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My daughter has stage IV breast cancer she was diagnosed De Novo and has been doing well for years

I live 22 miles away which takes 46 minutes in normal traffic and over an hour with more traffic Between my autoimmune disease and neck issues and my 2 dogs that need medication for the car ride I find it stressful to make the drive

The stress makes my exhaustion worse and bringing the dogs in her house when her cat hates them is also stressful

I would like to move closer to her to offer physical and emotional support but my husband (her stepdad) says we live close enough and it’s causing problems in our marriage

he also says our house is perfect (it’s true, it’s totally redone) and the houses by her need more work and he is not up to it (he is 67 and retired)

my question is, am I asking too much or is this something my daughter would benefit from?

as a parent I want to do all I can for her this is breaking my heart

she can’t move because it would mean taking my granddaughter out of her school and an entire lifestyle change (they live on a canal and have a boat)

thank you so much for listening


  • smc123
    smc123 Member Posts: 30

    Birchbark, Your daughter is going through a lot. You should try and minimize her stress and possibly it will help your stress level, as well. A 45-60 minute car ride isn’t a fun but you could try and make it more enjoyable by listen to relaxing podcasts or books on tape. Also, leave the dogs at home. I don’t know how she feels about your dogs coming to her house but to me it seems an unnecessary stress. I have a dog and I would not appreciate anyone bringing their pets with them. This summer I had a stage IV friend die …she was stable for 5 1/2 years and then she wasn’t…she went downhill very quickly. Treasure every day you still have with her.

  • birchbark26
    birchbark26 Member Posts: 6

    Thank you

    Ive left the dogs at home before but that causes me to leave before she is ready for me to go

    and hiring dog walkers is invasive and costly

    I’m sorry about your friend

  • smc123
    smc123 Member Posts: 30

    Birchbark, I’ll be honest…I would not be happy if my mother ever used her dogs as an excuse for not being there for me.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 308

    This is a hard one. Your husband has valid points and if it was anyone other than your daughter I would pause. But this is your baby and stage 4 has no cure. She's doing well now thank goodness but for how long no one can tell. And if she wants you around, if it was me, I'd be around. I don't know how to convince your husband of this need, however. If it was his kid, would he feel differently? Would you be willing to do it for him? If you would then perhaps that where you need to start. Also, could you stay the night with her maybe during the week? That could be a compromise.

  • birchbark26
    birchbark26 Member Posts: 6

    He knows I would do it for him as I took in his 2 boys (ages 11 and 8) and raised them in my apartment for almost a year before we blended families after their mother died

    my husband doesn’t handle stressful situations and has even left me as I cried in pain from my autoimmune issues and after surgeries

    sorry to dump all this

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 308

    Oh I'm sorry. There is no easy solution to this one. I think my advice would be to do what you can live with the most. In other words, if losing your marriage would affect you more than not being there for your daughter in the way you feel called to do, then you choose your marriage. But if you daughter passes away while you're still living, if you know in your heart you would resent your husband and regret not being there for her in the way you want, then choose to move. No one can tell you what to do here but I think we all get the struggle.

    I will say though that being left while in pain is inexcusable. It just is. My husband doesn't handle my emotions well and has a very stressful job. I was really concerned with how he was going to manage my being sick. He ended up being a rock star. He struggled but he went with me to every chemo appointment and had my back. Stress is not an excuse to avoid showing up for those you love. I hope you got an apology.

  • birchbark26
    birchbark26 Member Posts: 6

    What I want is for my husband to ask me what I need concerning my daughter

    I just don’t get what I give

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 308
    edited September 24

    I'm sorry. I wish he'd ask you what you need also. It could be though that he knows what you need, it's in contradiction to what he needs, hence he's not going to directly have the conversation. Perhaps therapy might be helpful, too. I wish you peace in whatever decisions you feel you need to make.

  • chicagoan
    chicagoan Member Posts: 865

    Birchbark-it's wonderful that you want to support your daughter and I am glad she has been doing well for years. Just a few questions for you to ponder-I don't expect answers.

    1. Have you had a conversation to see if your daughter would like you to move closer?
    2. If your daughter needed more help from you, could you rent a small apartment in her town so that you and your husband wouldn't have to give up your home permanently?
    3. Could your husband watch the dogs and walk them while you visit your daughter? (I'm a cat person and it would be very stressful for me to have someone bring dogs to my home, especially if my cat didn't like them)

    I hope solutions can be found to ease your stress-I'm sure that doesn't help your auto-immune disease. Peace to you and your family.

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 740


    Why can't your husband take care of the dogs if he's retired? He needs to. You need to have a conversation with him regarding your stress and needing his support. Everyone reacts differently to changing life situations. If he truly is unable to support you, then perhaps there is another family member or friend who gets it and will help. You need to concentrate on taking care of yourself as well. Eliminating the dogs out of this equation would be a first step.

    I had always thought I would handle things on my own without much support of my husband. The day my father dropped dead, I tore out of here to get there, and much to my surprise he followed me. He gained much redemption that day. He was my absolute rock during that time. I really hope someone surprises you. You need a rock. Sending positive thoughts to both your daughter and you.