Facing Christmas after losing both Mum and Dad within 8 months to cancer


This is the first time I’ve ever posted on any sort of forum. I apologise for the long post.

On Valentine’s Day this year I sadly lost my lovely father to penile cancer. The months leading up to his death were undignified, traumatic and unimaginable. He had to have his penis completely removed, and another operation to remove lymph nodes. Whilst waiting for radiotherapy to start he had a heart attack, sepsis and suffered several large bleeds from the cancer. He had spent 7 weeks in hospital and we thought he was almost well enough to come home but he died before we could bring him home.

Eighty four days after his passing, my beloved mother was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer. Again, she suffered with lots of other problems along the way, mini strokes, sepsis, pneumonia and then fell in hospital and broke her pelvis. On the day she was due to come home, 16th October,  she passed away. 

Christmas for me this year is proving difficult. I have two young children, who I want to have the most amazing time, but I’m broken. And the closer we get to Christmas, the harder it’s becoming. My parents were my everything. I just don’t know how to get through the next few weeks CryCryBroken heart

  • Hi and welcome to the Online Community, although I am sorry to see you finding us and so sorry to hear about the year you and the family have had.

    I would say the closer you get to Christmas the busier you will get with two young children, well its like that with our 4 granddaughters. This will be hard first time round and you will have to take each day as it comes.

    I was the one with the cancer so I have no real life experience to help you out but talking with people who are on the same journey can help a lot.

    Can I direct you to this link to our very supportive Bereaved Family and Friends group as this will open up your concerns to a wider audience who know exactly what you are going through at the moment.

    Just follow the link I have created then hit the ‘Join This Group’ tab just under the main group name, then go to the 'Start a Discussion' tab and set up your very own Discussion and introduce yourself to the group and ask your questions.

    You may find our various Macmillan Support Line Services to be helpful - call them on 0808 808 00 00 This free service covers Emotional Support, Practical Information. Clinical Information, Financial Support and Work Guidance mostly open 8.00 to 8.00 but check the link.

    Talking to people face to face can help a lot so check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support in your area or a Maggie’s Centre as these folks are amazing.

    I wish you all the best ((hugs))

  • I am so sorry to read this and feel your pain. I lost mum in May after a two year battle with stage IV ovarian cancer and dad was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour the day before her funeral and passed away in August. This past year has seemed like a blur and i still feel the reality of it all hasn’t yet kicked in. 

    My parents loved Christmas and always made it so special for my kids and I’m only managing day to day for them. I’m dreading Christmas and am already broken at the thought of it. I have cried when taking them to see Father Christmas and at their school Christmas performances. I don’t know how we are supposed to cope with such a change in our lives. I don’t want to accept that this is the new normal.

    I have no advice to offer I’m afraid but just felt the need to reply after reading how similar our lives have been this year. Look after yourself and I’ll be thinking of you 

  • Hi,

    Thank you so much for replying. Although it’s awful to know there is someone else that has suffered the pain I’ve suffered this year, it is comforting to know I’m not alone.

    I too,  have had tears at the school nativities and visiting Santa (today). These were things that I would normally do with my parents. But, I’ve somehow got through it. 

    I really hope you can manage to enjoy Christmas. It sounds like your parents would have wanted you to still enjoy the festivities. 
    I will also be thinking of you Kissing heartKissing heartKissing heart 

  • Hi

    I hope you got through Christmas ok. They say the first one will be the worst and I managed to get through it thanks to the kids. I’m struggling today though with the whole ‘New Year’ thing. It feels strange because they were both alive in 2019 and the thought of them not being there in 2020 just doesn’t feel real or right at the moment.

    I hope you’re bearing up and that time will be a healer x