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 with emotions

Posted by

I found out last week that my mum's ovarian cancer has now developed into two brain tumours- news that my family and I were definitely not expecting. At first I was an emotional mess but now I feel as if I'm accidentally repressing my emotions and worries because I'm trying to follow my mum's advice to try and carry on with life as normal. I find that I'll be fine and composed, carrying with my university tasks and then a worrying or upset thought will slip in that will just strike me down emotionally. Last night, for example, I irrationally compared my mum's tumours to that of my late dog, who suffered unknowingly and was eventually put down which led to me sobbing alone in my bed. I don't know how to rationally deal with my emotions so any advice would be great. I don't want to talk to my mum about it because I'm worried my irrational thoughts will upset her and make her worry. 

Posted by

Hi So sorry to hear about your Mum.

I can't really give any advice on rationally dealing with it, as emotions just aren't rational!  There isn't a wrong or right way of dealing with news like you've just been given, and your responses seem to me to be perfectly normal. I'm in a similar situation with my Mum (I'll not bore you with the details, they're already posted on here) and what you're saying is very similar to how I feel with what's going on. I'm trying to get on with normal life, work, kids, home life while spending as much time as possible at my Mum's which is 200 miles away. I find that your post really strikes a cord, as to me it's like having a little demon sat on my shoulder, and while I'm going about my day it occasionally shouts "CANCER!!" in my ear, and it's like the world stops for a moment as I remember what's going on. The only way I've found to deal with it is to go and do something, whether walk round for 5 minutes or go get a coffee, and then get back on with things until next time. The worst for me is that moment a couple of minutes after I wake up when I remember what's going on.

It's hard to just carry on as normal, because normal just changed into something else. One day at a time is now my mantra, and it's sort of keeping me sane I think. Once we new what was happening I did dive into a bottle (or 2) or red wine and attempt to blot it out, but that's no solution either. The only thing which is helping at the moment when it comes to clearing my head is exercise. My sleep has been heavily affected, so I'm using the ridiculously early mornings for something positive. I wake stressed to bits at 4am, so I've started getting up and going to the gym for an hour and burning off the stress that way. Seems to work at the moment.

All I can suggest is when the little demon pops up and reminds you what's going on, give yourself a bit of space, go do something else, give yourself time to clear your head, and don't blame yourself for not feeling rational, because what you're going through is really really hard. One day at a time. If you don't feel you can talk face to face with your Mum, or anyone else for that matter then offload on here, have a rant and a scream. We're all experiencing similar things on here, so you really aren't alone.

Take care of yourself as well as your Mum.


Posted by

I have just read your post and it has given me plenty to think about as I am also struggling with that wake up call of reality and disbelief.

my husband last week was Diagnosed with secondary cancers following what we thought was a successful whipple op for pancreatic cancer.

 I can see how quickly he is going down hill... and I am so angry at the moment about it all....but then so is everyone else.?

your one day at a time is the right way forward.... so thank you for sharing 


Posted by

Hi Kate 

Sorry to hear about your husband. It's a bloody crappy disease. It's really weird how the disease almost takes on a personality at times. My Mum's secondary was found on her very last cystoscopy, three years after surgery to remove her kidney. I get where you're coming from about being angry, it just doesn't seem fair. 

At the moment we're making the most of her relatively good health, because it's secondary liver (multiple mets) and that means she could go downhill fast, or could carry on in fairly good health for a while yet, we just don't know. 

One day at a time....