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Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 06:15

Hi everyone. I’m not sure even where to start so here goes. 

My dad: At Christmas my dad was diagnosed with stage four eaophegus cancer. He’s been quite good until recently but now showing signs of the disease and has started chemo so is feeling rough right now. 

My mum: I’m incredibly close to my mum she is my best friend, she does stupid stuff sometime, she always jokes about her ending up loosing her marbles. I see mum almost every day as I only live in the next village.

Me: 40+ I’m married, don’t work due to my husband having a great job. I have 3 school age children who see their grandma and grandad often due to their school being so close. 

All sounds great! My problem... my husband has been offered an opportunity that he really shouldn’t dismiss. He’s been offered a much better position in his company but on the Isle of Man. He has been offered it a few times in the past but I’ve always used the kids being too young to leave their grandma as my excuse to stay put. Now I have to seriously consider it!! It means me moving with the children ASAP. I’ve spoke to my parents about this move and they are totally behind us going. I’ve sat on their sofa and cried my eyes out saying I can’t do it, but the pair of them have said “do not let us stand in the way of u providing the best future for our grandchildren, you will be set for life if you go, you’re not half way around the world, nothing is going to change the outcome of dads desease.”

If we move our children get to attend private school, this is massive for me as they are all struggling at school, non of them are meeting the expected grade. I have one starting gcse year. One starting secondary. One starting junior. So it’s an ideal time educational wise for them, especially my eldest as moving mid year or delaying would defiantly hinder her exams. Tbh this doesn’t totally bother me because I know they will be what they want to be but as a parent, if I can do anything to help them I will. The school over there is an amazing opportunity and the way of life out there is so much less “cut throat” you step back in time, try to enjoy the natural things in life at a slower pace, where there is much less crime and the children are safe to play out. What more could a mum want for their kids! 

But can I do it??  I feel so incredibly selfish. I would plan on returning twice a month (midweek whilst children are at school) staying with my parents until the inevitable has happened. Then my mum would come over to us for months at a time. tbh when my kids visit dad he’s too unwell n snaps or can’t stand them noisy or arguing.

Mum has friends and a network around her and although I know she would be so hurt if we go, she’s said that she equally has too much on her plate looking after dad to be worrying about me n the kids n knowing we’re ok is good enough for her. 

My Aunt has said “there is never a good time to do anything if you think about things too much. There will always be a reason stoping you. We don’t know how long your dad has. If you delay, you’ll be using your eldest taking exams as the reason to stay. One thing we know is life is for living and taking opportunities when we can, we could die tomorrow” I kind of understand what she is saying to me!

I suffer with anxiety really bad, have done all my life, I’ve never been selfish or at least I try not to be. This move would be totally out of character for me, which is why I think my family have said to do it. 

I dont know what I’m asking here but if anyone would like to chat or offer advice I’d be incredibly greatful!

ps I have one sister and one sister in law. My sister in-law is supportive of this. But my sister whom I’ve clashed with all my life is angry at me. She won’t talk to me and yesterday was shouting n screaming at me. She's much more selfish than me and I’m dam sure if she had the opportunity she would take it, she never communicates with me or mum n dad about the desissions in her life, altho she shouted in my face that she wouldn’t under no circumstances choose to leave right now. Its because I’d be leaving mum and dad, I think she’s worried that she will have to spend more time with our parents. Shes always made a point of keeping her distance just that little bit and blaming me for being mummys girl n making her the black sheep because I’ve chosen to stay close by my parents. She only lives about 7 miles from us yet we rarely see her because she’s always too busy. I was told I couldn’t talk to her in her home when I showed up uninvited yesterday, on a Sunday afternoon because she was too stressed, had been at work, was hungover and just got back from holiday (6 days ago!). She’s always the same. Everything by her rules in her time.  Unfortunately this brings more hurt for my mum because she has tried and tried to get us to be sisters but at 40+ and 3 children each nothing has changed. (We are both a wealthy enough family and either of us struggle for money due to having husbands that work hard yet we sounds like a Jeramy Kyle show!!) I know money shouldn’t be something when we are talking about health and life, am I striving for money over my dads illness and my mums sanity?? Please note that the extra promotion money would be used totally to pay for the private school for our children so we wouldn’t be benefiting from it directly it will all go on them and their future. Is this wrong ?? I’m totally split with my kids future and my parents current situation. I know it’s all my head and my sister not being supportive is totally swaying me. I’m a mess!!!


