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dealing with a family with cancer

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2004

i lost my 19 yr old brother to osteo sarcoma (bone cancer) in 1994. in 1997 my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer she went through the radiation and chemo sessions. almost 5 yrs later the cancer returned to her bones. once again she is on chemo. in 1999 my dad got diagnosed with colon cancer part of his colon was removed. in 2002 his cancer returned to his liver 1/2 his liver was removed. once again he was cancer free..this past sept 2003 his cancer returned to his lungs. it has been a long stressful yrs. i am stressed however, around them i am the strong one cuz i don't want them to see me cry. i'm afraid if i cry i'll fall apart and i'll be letting them down in some sort of way.i am the only living child now so all this pressure is on me. i know god only gives you what you can handle but i ask myself can i take anymore news? i just heard about this site today (2/2) i am so relieved to be reading other peoples stories and know there is someone out there dealing with the same. i think what has kept me this strong is my faith and every bit of hope counts and i hang onto that.

Posts: 17
Joined: May 2003

go to the chat room it is a very good place to talk to other people.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

I am new person to this site. I have cancer and I am afraid sometimes, I have two little girl's they are 2 and 3 yrs. of age. I sometimes don't know what to say to them when I am sick and they want to play, what should I do.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

What a tough time this must be for you, and it sounds like your parents (and you) must be relatively young. I lost my dad to metastatic colon cancer, 2 yrs after his inital surgery, and my mom has Alzheimer's and is now in an assisted living. I do have a sister, but it is so sad to watch family members go through this and know they depend on you. I have recently been diagnosed with colon cancer myself, and my mom and sister have always counted on me to be the strong one. We have decided to keep the news from my mom; she is still reeling from the loss of my dad 3 yrs ago, and my sister is now very worried that she might be next, although she does try to be helpful in her own way.
I have become a frequent visitor to this site. Do you think either of your parents would be interested? Keep visiting here, although this board, I've found, is not as often visited by a huge number of people. I have corresponded by e-mail with people I "met" at the colon cancer board. It sure helps to hear from folks who know what you are going through. I hope you have others that are available to support you on this journey; sounds like your parents are lucky to have you. Hang in there. Judy

Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2003

You have been through a lot. I don't think crying in front of loved ones is a bad thing. They won't flip out, if they have any common sense. Honesty is the best policy. I've been treated for cancer on and off since 12/00. From my perspective, I think it may do your parents some good to support you. I'm sure you've given them a lot of help, maybe they would feel better knowing they can help you through you tough times and give back to you. Cancer patients don't expect caregivers to be super human. If you're cheery and rah-rah all the time, you may come off as less than genuine. If their doctors are straight with them, they know the situation they're in. You need to let out this stress. You risk REALLY being stressed at a point later in time when your parents REALLY need you. I remember seeing a clip from a play on TV (I think it was written by a former priest) in which a character says something like, "It's said God only gives people what they can handle, but I've seen Him miscalculate many times."

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hullo RosieRo--don't be afraid to cry--I have colon cancer and lost mum to a brain tunmour.If you show your true feelings to your friends most will understand and stand by you--most of ours have.I am a 47 y/o male--hey, I have cried many times in front of friends/family.It doesn't mean you are weak or anything--nor does it mean you crave sympathy--but WE all need support and the best will come from your true friends--you cannot cope alone--trust me.Be yourself and deal with it in an honest way.Dealing with your emotions doesn't mean you can't laugh or your friends can't try to cheer you up--good family and friends/common sense and "there will be a time and a place for everything".
Rosie--don't be afraid of letting go in front of them--I believe all of us cancer sufferers understand what family/friends are feeling--they WILL understand--Don't keep your emotions cooped up!Your mum and dad will probably cry too--but because they know you love them and are trying to be strong for them!I agree with Allo Man.
best wishes, kanga and Jen

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