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Emotional issues

Cancer can be emotionally draining, but sharing your feelings can help you and others in your situation. Talk about it here.

Mum was diagnosed last week with incurable cancer

Posted by


This is my first post here. My mum (81) was diagnosed last week with pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver and is untreatable. That's the extent of what we know as she was discharged from hospital last Sunday and we are waiting to hear more from a specialist about care/medication. It's an already difficult time for everyone with the coronavirus but I am finding not being able to visit my mum (and dad), who I am very close to extremely difficult. I spent the first few days after diagnosis in denial but it's really hit me this past couple of days and today has been especially hard. I have a 21 month old son, so I have to be strong for him too, but I am already finding this incredibly difficult. I'm not sure what else to say at this point but I just wanted to reach out to somebody. Thank you for reading.

Posted by

Hi  and welcome to the Online Community, although I am sorry to see you finding us and so sorry to hear about your mum’s diagnosis.

You may find talking with people who are on the same journey to be helpful so can I also highlight our very supportive Carers only and Supporting someone with incurable cancer groups as you will connect with others supporting family through their cancer journey.

Posting in this group will open up your concerns to a wider group of people who know exactly what you are dealing with at the moment.

Follow the links I've created, join the groups then introduce yourself to the group and post questions after selecting 'start a discussion' and you can also join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

((hugs)) from a distance.

Mike - Thehighlander

It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

Click to see how to add details to your profile

Posted by

Hi JS2018, I'm glad that you have been able to reach out to the community. Although I'm living with cancer myself, I suspect that there are times when someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer it can be harder for the nearest and dearest than it is for the one with cancer. Your post suggests that you are part of a loving family, and this to me says that there is a good support network in place, something which I suspect that both of your parents are aware of. These are exceptional and unusual times, and not being able to visit when we feel that we may be needed the most can be heartbreaking. I wonder how your parents would feel about receiving a letter saying all of the things that you want to tell them, I wonder how you would feel about writing a letter, would it perhaps help you as much as them? Maybe just thinking about how you might get some form of a written message to your parents will provide a small distraction during this difficult time. One final thought, we have often turned to our parents whenever we need advice so I wonder if you can imagine what advice your dad would be giving you now. I hope that this helps a bit, more questions than answers I'm afraid, but be assured that you are not alone (Too cringe-making? I hope not).

Posted by

Hi ,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post. I am very sorry to hear about your situation and I hope you have a good support network available?

I like your suggestion of writing my parents a letter and I think I will do that, although I will write them separate letters I think as there are things I'd like to say to them individually. I agree that writing a letter would probably help me also, however it might also help in that my parents are of the general generation of not talking about their feelings so although I'm much more open as a person, I find it difficult to try to engage them in an open conversation, now more than ever.

Mum was prescribed some stronger pain medication today (morphine), which I hope will help, but we are still waiting to hear more from the specialist at the hospital. It will hopefully be Friday that we can expect to hear more.

Thanks again

Posted by

Hi again JS2018

Thank you for expressing your concern for my well-being. I do have a good support network, mainly from my closest family, but also at the day unit where I go for treatment. Fortunately I have never had any of the really awful side effects that can occur, although about seven days into the first cycle of my second round of chemo most of the hair on my head fell out during a shower. This made my grandchildren and my sisters chuckle, so that can't be a bad thing.

My posts are guided by my experience as a listening volunteer with Samaritans, and giving advice, sharing personal information and experiences, are all considered to be a no-no. This means that I will try to find a way of helping people to help themselves, which is why you see terms and words  like 'I wonder, and perhaps or maybe'. Sometimes it may be suggesting different ways of thinking about an experience. I won't always succeed, but your reply has given me the encouragement to keep on trying.

I hope that the update that you are expecting today provides a measure of reassurance and comfort. There are often times when we feel helpless and sometimes inadequate, but so often appreciation for what we do or say is acutely recognised and deeply appreciated because being aware that someone cares about us provides a peace of mind that may not always be obvious.

Thank you again, and know that my thoughts will be with you.

Posted by


I'd just like to send you a brief message to say thank you again for your suggestion writing letters to my parents. I decided to write them each a letter and gave this to them to read (when I wasn't there) last week. My Mum, who isn't the best at expressing and discussing emotion, sent me the most wonderful message in response, so I feel a small sense of peace just knowing I got to send that letter to her, particularly since things seem to have deteriorated with her condition considerably over the past three days and she is back in hospital, but we are still hoping for the best.

Thank you again.

Posted by

Hi JS2018,

It's my first day venturing onto the Macmillan site and also these groups too but already I have found reading through the posts extremely helpful and also comforting that we are not alone!

My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year and unfortunately we lost our dad to the same disease 20 years ago - bloody unfair isn't it.  It's frightening and unknown so I empathise completely with how difficult you are finding things.

It sounds like from your replies you have a strong network around you which I think is so crucial, and I'm learning its really important to share the load especially on a s**t day.

I too am not sure what else to say, other than you are not alone