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    DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...

Don't my family realise that I almost lost my mum, do they just expect me to be ok?

"I am really confused at the moment. My mum has recently got the all clear about ovarian cancer, but I'm feeling really down about it. We keep having arguments about stupid things but I feel I'm being selfish because what she has gone through. What people don't seem to understand is that while my mum was ill and I had to watch her suffer, no-one was there for me to talk to. I know it was my mum who was ill but we have a big family that supported her and didn't realise that I was going through it all as well. Don't they realise that I almost lost my mum, do they just expect me to be ok?"

First of all, I am really pleased to hear that your mum has got the all clear about the cancer. I am sure you are all extremely relieved about that, and maybe because of this relief - and you don't have the constant anxiety about your mum anymore - now you can somehow allow all these other emotions to come out. Maybe emotions that have been there all the time but that you have been suppressing because you were mostly concerned about what was happening to your mum.

We often find that the children can be quite unsupported and feel quite neglected when a parent has cancer and may be going through tough treatment. This is partly because it is only natural for everyone to focus on the person who is ill and partly because people often feel very helpless with regard to how they can support children in that situation. Maybe even more importantly - children can be very good at hiding their emotions and put on a brave face - pretending that they are coping okay. We find that children/teenagers are very caring and concerned about their ill parent and try to behave in such a way so that they are not adding to their parent's burden - they don't want to make them any more upset than they already are. Then of course, many teenagers are going through a phase when they may not communicate very openly with their parents anyway and therefore tend to keep their emotions to themselves.

I think that what you are assuming is correct - people are so relieved that your mum has got the all clear that they can't see any reason not to just be happy about it all. Of course you are happy as well, but I think that what you really need is some recognition of what you have been through. Yes - your mum has got through it, but you have been through a terrible time as well - and you have not had the support you have needed in that time. Because you don't want to be selfish and unappreciative of the good news, your frustration is probably coming out now through the arguments with your mum. As you say, they are probably just silly things not worth arguing about but this is your way of getting it all out and to claim some attention for yourself. I think what you are hoping for is some understanding and support for what you have been through and then you would feel ready to move on and appreciate even more the fact that your mum is okay again.

You should talk to your mum about this and explain why you feel tense and argumentative and talk to the rest of the family as well. There is no point making people feel bad about the fact that you missed support when you needed it, but it may help them understand that you have been through very difficult times and you can't just press a button and then everything is okay. You need to know that they can see things from your point of view before getting back to a new life after this hugely distressing event in your life.