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Hi my husband was diagnosed in February stage 4 and I have 2 teenage girls and to everyone else on the outside we are doing great and my husband has been amazing throughout but from my husband finished his chemo and scans and awaiting to see what’s going to happen next  I have been finding it hard to cope and my youngest is getting angrier and angrier especially to me and says horrible things then the next min she’s lovely and my older girl is now complaining of being unwell at school headache and feeling sick a lot and I think it may just be for attention or anxiety as she started wanting us to leave her and pick her up instead of taking the bus i feel so lost at what to do and how to help them all through this but I just seem to be useless and sometimes just make everything worse   Any advice would be greatly appreciated 

  • Hello  

    Thank you for contacting the Macmillan Online Community. I am really sorry to hear that your husband was diagnosed in February with stage 4 cancer, and that you and your girls have been finding it hard to cope. It sounds like it’s been a really worrying time for you as a family. I’m glad you’ve got in touch.

    Waiting to see what is going to happen next, and holding this uncertainty, can be such a difficult time for many. It’s understandable that it would be feeling hard to cope right now -especially with you saying that your children’s behaviour has changed, become more challenging, and you’re trying to balance helping them all through just now too. That’s a lot to cope with.

    I want to assure you Rsla that, although I don’t underestimate how unsettling feeling lost just now will feel, you are not useless. It’s only natural you wouldn’t know what to do to help: as everyone is so different and how they feel and cope with the news of a diagnosis, and at the moment you will also be trying to cope with your own emotional response to all of this. As a loved one and parent there can feel a huge responsibility to make things okay, however this is so much to expect of yourself and instead can take support and time.

    Have your daughters been able to talk to you about how they are feeling at all Rsla? Or are they accessing any emotional support just now may I ask? It can sound small, but talking or, if this is two hard, expressing feelings through other outlets like writing. creative activities or movement, can really help in providing an outlet: helping process experiences and make sense of what is personally needed to cope.

    Young person specific organisations like Riprap and Hope Support Services may be useful to explore to see if these services would feel helpful to your daughters. You can also explore what Cancer Support Centres and Support Groups are available in your area through our website to see if there are any local and face to face support they or you could be accessing.  

    You mention one of your daughters is struggling with feeling sick and headaches Rsla? Some people do experience physical symptoms as a result of struggling emotionally, but it can be helpful to have these checked by the GP to ensure they are supported as best they can be. The GP can also assist with referrals to emotional and psychological support services if helpful.

    In addition, our booklet Talking To Children And Teenagers When An Adult Has Cancer (if you don’t already have it Rsla ) sounds as if it could be really helpful just now. It talks through how teenagers may react and cope to the news a loved one has cancer, and ways of supporting teenagers in coping. It also lists additional support organizations at the back of the booklet which may be useful.

    With this all feeling such a lot to hold just now Rsla it feels important to ask, who is supporting you? Is there anyone you talk to about how you are feeling? Please know we are here on the Support Line as a place you can keep in touch with for emotional support and to talk things through. We can support with questions like today and have additional teams such as our Information Nurses if you have any general medical questions regarding cancer, as well as Money and Work Service if suport with these areas would be useful. We are here 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on:0808 808 00 00 or via web chat.

    Our Community Forums such as Emotional Support and the Family and Friends Forum may also be valuable sources of support just now, allowing you to connect with others who are perhaps coping with similar experiences.

    I really hope this is helpful. Do just get back in touch if you have any questions or need further support Rsla.

    Take care,


    Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days
    a week, 8am-8pm) or by email