I just received a call from a friend to ask advice on how to deal with an unthinkable situation.
This friend reached out to me because of my professional expertise on behalf of another couple, whom we also know.
The husband in the couple was diagnosed with a rare cancer, stage 4, in mid September. The diagnosis was out of the blue really. The couple are our age and have a 3 year old, who joined their family from China via adoption around age 18 months.
They started aggressive treatment right after diagnosis and the husband has been doing all right. A few days ago, his doctors determined he's not responding to treatment and has taken a significant turn for the worse. They had to intubate him, and he will likely pass away in the next several days.
The friend wanted to know what and how to tell the child. And whether the child should be taken to see him in ICU in this state or just not ever see her father again.
It's a tricky question and one I've sought professional advice on from child specialists in psycho-oncology since getting the call.
My heart breaks for these friends, for their impending loss. My heart breaks for their child, who has already lost two birth parents, and then a set of chinese foster parents, and now will lose her adoptive father as well. It is just so incomprehensibly, completely unfair. Not fair at all.
For us, this terrible situation also offered us a perspective check. Our situation is rough. And I am grieving our latest setback and am beyond frustrated at our situation. But our situation is not this horrific. We will survive. We will go on. And although I can't see my way out the other side right now, we WILL somehow get there, I hope, if we can avoid giving up.
If you could keep this couple and their child in your thoughts and prayers, I would ask you to.
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