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Support for my Mom

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2021

Hi everyone! 
I’m here looking for some support for my Mom. My Dad was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer 4 1/2 years ago. My Mom struggles with leaving the house and having people ask how my Dad is doing. We live in a small community so it often seems that people are maybe being a bit nosy. When my sister had lymphoma at a young age someone had once said to my Mom “at least she has a good cancer.” These are the kinds of comments she fears getting and just can’t deal with. She doesn’t want people telling her to “look on the bright side” and “god only hands out what people can handle.” I had mentioned that I maybe could try to find her another spouse online who is going through something similar or who has. I'm not sure if this is the right place to be but figured I'd give it a shot. 



Real Tar Heel
Posts: 253
Joined: Nov 2019


Sorry this situation brought you here, this place few want to end up. People usually don't really know what to say about cancer. They try to be encouraging. Most people are not grand communicators but they want to feel like they are being good people with regards to what they say about the disease to family members and survivors. There are spouses and family members of cancer survivors on the board and they will have some experiences to pass on if your mother wants to post here and ask. There are also other forums on the site that may be a good place to explore, because I'm guessing this issue is just not limited to mCRC people.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2021

I'll do some exploring on different areas of the site. A good place to start. Thank you! 

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5509
Joined: Jan 2013

I am sorry that your dad is suffering through this terrible disease. It is a heartache for all involved, and while you dad is the main paitent, it really is a disease that effects the whole famliy. 

At the end of the day, your mum has to take some time for herself to come to terms with what she can and cannot control, when it comes to other people.  As Reel Tar Heal said, most people are stumped as to what to say. It is almost like 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'.

Is there anything anyone can say that is perfect?  I remember feeling like a pariah. I actually saw people turn the other way, when they saw me in the store. That hurt! And then, when they did apporach me, I had some people say some really stupid things like 'Oh, my mum died of that' or 'How long do you have?'.  It is going to happen, like it or not, it can't be helped. 

I think if your mum can come to terms with the fact that she WILL hear insensitive comments, and that for the most part, they come from the right place just not the right words; she can maybe make that step oudoors and see the world again. 

In some communities, there are support groups at hospitals for patients and caregivers. If they have one local, that might be a good step forward. While you don't want to surround yourself ONLY with Cancer, at least you know you will probably hear what you want to hear, and then move on into the community, from there. 

How lucky your parents are, to have a child willing to reach out and find help.  

I'm sure others will be replying soon, with their ideas. 


Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2021

The right place, just not the right words. Well said. Thank you! She may struggle outside, but we are a close family and I am thankful for that everyday. 

Thank you for the reply 


SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1188
Joined: Apr 2017

I was very open with friends, relatives and neigbors about having colon cancer.  People said all sorts of odd things to me.  In the end, the only people I listened to were people who had cancer. I simply ignored the comments of everyone else, just giving a shrug or smile in return. Perhaps in a small community it is difficult to apply such a filter, but it sure cuts through the extraneous comments that have no beneficial effect.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2021

Thank you for the reply. I'm hopeful that a forum similar to this may be beneficial for her. 

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