to keep us busy since he really thrives on having projects and goals.  The dog is a big help since he is a pleasent distraction. But sometimes we just end up crying it out for bit.  We are coming up on the two month anniversary on 12/22 and it is right before christmas. It’ll be tough going since his family has never had a holiday with out him.

I’m finding its just a one day at a time sort of thing…

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