Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

First Post : When your Parent has Cancer

On this harvest moon

Hello, i've been thinking about joining this community for a while.  Just a warning this post isn't going to win awards for positivity - it's more of a lets get my feelings down and hopefully i'll feel better. 

I thought I was coping with everything relatively well however  following few evenings when i've been completely by myself to feel comfortable with being emotional, it has made me realise that I don't think i'm coping as well as I thought. I don't know what to expect in general or how I should be feeling - or whether everything is expectedly okay given the circumstances and I can feel at ease. 
 I completely apologise in advance if this comes across as selfish, weak minded and just really i need to get a grip haha - maybe I do! 

My Mum was recently diagnosed with a carcinoid tumour  in her bowel which has spread to surrounding lymph nodes and her liver. She has been categorised as having stage 4 cancer....however in terms of her particular cancer, i'm not sure what that entirely means. She has not long started ( past few months) hormone injections which have been soothing her symptoms and at the moment...and probably in the surrounding future this is something that she will have to live with.  Her tumour in the bowel isn't exactly operable  due to the positioning and the Mets in her liver are a bit of a mess. 

We are a close family of four (gran, mum & sister) and I can't help feeling that one day my sister and I will be completely alone  and that scares me - i know this sounds incredibly selfish .
Given my mums cancer I have absolutely no idea what to expect - everyone so far has given us a worried expression and "Oh dear"
No one has actually said - ok this is  what's likely going to happen , this what we are working with etc

I think what's caused the majority of my anxiety  is from my Grandad who died about 4 years ago. . My Grandad had prostate cancer  - oddly ad the same time as my Mum also would have had cancer ( however undiagnosed) When he died it really had such a huge effect on me. My grandad was my father figure, who would always tell me jokes, sing me songs, draw pictures  - choose the worst films to watch on TV.
  I was with my Gran and Mum  at the hospital for the few weeks leading up to and during the night when he died.  Given what I feel now, I still  wouldn't have had it any other way because I wanted to be there for my Gran and Mum. 
The whole few days leading up to and during was absolutely  horrible and it's something I never want to go through again. I watched a man who looked after me as a baby, who was known for his charismatic charm and his jokes just disappear.
I was even watching my fiancée play with his Nieces today and his Mum said to him "Your Uncle used to play like that with you "( who also died from cancer) It's just  all so incredibly sad 

And I am so horrendously terrified that my Mum will just disappear like my grandad and my sister and I will be completely alone.  I'm terrified of having to go through the weeks leading to it. I'm terrified of how she's going to feel, i'm terrified of the prospect of her not being there and frankly I don't know how to cope or channel that emotion. As with many people in this community it would be lovely to have a magic wand and wish it all away
I know it will happen one day - it happens to everyone but it's just constantly at the back of my mind.

Posted by


I am Lindsay, 34 years old.

My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer last August and has been going thru treatment ever since. Started with chemo in December and has had some minor side effects. 

Since his diagnosis my dad has transformed into a very emotional man, I never knew lived inside of him.

We don’t know the prognosis as his condition is unique.

It’s been a difficult few months and at times I don’t know how to deal with, or what to do with myself. I am sad, upset, angry and anxious. I am an only child and I totally understand where your coming from.


Posted by


I was going to write a post, but basically it would be the same as yours! I too tell myself all the time that I shouldn't feel as bad as I feel, because it's so much worse for other people, or its just life. I joined this community in May last year, or thereabouts, shortly after my Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, the February later, I'm really struggling again. Mostly I think it may be emotional exhaustion from the last year, mixed with a combo of her disease advancing and her starting on a new last line treatment. I'm like a tiny ball of hurt, fear and fury! 

I've worked in healthcare, and seen the end of lots of people's lives - some good, some really not so good, and I can't help but imagine all the same happening with my Mum. Recently it's got under my skin, I find myself  having a lot of nightmares at the moment, or being hyper vigilant about things going wrong (my poor boyfriend gets told to drive, cycle even walk safely...!). I actually find it hard to even be with my Mum at the moment (which is horrible, but its how it is for now). 

The best thing, and I'm writing this to remind myself, is to give those feelings space. I write for hours at a time in a notebook (my to do list is definitely suffering at the mo) and always feel different at the end, slightly braver usually or less frustrated with myself. I actually bought a chair for the very purpose! 

