Our expert says:
You're right, to start with - surely we need to respect the wishes of the person who is ill. Secondly, and you should get her consent for this, you should check with her specialist to be sure what you are dealing with - how serious the illness, and what can be expected from it. Some of these illnesses last a surprisingly long time, some cause an early end, and it would be easier for both of you to plan and cope when you know exactly what you're dealing with.
Casey's response makes sense. Such losses are never easy to bear, but we do bear them, as we must. How you will need to respond will depend on her condition and what she needs and wants. Take it day by day, and maybe aim mainly at enjoying your time together as much as you both can, as it can be too easy to become so wrapped up in mourning before its time, thus neglecting all the good thinks you can do together during life.
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