• Dealing with family

    Asked by Psalm18_2 on Friday, November 11, 2011

    Dealing with family

    I am married to the family so to speak. My husband's mother has cancer and I have been helping her through it for the last 3 years. Now that her cancer requires more care from her family, everyone is running. She just had 2 craniotomies over the last 3 weeks. Her memory is poor and the doctor's don't want her alone as she can't be compliant with meds right now.
    The plan was for her to stay with her kids, and now they can't or won't help her. I'm frustrated and dissapointed in my in law family. How do you deal with drama within a family? My spouse has asked me to step back and let them handle this. It's hard to do as I have been doing for so long and have a health care background. What can you all offer as advice? Thanks!

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • KarenG_WN's Avatar

      Hi Psalm18_2,

      Dealing with family issues can be difficult, even in the best of circumstances. Add in illness and hard decisions, things can get complicated pretty quickly.

      I am hopeful that some other people on WhatNext going through similar circumstances will weigh in soon. In the meantime, it might be helpful to talk to the social worker or patient advocate at the hospital, and perhaps they can become the driving force to getting these decisions made.

      Please keep us posted.

      Stay strong - your mother-in-law seems very lucky to have you on her side.


      over 9 years ago
    • lovekitties' Avatar

      Dear Psalm18_2, you are obviously a very caring person and have shown your dedication as a d-i-l and as a health care worker.

      You said your spouse asked you to step back. In response I would say, I will as soon as the family shows they have a plan where they will take over.

      If they can't or won't then seems like a family conference is in order to discuss alternative care which also might mean a financial commitment from them. Even if the rest of the family can't cover 100% of the care time needed, they need to be encouraged to offer up what they can. Perhaps they are feeling it is an all or nothing situation.

      It is too easy for care to be delegated to a single person. A family meeting is in order to discuss the alternatives based on her prognosis, insurance and financial situation.

      Wishing you all the best.


      over 9 years ago
    • Elizabeth's Avatar

      Its good that you want to help her, If I were you I would continue trying to voice your concern with your spouse. Make it clear to them that Family is very important to you and its not something that you could back down from. If it were them that needed help I am sure that they would want their family to help, and they need to know that. You are doing the right thing by getting involved, it lets them know that you care about every person in your family and they should too!

      over 9 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      There is something of a catch-22 here. If you don't step back, then the family won't have the impetus to step up and help out. If you do step back, your m-i-l may be left without care. Can you step aside, but quietly keep an eye on the situation. Try to force the family to assume its responsibility, but don't make it obvious that you won't let her fall. However, your being there for her is wonderful. This is between a rock and a hard place, it will be difficult to find the balance.

      Wishing you all the best,

      over 9 years ago
    • mimom1's Avatar

      I would call a family meeting and talk it out - will pray for you!!

      over 8 years ago

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