Of course you're anxious, and of course I've become a bit of a control freak. 

Thanks for helping me post, 

Hope writing it helped you, 


Posted by

I am so sorry to read your stories about your close family members.  My mother was told last week that she has cancer of the lung, this was found out after a routine scan on her liver in which they found 'spots' and they investigated further and then found another spot on her lung. No idea as of yet what size/type.  Its difficult to even write this down let alone say it out loud.  We are going to speak to a specialist this afternoon to find out more and what treatment is available.  They haven't even fully discussed what the spots on her liver are yet as they are concentrating on the cancer on her lung.  I know nothing of cancer only of hearing other people's stories.

I just can't believe that this is happening it feels so unreal and I feel numb some days and then the slightest things can start me off crying, night times are the worst when the kids are in bed.  I can't even get my head around the fact that my mother might not be around.  She's always been there, on the end of the phone or just to pop into see her and tell her about my day.  My family see her every day she is such a huge part of my life...

I'm trying to think that she's still here and to treasure every moment with her but it feels like we're on borrowed time, whereas a couple of months ago everything was completely normal.

I think it is a great idea to write things down I'm glad to hear that it helps you in some small way.


Posted by

Not really sure where to start.

I have joined this community having received the devastating news last week that my Dad has lung cancer.  He is in his early 60s and I am mid-30s. 

So much has happened in such a short space of time since he found out with some complications meaning he has spent time in hospital. He is now home though and building himself up to begin treatment. 

The cancer is unfortunately quite advanced and we have been told it is inoperable. The future is therefore very uncertain and treatment is going to be about giving him as much time as possible with us rather than curing the cancer. 

I am struggling to come to terms with everything to be honest and I am particularly concerned about my two young children (4 and 2) who don’t really understand why they keep seeing their Daddy getting upset and crying. 

We have explained that Grandad is poorly and that is making Daddy sad, but they are too young to understand or cope with the gravity of the situation. 

I don’t even want to think about a future without my Dad, as I feel that would be like giving up hope but at the same time I know the survival statistics make bleak reading. 

I don’t know what to do - I am trying to carry on life as normal for the sake of my kids - but I worry that I should be acting differently somehow. 

I am not sure there is much anyone can say to help, but just writing this down helps me to process my thoughts more clearly. 

Love and strength to all of you going through similar difficult times. 


Posted by

Hi  welcome to the community, although always a bit sorry to see new members join our ranks.

Your feelings are totally normal, just after diagnosis and before treatment is hard for everyone and cancer is not something most people feel comfortable talking about. With my wife the cancer is in her lung but the primary was elsewhere and in fact removed before they even knew it was cancer.

I too went down the line of looking towards the future without my wife though she never wanted a prognosis, her cancer being rare this would at best have been a guess. I too was thinking how would I cope when ... and it was driving me into depression - then my wife ended up in hospital and I finally reached out for help - well done to you for coming here - we understand in a way most people just won't.

You are so right that your children will be worried to see you upset, Macmillan have advice on talking to children that might be helpful. Our son has autism so we had to be extra careful not to promise what we could not deliver. Currently there is no chance of my wife being cured but - and much more importantly - chemotherapy has rendered her cancer stable, she is in such good health that they just dropped her hospital visits to once every six months or essentially on demand.

I did a living with less stress course with Maggies that really helped me, the idea of appreciating what I have now, being ready to deal with problems rather than trying to prepare for all eventualities and knowing where I can get help when I need it made it easier for me to cope.

Hope some of that helps you, do keep posting, call the phone line if you need instant help and possibly if you might find a face-to-face more helpful consider using in your area to find support groups near you.

It is hard but we can do it - really we do not have a choice.



Posted by

Hi David, 

I am so sorry to hear about your dad it feels like a living nightmare doesn't it, that never seems to end. I never thought that cancer would happen in my family it only happens to other people so I thought...

 We we're told last week that my mother's cancer is advanced and has spread to her Liver,  bones and pelvis. News we were not expecting to hear. We thought it was caught early.... I have children aged 11 and 6 it is hard trying to put on a brave face when I keep bursting into tears thinking life without my mother will be unbearable. Like you I'm trying to be as normal as possible for my children while my mother tells me to carry on, live my life and don't worry about her although she must be scared beyond anything I can imagine, she doesn't show us this.

