both mother-in-law and sis-in-law recently diagnosed

Hi all,
My sis in law has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer at 38, and had a mastectomy with reconstruction, which she has recovered from very well, but has just started her chemo last monday, she has alot of support around her ( i unfortunately live 3 hrs away) She has been amazing. Sadly my mother in law who’s 79 has also been diagnosed abt 3 weeks ago and is having a mastectomy on friday without reconstruction and they think she will have to have radiotherapy afterwards ( she’s been told she’s too old for chemo. coz it will do more harm than good at her age. Wot i have found is ppl’s reaction to my sis in laws diagnosis is very different from the reaction to my mother in law’s diagnosis.Just coz my MIL is older i suppose,also she’s not got as much support round her and things like access to websites etc. I just wondered wot i can do to support a very proud n private woman ( who i have to say bless her is a massive hypocondriac normally) She’s taking the whole diagnosis very calmly which is surprising, i think it might be calm before the storm.( My FIL died 30 yrs ago from cancer) Its a difficult situation to know wot to do help my MIL. Also i would like to help my sis in law… but not sure how to… when my bruv is very protective over his wife obviously.
I appologise for waffling but all this has come all at once and i feel so useless, just wanna help.
Love to all Bloss XX

Hi blossom1965

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, I hope you will find them a good source of help and support.

Whilst you are waiting for the other users to reply with their experience and advice please do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000. Here you can talk through any concerns you may have about your siter-in-law and mother-in-law with a trained member of staff who can offer you emotional support as well as any information you may require.

Best wishes Sam, Facilitator

Hi Blossom,

What a difficult situation you find yourself in.

You can only offer support and hope they accept. Do speak to someone on the helpline, as Sam says. Perhaps you could find out if your MIL could phone the helpline and chat to someone, even if she is not registered on this forum.

I hope you find a way around your problem.


Hi Blossom,

sorry to hear about your mum in law and sister in law. Its a hard time for all your family. I presume from your message that they are not mother and daughter, and that they are from different sides of yout family?

I am 36 and was diagnosed in March. I have 2 little boys who are now 5 and 3. For me, there were a few core people who have got me through, mostly family members and also some close friends. I appreciated offers of help that were backed up with action. It was hard when people made a general offer to help as i still didnt like asking and couldnt always think straight to see what they could do. Also, continued contact was great. I have found that my world has shrunk a lot since i was diagnosed, and for the most part that is down to me. I dont feel as safe with some people as with others, and feel best with the people who have seen me at every stage. A regular card, flowers, small gift really made me feel loved and cherished and helped me through the rubbish times. When i felt emotionally drained, my sister would give me a shoulder massage or hand massage and that lifted my spirits. Even though you say your sister in law is well supported, she may well appreciate regular cards/notes to show you are thinking of her . I have been incredibly well supported as my family are all close by, but still felt isolated and withdrawn .

Sorry for rambling, hope this helps, have just tried to give you some ideas.

Hope all goes well for your family,


Hi Vickie,

thanx for your reply. Big hugz to you, how r u feeling now and how r things going regarding treatments etc? I hope they are going as smoothly as they can be?. Yes u r right… my MIL an SIL are from different sides of the family. I actually had a long a lovely chat with both my sis in law n bruv last week, and i kinda know where they are as such regarding how she is feeling ( as well as my bruv) and wot stage is next etc.It difficult when i cant see them living 3 hrs away (also i have some chronic health probs which are in the process of being sorted which affects me travelling, but obviously nothing as serious) Great idea abt little gifts etc and cards etc, im off today to go n look around to find something, i know she would appreciate something like that.
My mother in law had her mastectomy on friday, all went well and she’s recovering surprisingly well. MY hubby is going to visit her today in hossy ( i think they are waiting before they discharge her to get something sorted out care wise at home.) She already finds everything in life and at home a effort has done for yrs, so im worried she appears fine in hossy but when home cant cope, weve had this one this yr already. She is not the easist of ladies to deal with and she is a massive hypocondriac. But saying all that she hasn’t got any daughters, and i think woman bring something into the equation that men cant, remembering all the little things she needs for care n comfort. I know there are solutions for her care ( we live n hr away n hubby works nights n lotsa overtime, as i dont work, and his bruv is local but works long days n has kids, so difficult situation) My MIL does tend to be very dramatic and im nervous she’s just gonna give up, she that kinda lady, life is always a struggle for her for yrs it has been.
Take care… see u didnt waffle i did hehe
Love N healing hugz Jeanette XX