Sorry it’s taken so long to write! Just needed an outlet xxx

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 06:47 in response to NeedSomeStrength

Hi need some strength 

What would you do if you didn't have that sister, she's probably jealous and stirring things up, if you go you've still got phone or email and all the rest nowadays, don't let her spoil it for you, best wishes for the future... Billy

P.s I've got a sister like that everything she does is right and everybody else is wrong, 

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 07:55 in response to Billygoat

Thank you Billygoat. I know what you are saying, But the timing just feels soooo wrong! Will I live with myself?! That’s why I’m planning on being back as much as possible. And I keep telling myself that a LOT of children make space from their parents when they progress in life.... maybe if id have done it sooner it wouldn’t be so much of an heartache now?!? My dad is dying tho, is this really the time to up n leave . Thank you for listening xxx

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 08:02 in response to NeedSomeStrength

You can still be there for him when ever you want, you've said that yourself would you have gone if it wasn't for your sister, thats the main question, God bless... Billy 

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 08:08 in response to Billygoat

Good luck in your journey Billygoat. I’ve read your ‘about me’ post and you really have been through it. You’ve been so strong and still are!! Looking after your wife during your treatment must be testing and shows what an incredible man you are. Thinking of u now x

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 08:30 in response to NeedSomeStrength

Are you trying to change the subject your father could live a long time yet depending on treatment would all the family benefit (yes) as you say it's a safer environment and everything..... Billy 

Re: Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 09:24

Hi there ...

So sorry your in this posision ... and yes it is a dilema ... if only we had a crystal ball and could see all outcomes ..

To be totally honest with you, I've read your thread first time round .. and seen the lovely reply you got from Billy... he has a heart of gold .. and I'm sure he puts everyone first .. and he gave you that advice from the bottom of his heart ...

But seeing you've 're posted I'm guessing you know in your heart you want to stay by your mum and dad at this time .. and want someone to tell you that ..  but if you strip everything else away .. listen to your heart .. hear what it's saying ... how your sister feels is NOT your problem .. don't give her the time of day ..  whatever you do, do it for you not because of what she says ...

If I were you, I'd stay and make every day count ... your hubby could take that job or wait as he's done before .. you could follow when the time is right .. I was married to an army man so had lots of time with him away ... it is doable...  I lost both my parents in my 30s .. one went suddenly ... one suffered for years ..  but my only regret is not taking as much time as I could with my dad .. I never told him how amazing he was ...  now its to late .. and looking back I had a young family and was really busy ..

But we only get one mum and dad .. and I'm sure they adore you to say go ... when in reality your mum will need you when your dad goes .. that mother / daughter bond is always there .. I lost my mum 30 years ago .. and what I'd give for just one hour with her ..

But at the end of the day .. you must decide what you can live with .. what your heart says ... and make the decision that's right for you .. and whatever that is .. don't look back with regret ... coz regret lives with us always ...  chrissie x

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 09:54 in response to Billygoat

Ha no I’m not trying to change the subject. I didn’t want to keep moaning at you . I know what you’re saying that’s why we are thinking would sooner be better, if he survives another 6 months then we will be waiting yet again to move just in case he takes a turn: it least if we get settled whilst he undergoing treatment I can travel back and forth, at will, and kids will be in school, equally he can travel to us when he feels bright enough. I think him knowing we are all settled and happy would be all he needs x

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 10:04 in response to NeedSomeStrength

Don't worry i get moaned at plenty by the wife, it's water off a ducks back,, hope you get sorted soon, have you still got to find somewhere to live (just being nosy), best wishes... Billy 

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 20:07 in response to Billygoat

yes we need to find somewhere to live and register the kids at school etc 

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 22:19 in response to NeedSomeStrength

Hi NeedSomeStrength,

It's a very tough decision to be faced with at a time in your life when your parents are in need and I suppose the main thing to ask yourself is what your outlook is on your relationship with your family as this seems to be the one big issue you face. I know for me despite having a husband and children I still always consider my family in any decisions I make. That's just me. My other sisters don't. My husband is totally the opposite and rarely visits his parents and to be honest has little regard for them. They are not that close of a family. 

