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TW: Family members with cancer

How hard is it having a family member with cancer. My Uncle's cancer has just come back and is in his esophagus and it is getting worse there and has now started to spread to his lungs. It's hard because I see my Dad and althoguh he doesn't see it you can see the pain in his eyes and it breaks my heart to see my dad like that. I can't do anything and it is so hard. cancer-stops-you-in-your-tracks-it-really-makes-you-think-about-whats-important-in-a-second-life-quote-1.jpg2014-05-15-an-individual-does-not-get-cancer-a-family-does.jpg

Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hi @Jazzy_Fizzle! I'm so sorry about your uncle's cancer. Smiley Sad It must be so hard and painful for all of you. It's such a struggle to watch someone you love go through a life-threatening illness. My heart goes out to you and your family. Heart

Our family has also been affected by cancer a few times, which I haven't really talked about much on ReachOut before. Not long ago, my great uncle couldn't seem to recover from a chest infection. He had some tests and they found out that he had lung cancer. He had surgery to remove part of his lung and some lymph nodes and seemed to be doing okay for a few months. He was told that there was a 30% chance of it coming back. Then he went for a check up and a scan found that it had rapidly spread throughout his lungs and was terminal. He ended up suddenly but peacefully passing away in his sleep with some family members around him. His last words were actually along the lines of, 'Don't worry, go to sleep. I'm not dying today'. He went the way that he wanted to as he didn't want to spend months in a hospital or nursing home and up until his illness, was very active and had a sharp mind. It was a really quick decline. He also always said that he'd had a good life and was ready to die. It was the second anniversary of his death recently. I really wish I could have said goodbye to him. He was like a second grandpa to me. We all miss him so much. I still have his number in my phone and I can't bring myself to delete it.

My great aunt (who is also my godmother) also had cancer. She was having trouble with her vision, so she went into the hospital. Hers was initially misdiagnosed as a benign brain tumour, but then it turned out that it was a primary central nervous system lymphoma. She had surgery on it as well as chemotherapy. At one point, she got sepsis due to her weakened immune system and almost died. Fortunately, she has now gone into remission.

It was so hard to watch our family members cry and try to come to terms with what was happening and not be able to do anything about it. Nothing we could do or say could make it better. Like you said, it totally changes the whole family. Everyone's lives get uprooted because they all end up taking on different roles. Some people get more responsibilities, while some people get less. Plans for the future can be changed or abandoned altogether. Additionally, everyone has their own way of coping. In my family, some people had to take on more caregiving than others because the way that some family members dealt with these kinds of situations was to get out of the house as much as possible because they 'couldn't bear to see them like that'. This led to a lot of friction and resentment within our family. One of the only good things to come out of it is that you start to appreciate the little things in life and not take things for granted.

I'm thinking of you and your family and praying so hard for your uncle to get better. Heart

Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hey @Jazzy_Fizzle


I've got to agree with you, it's incredibly difficult. Similar to yourself and @WheresMySquishy, my life has also been impacted by cancer. I actually lost my dad to cancer only a couple of months ago. 


Watching your uncle go through this and knowing how it affects your dad would certainly be challenging. Is this something you could speak to your dad about? Sometimes with big, scary things like cancer, it can be really helpful to connect with those around us, like your quote mentions. 


As you mentioned, when cancer comes crashing into our world, it can change the whole family dynamic. How are you looking after yourself during this difficult time? Although not all of the resources will be relevant, CanTeen is a really great website that may have some information for you on coping when a family member has cancer, if you're interested. 


Thinking of you @Jazzy_Fizzle, it's such a difficult thing you're going through right now. 


Re: TW Family members with cancer

Wow, I am so sorry for you those. It must of been hard to lose your dad. How old were you?

I'm not really one that shares stuff with many people I only trust a few people with stuff and with my dad it isn't a trust thing I just don't know if I can.

Yea I guess Im looking after myself alright, I'm not to sure like what aspect do you mean am I looking after myself?

Sorry I'm only 14 and i'm not great at talking to people about stuff.


Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hey @Jazzy_Fizzle,


I get what you're saying about sharing things, it's a massive thing talking about what you're going through here in the first place! You're doing great!


I'm a bit older than you. So my dad was first diagnosed when I was 16 and he died when I was 22. 


Sorry, I should've been clearer. What I meant by looking after yourself were things along the lines of self care. So by that I meant taking time away from the stress of what you're family is going through to do things that you enjoy. So for me, this could be going for a walk or drinking a cup of tea. Little things that can have a really positive impact on the way we feel. The forums have a great list of distractions and self care ideas here

Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hi @Jazzy_Fizzle , I'm so sorry to here about your Uncle's diagnosis Smiley Sad It can be really hard to watch loved ones suffer. Cancer is a horrible disease that (as you said in one of your quotes) really does effect the whole family. 


My grandad passed away from lung cancer when I was around your age and I relate to you in that it was really difficult seeing my Dad go through that, it really is heartbreaking. I also have an Aunt who had breast cancer (is in remission now), and watching her go through that was really difficult. 


Thank you for reaching out to chat about your feelings. It is so important and takes a lot of courage Smiley Happy Do you have a family member, friend or maybe a teacher at school you can talk to whenever you are feeling like you need to chat? 


As one the of previous responders said, it is important that you practice self-care during a difficult time like this. Self-care is basically different things you can do that may help you when you are feeling sad, anxious or overwhelmed. Some things I do include reading a book, listening to music, meditation or baking something delicious! Smiley Happy There's great resources on ReachOut about different self-care activities that you may find helpful Smiley Happy


I'm happy to chat if you ever need someone to talk to Smiley Happy

"Breathe, darling. This is just a chapter, not your whole story." - S.C Lourie

Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hey @Jazzy_Fizzle,


I just wanted to check in and see how you've been travelling?

Re: TW Family members with cancer


Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hey @Jazzy_Fizzle, sounds like things have been difficult lately. Did you want to share a bit more about what's been going on for you since you first posted?

Re: TW Family members with cancer

Hi @Jazzy_Fizzle 

I am sorry to hear how hard things are for your family and your uncle right now, I know how difficult it can be to support a family member who has cancer. Just like everyone has been saying it is important to look after yourself as well. I know for me what really helped was talking about how I felt and realising even though I didn't have the diagnosis it was OK for me to feel really sad.


You are not alone we are here for support and to listen Heart


We just added a warning to your post as their may be some members of the community that this may be triggering for.