Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Troubles pile up for family after terminal diagnosis

  • Print

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been happily married to my husband for 15 years; however, he was recently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Ever since his diagnosis, he's become a completely different person. He sometimes comes home in the middle of the night with no explanation of where he was. I found out he started smoking marijuana. I also have a pretty good suspicion he has a second cellphone, though he denies it. I desperately need help. I'm currently pregnant, to go along with a moody son, a husband with lung cancer and an overdrawn chequing account. -- Stressed and Confused, Winnipeg.


Dear Stressed: You have to get tough now. Your husband knows he's going to die and it won't be long, so he's doing whatever he pleases. He may not be thinking of you, his child and the baby any more, or when he does, it makes him depressed and panicky. Drugs and women are big distractions from those feelings, Second cellphones make contacting another woman or a drug dealer much easier.

So get refocused on yourself, your child and baby to come -- as if you are already on your own. What supports can you start putting in place? Do you have a job where you will get maternity leave? If not, can you go on social assistance? If necessary, what can you do to make money when the baby is little? Where will you live? Do you need to have a roommate, or move in with family? Who could that be? It's time to confess to friends and family exactly what your desperate situation is, financially and otherwise. Villa Rosa, the home/centre for unwed/single mothers knows all the supports for pregnant women that exist in the city, so call them. You are not single now, but you will be when your baby is very young. Are your parents close? If they offer money to help you, don't be too proud. Accept it.

Do you need a food bank? Don't be ashamed to call Winnipeg Harvest so you and the kids can eat. As for sex, start using condoms again, on any excuse. If your husband is upset, say you have a vaginal infection you could pass on. Protect yourself and your children from a sexually transmitted infection. Your husband has focused on his shortened life. You must stand up and become a protective Mama Bear to your children.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read your response to Trouble in Paradise about the dog who sleeps with the couple and has bitten the husband when he was having sex with his wife. There are huge issues with the dog. For a dog to bark, growl, yap and even bite a person in the household means the dog has not been taught the "pack structure." The dog could be confused or sees itself as higher than "Trouble," who has to establish himself as the "alpha." They need to train the dog together and be on the same page or else the dog's behaviour will remain the same and could even escalate to the point he may begin to bite company. If they have kids, the dog will surely seek dominance over the children and then the children will get bitten. Unfortunately, in cases like that, the end result will be euthanasia for the dog when it could have been prevented.

They could benefit from trainers or books and DVDs about the subject. One resource I have found useful is the website They sell a video entitled Establishing Pack Structure. -- Animal Lover, Rural Manitoba


Dear Animal Lover: Thanks for your knowledgeable advice. Dogs need to know their place and are much more comfortable once they do.


Please send your questions or comments c/o or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 1, 2014 C2


Updated on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM CDT: Corrects name of pregnancy centre.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Andrew Ladd talks about his injury

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google