Lost and angry

My mom got her terminal diagnosis in April just after getting her cancer free diagnosis in January and I am so lost and angry at the world. I’m 21 now and when she was first diagnosed was in 2021 with colon cancer I was in 19. I’m just so angry that she has to go through so much and I can’t do anything to help. She had cancer in her liver and lungs and we just found out that it could be in her spine. She did an mri and we’re waiting for the news. Since April none of the treatments have worked to shrink it and the doctors keep saying there are other chemos that we can try. I just find it so hard to be hopeful. My mam was in and out for f hospital for months over the summer and I was in there every day before and after work. I’ve 3 siblings and I’m the second youngest but I just feel like I’ve taken it all on so they wouldn’t have to. I thought I could handle it but I can’t cope seeing her in so much pain and not being able to do anything. Sorry this is so long I just don’t know what to do.

  • Hello emma2112

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your Mum’s diagnosis. It’s obviously been an incredibly difficult time for you all and it’s understandable that you’re experiencing a whole range of emotions at the moment.

    It’s natural to want to protect the ones we love from seeing and experiencing such pain and so I can understand that you’ve perhaps taken on that role to try and shelter your siblings. It sounds from your post as if you’re feeling overwhelmed by things and I wonder who is supporting you in all of this Emma? Do you have other family members around you that you can talk to and lean on for support? Don’t be afraid to talk to your siblings as well. It’s likely that you are all feeling similar things and being able to talk and support each other can be a great help.

    I know that many of our members have found it very useful to have support from someone outside of their immediate family and friends. It may be that you want to talk with your GP about some support or it may be that you contact a charity such as Maggie’s who are an organisation that support people that are impacted by cancer. Perhaps your employer offers a confidential counselling service through their Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that you can access. Or you might want to call our team of nurses to talk through how you’re feeling. If you’d like to speak with them, I know they will be happy to offer any support and advice they can. They’re available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 0808 800 4040. I’d also encourage you to have a look at this information on our website about taking care of yourself.

    Keep posting here on the Cancer Chat forum if it helps Emma. Be it to ask questions, rant, chat with others who understand or simply put down your thoughts in a safe space. We’re here to support you.

    Sending you all our best wishes,

    Moderator Anastasia

  • Hi Emma,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mam's diagnosis and feel for you having to deal with this at such a young age. It must have been particularly upsetting to get a terminal diagnosis, so soon after getting the all clear. It sounds as if she is in a lot of pain. Have you asked if they could step up her pain medicaments? I had to request this a few times when my own mum was dying. It is devastating to watch someone you love suffering so much and to feel that you cannot do anything. Just by being there with her and showing how much you love her, will be more help than you know. Look out for any small change that can be made to ease her journey. Say all that you have to say to one another and don't leave anything left unsaid.

    Did you get any more results from her MRI? It sounds as if you maybe need to involve your siblings to give you the occasional break. My mum had breast cancer, which spread to her liver, lungs, bone and brain and I know how devastating it was trying to support her. I see that Anastasia has suggested that you contact a Maggie's centre to talk to a counsellor. I had to do this and it really was very helpful. If there's not a Maggie's centre near you, there are a number of other cancer charities, which also offer this service.

    You have my thoughts and prayers and I am always here for you.

    Kind regards,

    Jolamine xx

  • We have just been told my Mum has weeks/months to live and I’m absolutely devastated. Up until Friday we knew nothing.

    we live and do everything together and have the best times and I can’t imagine what life will be like without her. I don’t have my own family through choice/it’s just not happened, so I will be left in our house all on my own. I do have family nearby and friends but it just won’t be the same. I don’t know what to do with myself. Will I be able to cope?

  • Hi Starshine,

    A very warm welcome to our forum. 

    I am truly sorry to hear this news about your Mum and understand how devastated you must feel. Instead of thinking about losing her, try to concentrate on making her as comfortable as possible. Say all that you want to one another and don't leave anything left unsaid. Try if possible to make memories, instead of worrying about the future. Is there anything that your Mum might want to do, or are there any people she would like to se? If so, perhaps you could facilitate this?

    It will be strange for you having to adjust to living on your own, when you have always lived at home. I agree that it probably won't be the same, but you will gradually start to live a new life. Somehow or other, when life throws us challenges like this, it also gives us the extra strength to overcome them. You will get through this. One thing that I found very helpful to have, after my Mum passed, was a really nice photo of her. I placed this in a prominent spot and often found myself talking to her picture.

    It will be hard for you at first, but you will gradually come to terms with all that has happened. It sounds as if you have already started the grieving process. This is not unusual, when you receive this sort of news. There are a number of different stages to grief and we all cope in our own way and in our own time. I am glad to hear that you have family and friends nearby. Don't  shut yourself away - you will need the support of these people.

    Please keep in touch. I am thinking of you and always here for you.

    Kind regards,

    Jolamine xx

  • Thank you so much for your reply, it does bring me some comfort. It is just so hard as I feel like my situation is very unique in not having a family of my own or any siblings etc.

    she is finding it pretty hard just to get out of bed already as she is having trouble eating and feels very weak, I am trying to at least get her to drink, which again she is not really interested in but at least this is better than the food. I am grateful that when she is in bed she is comfortable, although it does mean she spends a lot of her time asleep, which is good for her, but hard for me.

    we have got some people coming to see her over the next couple of days if she’s up to it.

    thank you for all the advice, it helps and means a lot.

    thank you for being there xx

  • HI Starshine,

    Do you have any help in caring for your Mum? This is an awful lot to take on totally on your own. The main thing is to get her to drink, although you may even find this difficult towards the end. There is help available for terminal care in the home. There are also some non-means tested benefits available. Macmillan or Marie-Curie can help with these.

    I hope that she is well enough to see her visitors in the next couple of days.

    Kind regards,

    Jolamine xx

  • Not at the moment. She only really got her proper diagnosis/2 week referral appointment yesterday. I think someone is supposed to be in touch next week.

    Yes I am trying to get her to drink but she gets a bit annoyed with me keep reminding her. She’s not drinking as much as I’d like but at least it’s something. Tomorrow I hope she will drink more, but who knows!!

    thank you!!

    thank you again for your reply and advice, it makes a difference x

  • HI Starshine,

    It is always a difficult time when we are waiting for results. I hope that your mam gets her MRI results next week and that all will become clearer then. Mention the fact that she's not drinking much to her care team, although they may not be too concerned at the moment.

    I am always here for you.

    Kind regards,

    Jolamine xx

  • She has now gone into hospital as she was feeling so poorly xx

  • Hi Starshine,

    I am so sorry to hear this. Hopefully the hospital will be able to build her up again and she will be able to come home. How has your Mam taken her diagnosis and is she frightened? You can ask someone from Macmillan to come and talk to her, if you feel that this might help. It is often easier to talk to a stranger who has experience of this process, than it is talking to loved ones, who she won't want to upset any further. 

    How are you feeling - have you managed to talk to your siblings to ask for more support?

    Please keep me posted on how your Mam gets on in hospital.

    Always here for you.

    Jolamine xx