Lost my dad < 6 months ago, now mum has breast cancer

I (29F) lost my dad (58M) to liposarcoma/kidney cancer in November 2021 after just over a year and a half after his diagnosis. I live in the Edinburgh (with my fiancé) apart from all my family, who all live in the Netherlands. I have two sisters (27 and 25) and my mum who will soon be 53. My mum took part in the National Breast Cancer research survey the Netherlands does each year for women over 45, and last week she got the news that she indeed has breast cancer.

It's probably because when my dad was first diagnosed that we didn't think he'd die so soon (within less than 2 year) that now all I can think of is that we will lose her too. I don't know what I would do if I became an orphan at this age, and have to reconcile with all the future events that I already had to process my dad missing, now possibly also my mum no longer being there (think having children, buying a house, weddings/anniversaries etc.)

I'm getting married in 2 months, and my direct family is all set to visit Scotland and stay for a couple of days, but my dads absence and my mums new diagnosis will be very much palpable.

I think I'm mainly looking for reassurance. What are the chances of my mum pulling through? How do I deal with her being so far away from me, I can't visit every month even if I wanted to, and talking about it via messages or video calls just brings up my dads passing and doesn't leave a lot of room for hope.

Anyone gone through something similar? I very much hope not, but I also feel incredibly alone. Thanks for reading everyone.

  • I’m so sorry to read what your going through & sorry for your loss. I lost my dad September 2021 & it was quite quickly after being told got lung cancer then spread to body, brain. 
    my mother in law had breast cancer & had radio therapy & beat it 5 years now. Hopefully they have caught your mums early & with treatment she will recover. It’s hard try & stay positive as you say you got your wedding coming up & yes it will be sad without dad their maybe you can carry a picture of him with you on the day so feel his their. My friend lost her mum & had her photo in a key ring in with her flowers. & a picture of her in a frame . I’m sure your mum would want you to enjoy your day so maybe you can try & not worry to much about her cancer on the day & share memories of good times with your dad. 

    steph x 

  • I am so sorry to hear your news. It’s the hardest thing. My dad died suddenly in October 2021 and my mum passed away in April just gone after a three year battle with colon cancer. I am 25 years old, and have lost both of my parents in the space of 6 months. When big diagnosis like this happens, it can feel like at times you haven’t had a chance to grieve the loss of your dad, because you put it all into a box to focus on the next big shock of your mum being diagnosed. But there is hope. My mum died of colon cancer, but she was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She was completely cured of the breast cancer, and the colon cancer wasn’t linked to it at all. The treatments that they have now can do amazing things- they’re not easy, but they’re worth it. My mum had both chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat her breast cancer, and that treatment gave us 11 more years with eachother, and I couldn’t be more thankful. 

    it can feel like the most isolating thing, especially as you are dealing with grief and a cancer diagnosis at the same time. I completely understand, As I have felt this isolation and loneliness many times. But you have your mum still, and this diagnosis doesn’t mean that she’s going to be taken away from you- where there is life and love, there is hope. 

    stay strong, and know that you aren’t alone in this x