Sometimes you feel it coming, another time it just hits you. For instance, when you hear a certain song, or watch a film. Many young people with a mother or father with cancer are sad, scared or angry and/or feel alone. Some worry about the future, others shrug their shoulders and see what happens.
It is logical that you are sad if your mother or father has cancer. It is quite something after all. The atmosphere in the house is changed. You feel that your parents are sad. Maybe your mother or father looks very ill. Or maybe she or he looks quite alright but you have your doubts.
It is possible that you find it hard to share your feelings with your parents. After all, they have enough on their plate as it is. That´s why you automatically want to protect them. But talking about grief, anger and powerlessness can help. Find someone you can trust. Your best friend, for instance, or your form tutor, your friend’s mother or someone else who has a mother or father who has (had) cancer just like you.
How bad is it to ignore it? Not that bad, as long as you pay it some attention sometimes. Not thinking about it too much helps, but totally hiding your feelings does not. Alcohol and drugs do not help either. They only make things worse, for a little while you won’t feel anything, but after that it will come back a hundred time worse. Maybe try rapping, writing, kick boxing, or another activity.
Scared that your mother or father will become even more ill? Scared that the cancer will come back? Scared that you will get cancer yourself? Scared that your mother or father will die? Try to talk about your fears. If that is not possible at home, or if you find it hard, ask for an appointment with your mother or father’s doctor or make an appointment with your GP. Sometimes your fears are based on something that just simply isn´t true!
Why get angry at something you cannot do anything about? Well, it just happens. Maybe you are angry at the cancer, at the fact that it has to be your mother or father of all people, because it is not so nice at home anymore or because you cannot be just you anymore. Actually, there are more than enough reasons to be angry.
Young people who have a mother or father with cancer very often are short-tempered. Especially if cancer is used as a swear word, then they freak out. However, that is not always the best thing to do. Before you know it, you are the one on the receiving end. Don’t do that.
Do you feel you cannot cope? Would you rather harm yourself? Do not keep these thoughts to yourself, but talk to somebody. Nothing is as bad as keeping those feelings to yourself. Remember you are not the only one who sometimes thinks like that. Do not be influenced by other people´s ideas and stories, but find some help.
Some young people feel guilty. Shouldn’t you stay home instead of going over to see friends? But this is not how life works. Life goes on, even when your mother or father has cancer. It´s good to talk about it with them. Make sure they can reach you on your mobile. In an emergency you can go home.
Different from your brother or sister
Maybe your brother or sister reacts completely different from you. Does your brother want to talk and you absolutely don’t? Perhaps your sister wants to go to the hospital, but you have difficulty with that. That is all okay, because everybody deals with it in their own way.
Ever since your mother or father has had cancer, have you started feeling all sorts of lumps and bumps? Try going to the doctor, but also try to have a little faith too. Count to ten and try not to panic. Not everybody gets cancer and certainly not if you’re young.
Don’t give up
That’s by far the most important thing of all. Is your birthday party not going ahead? Next month it might. Can´t you go on holiday now? Next year it will be super!