I work in an outpatient oncology practice. One of my patients, Amy, is a single mother with young sons whose father is remarried. She seems weaker with every visit for chemotherapy. Lately, she's voiced concern over who'll raise her boys when she's gone. Her new boyfriend is a great guy and told her not to worry. His mom also said she'd help. But this doesn't seem to reassure Amy. Are we missing something here?-H.R., IOWA
Yes. I believe this dying mother isn't concerned so much about her boys being clothed and fed but about their upbringing as young men. I'm going to suggest an unorthodox route. Ask her if she'd consider speaking to her ex-husband's wife. After all, the boys' father will be caring for them more often as their mother's condition worsens. And he'll probably have full custody when Amy dies. His second wife will be the most influential woman in their young lives. Your patient needs to know that her little guys will be taught, comforted, and corrected as she'd wished.
Hopefully, Amy will find compassion and understanding from the new wife. She's lost a husband and a battle with cancer. She doesn't need to lose her hopes and dreams for her children too.
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