Counsellor Q&A: He wont accept that she is dying

Q: My mother-in-law has advanced breast cancer. Sadly, my husband’s family is acting as if the chemotherapy will cure her. There’s no talk of next steps or quality of life. How can I help my husband face facts before it’s too late?

Susan, 43, Leicester

Denial is a coping strategy when people are scared. I encourage you to picture your husband and his family as children who are terrified of losing their mum. A book that may help you to initiate a conversation with your husband, his family and even your mother-in-law is How to Talk with Family Caregivers About Cancer by Ruth Bolletino. It’s a wonderful resource for those faced with this difficult topic.

Emma Marlin

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