Having just lost my Dad, it's a tough road and one that impacts the whole family. It starts from now if he is undergoing chemo and it's not just about being there in his final days. Although my dad never had the opportunity to have chemo he did have other treatment and it took a huge toll on him and my mam but it is not something we appreciated at the time cos they kept a lot of it from us. He'd sleep a lot during the day but then dad always did as he used to work nights so this did not ring the alarm bells that it should have for us. Your dad will need support but your mam will also need support and if you are so close to your mam would it be you who she would look to for that support. For me, I was closer to my dad. My other sister, who sounds similar to your sister, she's closer to my mam and she was/is a great support to her. But she always likes to let it be known how much she does for mam. I feel she crowds her too much but my mam knows I'm there for her if she needs me but I'm not her first port of call. 

You say your husband has been offered this role a few times in the past. Could he have the opportunity again some time in the future. Timing is everything and I also believe in the whole what's for you won't pass you. 

You say you are comfortable money wise now and that the extra money will be solely for the kids education but is that really the be all and end all. Could you send them where you currently live for extra tuition privately to help them? You say your dad snaps at the kids. Mine did too but he never said anything about not wanting them around. My dad always apologised afterwards for shouting at the kids but it was completely understandable considering the discomfort he was going through. Even I snap at my kids when I'm trying to do something and they interupt me. You could always visit your dad at times when you don't have the kids with you. I know near the end my mam asked me not to bring the kids as my dad just wasn't up to it but he died the next day so he was really bad.

You mention you suffer with anxiety. How would you cope with the move. How would u spend your days, would you have support and how would you feel if your mam was so caught up with your dad that you didn't hear from her for a few days considering how close you are to her. You have mentioned how good this move is for your husband and the kids but what about you?

What does your husband think? Is he happy to put the decision back again. Is there any pressure from his employer to accept this position. They obv think highly of him if they have offered him it again but again you need to consider yourself too. 

I'm just trying to play devils advocate and i don't mean in anyway to be judgemental. I'm just throwing some things out there that i would consider. Having just lost my dad and not knowing how bad he was until his final weeks, I wish every day that we had known that his final few months were his final months. I would definitely have done things differently. I would've visited him more, listened to his stories, asked his advice on everything and anything so that I would know his viewpoint on any of the things that I would encounter in my life. 

It's certainly a tough one and whatever decision you make you need to be sure that you are 100% happy with it and able to stand over it. I say this with experience. My sister has thrown some things back at me that I did that my dad may not have altogether been happy with. It was her grief talking but it stung all the same. These people can do not wrong but see everything wrong with everyone else as another poster said. 

Best of luck with your decision and go easy on yourself. 

Dad has terminal cancer, I’m supposed to be moving abroad

19 Aug 2019 23:34 in response to NeedSomeStrength

Hi NeedSomeStrength. I started a reply then deleted it when it got too involved. My simple message to you woud be just go for it.

There will always be reasons not to do things, stay in your comfort zone. But there's a lot to be gained from new experiences. If you can identify anxiety, you can deal with it. There's lots of help online, at the library, at your GP surgery. It doesn't need to rule your life.

What kids learn isn't just from formal education. If they see people can make a new life in a new part of the world, that counts for a lot.

I bet your parents would be proud that you took a new direction.

Yes, I've been in a similar position. And no, I don't regret the move. Life is about changes, adapting, evolving. Good luck.

regards, gamechanger