im new to the group and am looking for some advice about how to support my mum and dad.
My Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few months ago and is currently having chemo. The cancer and diagnosis has hit her like a tonne of bricks and her anxiety and stress is through the roof. She has recently taken up some CBT sessions, so hoping that will help her.
My dad however, who supports my mum pretty much 24/7 is struggling with coping with my mums extreme emotions and anxiety. He has been fantastic at caring for her but the stress and anxiety is starting to take its strain. I have helped out as much as possible in order to give my dad a break, however a lot of my mums anxiety relates to not allowing my dad to go too far away and needing him on hand all the time, plus my mum is anxious about seeing other people or going out with her low immunity from chemo.
My dad isn’t very good at taking advice or seeking support as he very much has a just get on with it approach, and I think he feels that as he isn’t the one with cancer he doesn’t need help, however I can see that it is all taking its toll.
Any advice would be great. Thank you.
Hi Hbroth , sorry to hear about your mum and the effect you see her cancer having on your dad and of course in turn you. Chemo can be a really quite challenging time and there are plenty of people on here who can share tips on how to cope; my wife's cancer is quite different and I can well remember my own struggles until I got help.
We do have quite a lot of information on I'm looking after someone with cancer that can be helpful; sometimes just knowing you are not alone can be helpful.
I’m very sorry to hear about your mum and that she’s going through chemo. My mum also was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer over a month ago and is currently having to go to many hospital appointments and ops. Anxiety too is a big thing for my mum as it can be a scary concept being unaware fully of what needs to be done and what’s going on.
I don’t really see my dad so am unable to fully help and relate to you there regarding coping with another parent coping, however I have an older sister who like your dad is very scared and I can see is struggling with my mums cancer, however I am the one having to help my mum cope most of the time due to my sister living away at uni and too can struggle to see her tearful emotions yet understand the best support I can over is talking it through w her. I think the best thing you can offer your dad is your support which you already sound extremely good at giving and talking to your dad about his emotions as well as yours because you need to keep yourself in check too.
Regarding your dad not wanting to talk a lot about it and him believing he doesn’t need help is not an unusual reaction and from past experiences with my dad struggling to open up, I have found the easiest person for him to talk to was me. You are his child and he will care about you therefore if you want him to talk to you, he will because he wants the best for you and to provide you with what you want to hear. He might not let it all out to you and it can take time for people to open up but just give them the time and support and they hopefully will. I wish you the best of luck with your mum, your dad and yourself. You sound like a very caring person.
Safe payments by:
We're here to provide physical, financial and emotional support. So whatever cancer throws your way, we're right there with you.
© Macmillan Cancer Support
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man
(604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company
number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: