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.

Struggling to cope with my mum and brother having cancer

Sue1987
Posted by

Hello, I have read a few peoples posts and in comparison my situation seems far away from others, but I wondered if anyone could help me. Last year my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged just 37, I've struggled to cope with it, which sounds ridiculous because I know I'm not the one with cancer, however I'm struggling with how it's affecting him, he is a lot more short tempered, and his mood can change at any minute and it's hard to see him like this. Then on top if this my mum told us a few weeks ago she has breast cancer, and im back to where I was last year, struggling again to understand why this has happened to our family again. I know this all may sound selfish and that I'm only thinking of myself but I'm struggling to stay strong and positive which everyone keeps telling me to be. Can anyone out there relate to how I'm feeling, and if so, how do you carry on and be the strong supportive sister/daughter I should be, rather than this emotional wreck. Thank you.

src60
Posted by

Hi @sue1987, sorry to hear about your brother and your mum it is so much to cope with and it is no wonder it is having such a major effect on you, you are not a all selfish. The idea that we have to be strong all the time is simply impossible and sometimes can be counterproductive when the people with cancer can end up thinking you do not care - it hurts because we love them. You might like to look at I'm looking after someone with cancer and especially the emotional effects of caring.

My first big step was to admit I needed help, I got some support from my local Maggies and then did a living with less stress course that helped me focus on the here and now, the concious breathing bits were great for relaxation but also for dealing with the unexpected.

<<hugs>>

Steve

Sue1987
Posted by

Hello ,

Thank you for your kind reply. You're absolutely right it's hard to be strong and positive all the time, but because I'm feeling down, I shut myself away and I don't visit my brother or mum as much as I should because I find it difficult to face the reality but then I don't want them to think I don't care, it's a horrible situation because I love them both so much. I know I need help and support and even but joining these groups has helped because i know I'm not alone. 

Thank you again for replying to me Steve.

Best wishes,

Sue.

Emmags
Posted by

Hi Sue

Firstly massive hugs.

Secondly you are not selfish it does affect you as well. You may not be the one who has had the diagnosis but unlike a family member being diagnosed with say diabetes which does have an impact on the whole family it doesn't like cancer does. 

I have a very good idea of your feelings. Last November my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 2nd January this year mum was too. 5th April dad lost his fight aged 68 and mum (also 68) is in her last few weeks.

I wish I could give you a solution on how to cope but there isn't one. The only thing I can suggest is keep talking either to friends or on her (yiu are welcome to message me personally if that helps). Rather than focusing on stay strong and getting through it. Just focus on the current day. Xx

Emmags
Posted by

Hi Sue

Firstly massive hugs.

Secondly you are not selfish it does affect you as well. You may not be the one who has had the diagnosis but unlike a family member being diagnosed with say diabetes which does have an impact on the whole family it doesn't like cancer does. 

I have a very good idea of your feelings. Last November my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 2nd January this year mum was too. 5th April dad lost his fight aged 68 and mum (also 68) is in her last few weeks.

I wish I could give you a solution on how to cope but there isn't one. The only thing I can suggest is keep talking either to friends or on her (yiu are welcome to message me personally if that helps). Rather than focusing on stay strong and getting through it. Just focus on the current day. Xx

Fatcoke
Posted by

Hi Sue1987, I hope you mum and brother are doing OK. I am not in the same situation as you, but part of the same situation for my children and siblings, both mum and I diagnosed with different types of cancer within just 8 weeks of each other, and yep it is rubbish ( trying to be a little polite), I can only tell you how mum and I feel, and how we want those around us to be, I hope this offers you some help and guidance, but we are all different. Please be angry when you are angry, please talk to me about what is going on and how you feel, dont hide your feelings from me, I need to know that you feel how you feel. We will pretend we are OK and coping, to protect the feelings of those around us, they say that cancer can be harder on the families than on the patients. I have told all my family and close friends to not address my rudeness or short temper with me at the time it happens, but to tell my the next day. I need to know how my actions are affecting others, I may not like it, and at times I have felt like telling them all where to stick it!, but it helps, it makes us open and honest, not hidden feelings or thoughts, and we have had some scary ones. But for us, this is the way we deal. I know it is only what we are doing, and how we are working together to fight this ruddy disease, but neither I or mum could do it, without this. Happy to share experiences as our journey continues.  Hope all is well with you and your family

Gaduey1407
Posted by

Hi Sue

please let me start by saying how sorry I am to hear about your brother and mum.  I can’t say and don’t want to even pretend to know how you are feeling, but I hope I go some way in saying you aren’t being selfish at all.  When my mum received her diagnosis the rollercoaster of emotions was just extraordinary. One minute we had tears then the next there was anger, finding someone to blame for this crappy disease. Highs and lows in the space of five minutes.  My sister and I are incredibly close to mum and just talking, listening,crying together, getting angry together and laughing together helped. We all react differently and there’s no right or wrong way, but that’s just how we are working through things. Not forgetting how each other is feeling and also not forgetting yourself and your feelings is so important, that’s something my sister and I took some time to realise. It helped us be more stronger for mum.