(Closed) MIL has cancer- How to support DH?

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I am sorry, I dont have advice but I just want to say that I hope your Mother-In-Law can fight this and live many more years. Just give your hubby loves of support and hugs. 🙁 

Post # 5
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Prayer. Not sure what your DH believes but time with God has helped me. Whether it’s yelling, crying, pleading, asking, just talking with God.  This bible verse helped me in times of trouble: “The Lord is my strength and my shield, in him my heart trusts, and so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:7.  There are many other verses that are helpful. Try googleing bible verses for sickness, or for pain.

Make sure you are always positive and supportive, always there for him with a touch, hug, kiss, a listening ear…he’ll go through stages of sadness and anger.

My mom had cancer when I was 7 and DH’s mom had cancer when we were seniors in high school.  It helps if you know the specifics…if it’s caught early chances are better for beating it.  Different cancer types have different effects too.

I don’t know what else to say, but changes happen in life and when those changes are painful God will always offer comfort through His word.  Time will help heal the shock for your Darling Husband too. Let him know that if he is strong for his mom, it will help her to be strong to beat this cancer too. If you all are positive, hopefully she will be more inclined to be positive too.

ETA: Both our moms survived so that helps to give me hope for beating cancer.  I pray all the best for you, your Darling Husband and his mom.

Post # 6
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m sorry.  I think the only thing you can do is just make sure he knows you are there for him, and try to talk to him if he is willing.

Post # 8
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Are you in Canada or the states or elsewhere? The cancer society has lots of resources out there to help families. My dad found out he had cancer in the spring and has done radiation and 1 round of mild chemo and surgery so far and starts in-patient chemo on Monday. Keep things as possitive as possible… my dad has a very rare and agressive cancer and the doctor at post op said he will be able to play soccer one day (he runs half marathons). If you knit or crochet chemo caps are a great way to stay busy as well and can really help with morale. 

Post # 10
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m so sorry to hear this!!! We are going through the same thing. My Mother-In-Law is a young (formerly) healthy woman at just 50 years old and in GREAT physical health (like… works out every day eats salads at cheesecake factory kind of health). So we were completely blindsided when she was diagnosed with colon cancer in March. She had surgery in May, after which we found out that she was stage III. She is undergoing chemo right now, and (thank God) is expected to recover. Although of course there are no guarantees and the future is somewhat of an unknown. 

Hearing her tell us she had cancer definitely qualifies as one of the worst moments of my life. I’ve never seen my husband break down like that before. I think sometimes guys have it even harder because they’re supposed to be strong, and usually are for too long. I think every person is different in how they deal with tragedy, so it is hard to say: do x. But I can tell you that for me what has worked is just letting him do WHATEVER he wants to do. If he wants to talk, we talk. If he doesn’t want to talk, we don’t. If he wants to pretend for a while like nothing is happening, fine. And when he wanted us to take a week off of work and spend a buttload of money to go be with his mom for a week, we did it. I think that this type of situation is hard enough on the child/husband without making it harder by trying to tell him what he should be doing or thinking or feeling. I want us to get through this and for him to look back and know that I supported him 100% in everything even if he didn’t act exactly how I would have. 

In terms of work, has he talked to his boss about the situation? My (usually very private) husband told his bosses immediately after the diagnosis and they have been really great in terms of time off. 

So yea… I’m sorry I’m probably not telling you any great secrets here. But I guess just wanted to say– you are definitely not alone. I know the situation and I know how much it sucks. You guys will get through. Just try to be as supportive as you possibly can because it is such a crazy scary situation for him.

Post # 11
2463 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m sorry 🙁

before dh and I were engaged his father had a cancer scare and it was awful. the main thing I did to support him and his family was just be there. there’s no magic words to say to make it better, nothing you can do can make it go away. but just physically being there and offering to do anything you can will help. my dh is not someone who wants to talk about things that scare him–he shut down, so all i could do was just remind him i was there for him, and help out with all the logistical details i could. I spent a lot of time at the hospital, bringing fil and mil food/coffee, eating meals with mil at the cafeteria, etc, and also dog-sitting and helping out at the in-laws house (luckily we lived in the same city at the time–that was a lifesaver!).

the other thing i did was push dh to deal in a healthier way. not in an unempathetic way, but when he didn’t want to go to the hospital (he’d say “i don’t like hospitals” i’d say “no one does,” and i’d remind him that his parents need him, etc.) or when he acted out (he did some irresponsible things at the time), i called him out on it. not in a mean way, but i’d remind him that we were in this together and that i was there and that his behavior affected more than just him. luckily, fil was fine (this was 2 1/2 years ago now), and it brought dh and me closer. it also brought his parents and me closer

Post # 13
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@roxy821:  first off, I’m so sorry that your MIL’s cancer has returned.  I too was going through the same thing you are a couple of months ago when we found out my MIL’s cancer had also returned and came here to ask the same question!  I recevied lots of great advice and the most important thing is to just be there for you Darling Husband.  I know that with my Darling Husband, he kept a lot in and would usually get in a bad mood and yell and at first I would think that I had done something to make him mad, but he was just stressed and concerned and worried for his mom.  I just make sure that I’m there for him for whatever he needs!  I too, had never experienced anything like this before and didn’t know what I could do to help him or my Mother-In-Law.  What I did do, was search online and found a place where I ordered some bracelets that say cancer sucks and handed them out to Darling Husband, Mother-In-Law and family and for myself, which I haven’t taken off since getting it.  My Mother-In-Law was getting ready to start her chemo and I found a really cool chemo bag that came with a blanket, water bottle, book, etc. for chemo patients which was put together by previous patients.  I know that when it showed up that meant a lot to Darling Husband that I took the time to get something like that for his mom.  We have taken her to get her treatment once and just been there to help when she’s needed it, which has also helped Darling Husband, because he wasn’t around the first time she had cancer, so he never felt like he was really there for her even though he called everyday, but now it has helped that we are able to help out when needed.  She is doing great, and luckily with the treatment she is on has not and will not lose hair and is expected to go into remission after treatments!  I will be praying for you, as well as for your husband and especially for his mom!  

Post # 15
36 posts
  • Wedding: November 1999

Fiance and I went through a similar situation when his mother was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. It went into remission, but returned last year. She passed away earlier this year, a month after we were engaged.

My advice is to be there for him. If he needs to shut everything out for a while, let him do so. It’s alot to take in and cope with. My Fiance didn’t talk about it for awhile and I didn’t force him to. I allowed Fiance time to sort through things mentally and emotionally. There were times when he shut me out, which hurt a little, but I understood that it wasn’t personal and that when he was ready to talk we would. When he was ready to talk, I listened. I hugged him when he needed a hug, and sat up at night and comforted him when he felt that it all was unberable. Although his mother and I were close, I couldn’t say that I understood completely what he was going through because I didn’t, but I did make sure that he understood that whatever he was going through I would be right by his side through it all.  


Post # 16
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@roxy821:  Im one of those personalities as well and must say I use to be on meds for it but now I take a mix of vitamins and its really helps to keep me balanced. One thing we all did when my dad got diagnosed was find him things he could do since he has to be off work for 8 months (my dad is 48 and active he is no where near wanting to retire). We found a french course he could take online and bought him some books and some new games for his gameboy (yes my dad plays gameboy even tho I never had one growing up) and set him up with Netflix (nothing good plays mid day really). Thinking up things for him to do helped everyone and even had us laughing. If your close to his family I think its a lot easier than living far away. Im in tears now offcourse but it happens and you have to let it happen. Make sure everyone is eating healthy and happy food it makes a world of difference.

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