Last year, after giving birth to our third child, my wife was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. After an operation to remove it, we soon discovered that it had metastasized to the liver to the extent that it was incurable. From the initial diagnosis my wife was put in touch by a friend with a 'healer', who claims to have a special ability to heal cancer through prayer. She quickly developed complete faith in his abilities and has been totally dependent on the reassurance he provides her every day. He has her believing that he has healed her cancer, and seems to have a gift for putting her at ease for any health problem that she has had this past year. He requests no payment and sees it as his role in life to help people in such need.
As a consequence of her being put at ease like this, she has been full of happiness and life this past year. I have been off work and we have had a wonderful time watching our three children grow. She has fortunately not experienced any significant symptoms of her diagnosis, putting tiredness down to dealing with a new baby.
Three weeks ago she started developing frequent high temperatures and chills. She is now regularly exhausted for most of the day, is losing weight and struggles to find the appetite to eat food. These seem to me to be symptoms of the cancer taking hold (though I guess it could just be a nasty virus of some sort). However the healer claims it is of course something else, her cancer is gone, that she will be fine and there is no need to see a doctor because he will be able to heal her. He has told her it is important for her to not doubt that she will be fine.
I am in quite a difficult situation. I don't believe the healer (though in this world of miracles he could of course be right). I have convinced myself that she will not be with us much longer. Rather than think about the juggernaut of grief headed our family's way I spend every minute trying to plan what I should do to deal with the practicalities of looking after my kids for the days and weeks after she leaves us. I do not want to say or do anything that may cause my wife doubts, which are likely to lead to overwhelming negative feelings. It may even be the case that if I try to suggest the cancer is still there and things are starting to look very bad, she may trust the healer more than me causing problems between us. So I continue as if all will return to normal, meanwhile struggling to look after 3 kids and my exhausted wife. Our support network is not good: my family are 5 hours away and my wife doesn't like most of them, and her family are abroad with commitments.
I don't really have anyone to talk to about this so thought I would just post it here. I'm not sure what reply I'm looking for. I guess I'd obviously quite like some one to say that miracle healers do exist and my wife and our young family will be fine...