Overwhelmed and guilty, but functioning

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I’m finding it very hard to process my mums metastatic breast cancer. I find that I’m not as upset as I was the first time but I think it’s because there is a ball of sadness building up inside. I find I have to push it down to be strong for her and then I can’t just seem to let it out when I need to. I don’t have any information on her prognosis, and I don’t know who to ask to get it. I can’t ask her or the doctors while she’s there as it’s just so horrible to talk about.

I feel so overwhelmed but unable to process it, so appear like I’m handling it all really well. But I don’t feel like I’m actually handling it. I think I’m just functioning, in a way that isn’t really me but is at the same time. I feel guilty for worrying so much because I think that spurs on the possibility that it could get bad, but then I feel guilty for going on with my day-to-day life because I don’t know how much time I have to do the ordinary with her.

I just feel like with secondary cancer there is so much less knowledge and help. 

I just want to know if I should tick off the bucket list items with her now or if I have more time.

  • Hi  

    So sorry to hear about your mum - for you however if we look at your feelings when someone has cancer I know there is a lot I recognized about me and see echoed in your comments above - it is amazing how normal we are in a world that changed beyond our wildest imagination.

    My wife's cancer is different - likely a fibroid turned and then spread mostly in to her lungs. When diagnosed she never wanted a prognosis and I struggled with that even asking about how I might get an idea without her asking. So glad I failed though because despite the oncologist actually being slightly pessimistic Janice responded better than anyone might imagine - her cancer is stable and we are living with cancer - took quite a lot of help to get there mind you.

    One slightly weird thing that helped me was a major accident locally - 6 people went to work that morning and died - none of us really know what tomorrow will bring so make the most of every day. 

    In some ways cancer actually deepened our relationship - we now recognize how weak we can both be and how important it can be to just be there to listen. Cannot fix this but sharing the load can really help.



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  • I feel the same. My mums cancer has spread and it’s hard not knowing. I feel like I’m in this huge pit of denial and when it comes to the surface it’s almost too much to bare so it push it all down again.