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1 posts since

27 Sep 2020



My wonderful mother-in-law/best friend received a shock Cancer diagnosis in early August this year and was told although inoperable, it was treatable, and she started chemo and radiotherapy on 17th August. 


She was doing really well, and responding to treatment, but last Monday my brother-in-law went round to check on her as we couldn’t get hold of her on the phone, which is unusual, and he found her in a bad way as she hadn’t eaten or had any fluids the entire weekend – despite her husband saying she was fine. She was rushed to Hospital with low blood sugar and severe dehydration. 


We thought that she would be in for a couple of days to recover, but they discovered an infection, which turned out to be a blockage in the colon, causing her a lot of pain. They did a scan and discovered the Cancer has spread to the lungs so we were told she would be discharged with Palliative Care at home. Unfortunately she went downhill pretty quickly and we were told she was too weak to be moved so has to stay in Hospital. We thought that she would pass on quite quickly given the state she was in and I said my goodbyes over the telephone in an unexpected and rushed call, but she’s still with us (dosed up on morphine) – she didn’t sound at all like herself and could just about mumble. It was very upsetting.


My husband is too upset to visit her anymore and says the image of his mum in such a way will haunt him forever. He feels that if he goes again, it will break him completely, his brother is still visiting her everyday, and sending updates on her condition. I’ve offered to visit in place of my husband but have been told that I’m unable to due to Covid-19. My husband has also said he wouldn’t want me to see her that way.


I feel so utterly bereft at the impending loss of a wonderful woman. Someone to laugh with, cry with and create memories with. Our children absolutely adore their ‘Nanny’, and she was a pillar of strength and support during some very challenging times. Whenever I had an issue with the children she was there to listen, and to help. They are so young (4 and 5), so don’t really understand what’s happening, and my heart breaks when I think of them never seeing or speaking to her again. I also gave birth to our third child the day before she started treatment, so she will never get to meet her new granddaughter. 


I feel so completely useless that I can’t do more. I can’t visit her – even just to hold her hand or talk to her, although I’m not sure she’d be able to hear me. I just don’t know what to do. 


Sorry for the long post 🙁 



5137 posts since

15 Jul 2010


Hi Jen,

Welcome to our forum, although I’m so sorry to learn of your reason for joining. Your Mother-in-law’s diagnosis must have come as a complete shock to all of you.

We went through something very similar with my Father-in-law lat year. He went into the day hospital for assessment. That afternoon my husband and I were taken in to see his doctor, who informed us that cancer was rife throughout his body. Five days later we sadly lost him.

If she is doped up on Morphene, she may not be able to hold much of a conversation and, Covid makes visiting so difficult in these situations. Do you have an IPad which your Brother-in-law could hold for her whilst you tried to speak to her? We found this very useful when my husband was in hospital recently. you could do this on a mobile phone, but she may find it easier to see you on the larger screen.

I am sure that she would pass in a happier frame of mind if she could see you and, especially that new baby granddaughter – Congratulations!

I do hope that you can get around the visiting somehow. Please keep in touch. We are always here for you.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx


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