Mum always knows everything!

I am newly diagnosed and dread telling my parents.  They are elderly and yes it will be a shock. mum knows everything and will no doubt tell me what I have done wrong, what I need to do, etc.  I am dreading telling her.  

I know she will also be on my doorstop every day and on the phone which I don't want.  

How do I deal with this?


  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    Others will probably have better advice, but I would suggest telling her this (in the nicest possible way) straight up when you tell your parents about the diagnosis.
  • NotHappyJan
    NotHappyJan Member Posts: 16
    Thanks for the reply  :)  Yep my mum is easier said than done, but I have grown some "balls" over the years so will be straight and firm.  Dad is the softie, so will be harder for him x
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561

    Our @soldiercrab has put this welcome together which should help

    Below are a couple of links to help you find your way around the forum and also how to find a breast care nurse and how to order a MY journey Kit if you haven't got one yet. 

    It can be a a whirlwind when we first get a diagnosed.... Breathe and take it one step at a time. 

    The what and how thread. 

    Breast Care Nurses 

    My Journey Kits and other resources.

    BCNA Helpline 1800 500 258

    If you have any questions, concerns or require any further information or support please call 1800 500 258.  The Helpline is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am till 5 pm EST and Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am till 9 pm EST.



    How to understand your pathology reports


  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    I could not face my parents and sent my husband to tell them. I was very very angry (not at them) at that point and asked him to ask them to leave me alone at that point. Which they did, apart from some text messages. I was ready to face them 10 days later. My mother had BC at my age and my sister died from it. It was unbearable to see their faces. But I know they needed to see me so I pulled up my big girl undies.

    My mother is 83 and somewhat competitive on the martyrdom front! Any side effect I've had, she had worse! Or I failed by having it when she didn't... It's been rather trying at times. She would be appalled and deny it, but others have noticed.

    It is what it is. I agree with @Sister. Be up front, calm and straightforward about what you need from her. Best of luck. K xox
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,667
    Hopefully, she will be a great support to you rather than be a pain ..... fingers crossed!! xxx

  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    edited August 2018
    My mother has an uncanny knack of knowing when something is wrong with me and drops in for a visit. I had just gotten home from diagnosis and she landed here for a cuppa. I told her the truth when she asked how I went at the doctors. She collapsed crying in a big drama. I had to be the strong one. 
    She pushed in to visit minutes after I came out of surgery and hadn't even come to terms with my surgery.
    The saving grace was during chemo I told her I had to be in quarantine so as not to get any colds from others. It didn't stop her coming but slowed up the visits.
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372

    Hi @nothappyjan

    Our mothers. Sigh. One of the thing to consider is that your cancer doesn't change who either of you are, so it's likely that this will pan out the same way other dramas in your life have gone. You've got a pretty good idea what you think she will do, and there is every chance you are right. You will also handle it the way you have always handled it.

    My mum is a bit the same; it irritates the bejesus out of me on occasions. OK, most of the time. When I told her about BC V2 I got the predicted lecture about what I should/shouldn't/should've do/done as well as some not very helpful advice backed up by lengthy anecdotes about what has/hasn't/didn't happened to other people who's situation is nothing remotely like mine.  

    I ended up yelling at her which made me feel like crap, but it was just a rerun of dozens of other occasions with a different topic. I love her dearly, but that woman can make me suddenly morph into my 13yr old self. She's old and frail and worried, but deep down she's still the annoying wasp tongued busybody she was when I was growing up. I watch how she behaves in the nursing home with a sense of appalled recognition--most people don't really change. You'll figure it out, you've had heaps of experience. Mxx

  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Hey @NotHappyJan,

    This is always the hard bit.  Maybe you could start with "I have some news and it would be really helpful if you could just listen to what I have to say" That might put her on the back foot to begin with, or not.  You might just have to wing it and get grumpy if she starts on about it.  

     My husband got straight on the phone to my mother as soon as we found out. This man cannot keep his mouth shut, bless him.  Plus he was freaked out and didn't know what to do with his now babbling, stunned mess of a wife, and needed some back up I think.

    By the time I got home from the doctors she was on the doorstep.  I am lucky enough to have one of those mothers who is just the nicest person in general to everybody (although she was pretty handy with a wooden spoon and doing her block when I was young).  She just spent the next hour listening and saying it should have been her and not me, it wasn't fair, she was older and it should be her etc etc.  She rang my gp and promptly drove up the rode to get some diazepam.  Nice work mum, drug the daughter out. I am glad she did though.

    I never want a rerun of that afternoon.  Still gives me chills thinking about it.

    You never know she might surprise you.  Let's hope so. Once it's out and conversation over you can stop worrying about it whichever way it goes.


  • Sarnicad
    Sarnicad Member Posts: 318
    I managed to tell mum by phone but couldn’t face my sisters. Had hubby tell one and the other still hasn’t been told. I don’t have the time or energy to put into their competitive drama filled crap so have stuck my head in the sand 
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @Sarnicad You are the most important person now so what you want rules sista!
  • Ellamary98
    Ellamary98 Member Posts: 157
    I have really missed my Mum's counsel and practical support, although I also feel that she has been spared the heartache. Telling my Dad about my mets diagnosis has been really hard. He relies on me for a lot of support, and had his own cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago. He offered me all his money, and then suggested that I take his 81 year-old bone marrow; I had to explain that this was not a treatment option. Bless him. My sisters are so different- one has been wonderful and supportive. The other has somehow made it all about her. She is angry with me, because I refuse to get dramatic, and she keeps posting lovehearts on facebook, which she knows I hate. My brothers cried and needed reassurance. None of these responses have been a surprise, but I suppose when our emotions are running so high, we really need something different from our family, and they just don't always deliver that. We just have to work with what we have, and be firm about emotional intrusions and unwelcome advice. I love my family immensely, but managing their fear is exhausting. Good luck, @NotHappyJan. You know them best, and you will know the right way to deliver the news. xx
  • mum2jj
    mum2jj Member Posts: 4,331
    I thought the same thing, lucky I have a wonderful sister. I told her exactly how I felt about Mum (just like you feel). I told her I would not cope with the mother knows best attitude and all the questions that would come with it. She said leave it to me. I am not sure exactly what she said, but it did the trick. By the time I called my parents they were nothing but supportive. No silly questions, just lots of love and support. If you don’t have someone like my sister, just be honest with your Mum and let her know you need her love and support, without the Mum knows best attitude. 
    Hopefully things will work out with your Mum. Remember no matter what she will love you. 
    Paula xx
  • Karenhappyquilter
    Karenhappyquilter Member Posts: 242
    I have a relative who phoned often giving much stupid and unwanted advice.  I don’t know if it was the chemo drugs, the drugs for nausea or just having cancer but I found to my surprise I would get  angry pretty quickly and put him in his place, which I wouldn’t have done before.  So you may be surprised how well you stand up for yourself.  Best of luck.