B.M. asks from Welches, OR on November 15, 2006
How to Deal with My Brother in Law Dying
My brother in law was diagnosed about 6 months ago with leukemia....he has been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count...now just a week ago they sent him home and said there is nothing more they can do for him...my mother in law has been with him 24-7 and she is falling apart....my father in law and his wife have been with him as much as possible but the mother in law thinks she is in control of the situation so that causes alot of stress in the family.... my husband and I have went to see him as much as possible (mother in law wont allow us there with out a clean bill of health) anyway, I have been the one that makes all the calls and lets the family know what is going on with my brother in law.... trying to keep everyone informed...but now my mother in law has stopped informing me of any changes in his health....I have talked to my husband about bringing in HOSPICE (not only for my brother in law but for the family, so we are all informed and on the same page) I also have brought up to my husband that his brother needs to do a will...my husband is very responsive to these suggestions but the rest of the family says that i am just giving up on my brother in law...IM NOT....I just think that we all need to accept what may happen ... and It could happen anytime... am I jumping the gun..???? How do I deal with this... I love my brother in law just as much as the rest of the family but realistically I cant hold everyone together while he is falling apart....
1 mom found this helpful
L.E. answers from Anchorage on November 15, 2006
Kristy is right, it's not your responsibility. I can understand wanting to do something though. Has the brother-in-law accepted what is happening to himself yet? Perhaps next time you visit, you could talk with him alone and bring up these concerns without interference from a nosey mother-in-law. A will is so important, especially if he has family to take care of.
I'm don't know how your family feels about alternative medicine, but I have a relative who went on a macrobiotic diet after the doctors gave her 6 weeks to live and she's still alive now (I think that was around '97). www.kushiinstitute.org
I hope this all works out as well as it can.
C.M. answers from Portland on November 16, 2006
Sorry to read this. My answer: you need a family mediator. Death brings out the reality in everybody's personalities, intentions, and mentalities.
It may be nerve-wracking now, but it will get worse when he passes away.
Prepare yourself and you will be fine in the long run. Hang in there.
S. answers from Salt Lake City on November 15, 2006
First, I am very sorry for what you are going thru. My favorite aunt died two year ago from leukemia it a long hard, uphill battle to have to go thru. My other Aunt took charge of what needed to be done, and she was great at keeping us all in informed. Nevertheless, I can see how some things could have been worse. Had not been for her planning for the unthinkable or accepting what was going on. I feel that your mother in law has not accepted what is happening. I know that my grandmother never accepted what was going on and still isn’t doing well with it. It is now affecting her health. Your mother in law may think that she is his mother and can make him better. As she did when he was little, my grandmother did. As for her not letting you around him with out a clean bill of health, this was one of the first things that we were told as a family to do so we didn’t weaken her system. Talk to your brother in law with your husband there about having a family meeting, maybe see if you can get a home health care nurse or a counselor there to explain and answer question of what form of leukemia he has , what’s to be expedite. What everyone can do to help. I’m sure most of your family is scared and worried and really just doesn’t know what going on and didn’t think it could happen to your family. However, this isn’t going to help if your bother in law has not accepted the leukemia. You still have a lot of hard time ahead and I feel for your family. Good luck
D.M. answers from Salt Lake City on November 16, 2006
Get Hospice!!! At first wehn I heard of this I thought...somebody would come in and TAKE OVER the last little bit I got with my dad. It's not like that at all. the are the angels without wings! ANYTHING he needed they provided..potty chair, oxygen, drugs....
I absolutely think you should do this..for your mom in law!! For your family!
Like I said, I was hesitant, but I tell you what..I'd do it for anybody again and again!
A.D. answers from Great Falls on November 16, 2006
My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. I lost my brother to Cancer 3 years ago next Friday. The stress that our family was under caused some tense moments and strained some relationships. People act differantly and sometimes act out when they are in pain. Your mother in law may be controlling and acting the way she is to deal with the pending loss. Have patience. I know it seems difficult to stand back and watch thing happen, knowing they are not correct or the best, but be patient with your family. Everyone is hurting and trying their best to deal. You are correct that a will needs to be made, it doesn't mean you are giving up, as a matter of fact, if you and your husband dont have a will you should do one, why wait until a stressful situation like this? Talk to your brother in law, although others may think you have given up he may be at terms with his condition. You are living the situation and know if this is true or not. As for Hospice, it is not just for the person dying, it is also for the family, call your local hospice, they are wonderful to talk to and can assist you in dealing with your family, and your own grief as well. I hope you find the answers you are looking for. And that during this difficult time your family comes together. Have patience and reach out to hospice.
G.D. answers from Seattle on November 17, 2006
Hi B., I'm so sorry to read about your brother in law. My heart goes to you and your family. I"m so very familiar with your situation because I'm a hospice nurse and I now work as a critical care coordinator also for hospice. I' have read some of the responces that was given to you and I would probably write the some of the things that was already written on there. Your mother in law is in denial stage specially I think that your brother in law is probably is young.(you never mentioned the age so I assumed). What you are doing is good they need someone there to be the strong end of the rope. But I would not push to hard. You mentioned that the doctor is already sending him home and usually the doctor would already bring up hospice to your mother in law.Hospice is very beneficial because we come in not to intrude but to lend a helping hand when patients families are in desperate need of medical assistance or even just to answer questions. Hospice does not do invasive treatment but just pallative care which means the nurses would make sure that your brother in law would not feel any pain or as much as possible very minimal pain in his dying process. I would recommend you to read a booklet that we give to our patients families when they come in to our service Its called,GONE FROM MY SIGHT(THE DYING EXPERIENCE) FROM BARBARA KARNES. ITs very inexpensive booklet $2.00 the web site is www.bkbooks.com if you want to check it out. Its very informative and it would give you all the information of what the person would do or go through about three months prior to dying to about the very last minute. I hope I helped you in some way. Best of luck to you and your family.
E.R. answers from Las Vegas on November 16, 2006
HOSPICE HOSPICE HOSPICE!
I only wish that you called when he was diagnosed. It is sad that people wait until the very end instead of having the wonderful support they give from the start.
They help with everything, support the family, and the help the patient make the difficult choices that have to be made when facing a terminal illness.
Don't wait another minute to call- don't try and persuade others that it's needed. Just do it, and let the nurses and counselers do the talking.
DON'T WAIT- call hospice
K.D. answers from Fargo on November 16, 2006
It sounds like you have a lot on your shoulders. Take a deep breath and try to exhale some of that stress.
Can your husband talk to his brother, privately, about these concerns. Such as the will.
As far as your MIL goes, she is probably doing what all of us mothers do when one of our children are ill. She is scared to death of losing her son. Maybe she isn't informing anyone of his health anymore, because it makes it all seem to real for her.
Do not worry about holding everyone together. You need to worry about yourself and your family. The rest will find their own way to deal with the situation. Times like these are hard for everyone, and everyone will deal with it in their own way.
Good luck with everything. I will say a prayer for you and your family.