Next week we find out what type of lung cancer it is and what treatment will hault this hideous disease. I PRAY/HOPE  it works and gives us more quality time with my mother.  

I don't know if there is any type of help or support for my mother to have a chat to does anyone know??

Sending love to you and your family x x

Posted by

Thank you both. I am sorry you are going through this awful experience too. 

I too was one of those who never thought this would happen to someone in my family. 

As hard as it is, I am determined to try and keep going on with life as normally as I can for the sake of the kids and also for Dad. He needs everyone around him to stay strong and positive to help him try and fight this. 

Keep strong. Love and best wishes to you and your families too. 


Posted by

AHello this is my first time on here , firstly I am so sorry about your Mum I hope the find a treatment that works for her . I read a few of these posts but yours struck me as my dad was diagnosed with a rare prostrate cancer in November , a month before that my teenage niece was diagnosed with a brain tumour , both were completely unexpected and have shaken us so much . I am a mum of three and I like you am finding it hard to not burst into tears all the time . The kids know about my dad and niece but they don’t know that neither of them will get rid of this awful disease . I am holding it together (just) but some days I just feel like I don’t want to be the responsible adult I just want to cry that my dad has cancer . I feel for you x

Posted by

My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on Monday and also was told that there is nothing they can do for him only give him extra time with chemotherapy. He's off to see them on Monday to have a brondoscopy to see what 'kind' of cancer he has and they they can issue treatment from there. 

It's been such a horrible few days that today I feel so emotional and drained with just not knowing what to think or feel. The thought he mite not been here next year is heartbreaking. My 3 year old loves him to pieces and she got abit emotional today when she made him a card..makes me worry what she's going to be like when the worse does happen! I can't ever imagine him not being here. But I am trying so hard to be positive and stay strong for him but like someone else said it's when your alone u feel it more.

It's so sad to see all these story's but in a strange way there's comfort there to know your not alone as someone else is going through the same thing.

Love to u all xx
Posted by

Hi Doris777p, so sorry you are in this position too.

I too draw strength and comfort from knowing others understand the pain and distress I am feeling and that I am not alone in facing this living nightmare. 

Stay strong everyone. Love and hugs to you all. 


Posted by

Hi I’m so sorry that you have just received this awful news too, I hope you find out more soon and know what your Dad is dealing with x

I’m just taking each day as it comes Dad had some good news on Monday he’s halfway through the chemo and it is keeping the cancer at bay it won’t cure it but will give him some time . I went to see them at the weekend as we live quite far away, That helped to have a hug and cry . 

Take care everyone x

Posted by

Yes definitely..I'm glad I can come on here and have a rant..I felt awful yesterday and my daughter got abit emotional about it and told me she's sad her grandad is poorly. She was there when we got told by the doctor so I think she knows there's something wrong as we where in hospital at the time. And she did keep asking the day after why people where in hospital. She's only 3 god love her. She's going to be lost without him   I hate that feeling.

Today I feel ok..but it still feels's not sinking in at all...I don't know if it ever will

I'm so sorry for everyone who is going through all this. I hope u all can find peace xx

Posted by

Hi ours are 3,11,14 such differing ages and levels of understanding, our 3 year old knows grandads poorly but doesn’t really mention it but he does see me upset , it’s hard to know how much they take in really . I have explained more to the older girls but it’s hard to know how much to say as I don’t want the to know all the awfulness of my dad and my niece . Do they go to playschool or anything so you get a moment to yourself to cry ? It’s hard to shut it off and then let it out when there’s space to I know . I’m thinking of you 

Posted by

I don't know how I'm going to tell her properly. I told her the other day when we where going hospital that grandad is very poorly and is in hospital so u need to be good ect and she was really good about it. Monday she was with me when we where told the bad news and then Tuesday when we went to hospital again she kept asking why people where there. Bless her so I just tried to explain that people are unwell and come here to get better and then that was it. 

She was in nursery on Tuesday and I had a good cry at home which was good to just be alone for a while to try to come to terms with it all. I was upset abit on Wednesday when she said she was upset cos her grandad was poorly...made me really sad to think about it and what going to happen. 

My friend recently lost her mum to cancer and her daughter was very close to her so I know I can turn to her for help with stuff like's just a heartbreaking