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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...

I don't know what I should say, do or feel?

My Mum has just recently been told that she has cancer and I choose not to talk to anyone about cancer or my feelings. This is making her upset at times, and she says I should talk to the doctor. But I refuse to talk to her, my dad or even friends I trust

I'm really sorry to hear that your mum has cancer. It sounds like you are feeling quite confused at the moment, and you say that you don't know what to say, do or feel. There is no right or wrong way to cope with the type of situation you are going through at the moment, and you shouldn't feel that you have to act in a certain way. Everybody copes with stressful situations in their own way, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, we often advise people to try and find some way of releasing their emotions, otherwise they can bottle up inside and people can end up feeling overwhelmed by everything. One good way of letting out emotions is to talk to other people, and let them know exactly how you are feeling. However, it sounds like this is not something you are doing at the moment. I wonder why you're refusing to talk to your mum? Sometimes we find people don't want to talk to their ill parent because they are worried about upsetting them, however she is already upset as you described and this will be because she's worrying about you. Or it may be that you're feeling angry because she has the illness? Young people sometimes feel angry with their ill parent, and then feel guilty because they know it's not their fault and they didn't choose to get ill. Remember that all these emotions are completely normal. If you can manage to talk openly to your parents, it may help ease the atmosphere at home, which will make things easier for all of you.

If you don't want to talk to parents or friends then that's ok, and you may find it easier to talk to somebody independent of your situation. Your mum suggested speaking to the doctor, which may be an option, but I know it can be quite difficult to get the courage to go and visit somebody in person. You may find it easier to contact somebody by phone and the Samaritans are a good option and are available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90. You could also contact ChildLine (freephone 0800 1111) and talk to a confidential counsellor about how you are feeling.

If you don't want to talk to people, then there are other good ways to let go of some of your pent up emotions, and you could think about writing some of your thoughts down in a diary, doing physical exercise or listening to loud music!

It will also be important to try and keep some sense of normality in the months ahead whilst your mum is going through treatment, which can feel like quite a disruptive and uncertain time. Its good to try and keep going to school, even if you don't feel like it, because this will give you a routine and also give you some much needed time away from focusing on your mum's illness. If you feel you can't focus at school, it may be good to let your teachers know what you are going through, so that they are aware of the reason you're not concentrating as much as normal.

Also, remember that its ok to have fun, and that this doesn't mean you're not still worried about your mum. If you can make sure you take care of yourself, then you will feel better about coping with the situation when you are at home. So don't feel guilty about keeping up with your normal activities and meeting up with friends. If you don't want to talk about things with your friends, then it may be worth telling them this, so that they know exactly how best to help you, and then they won't feel worried about mentioning it and upsetting you.

I hope some of this helps and remember that everybody is an individual and deals with situations in their own way. There are no right or wrong answers, and you need to find a way of coping that works best for you. Your mum is bound to be worried about you, but maybe you could put her mind at rest a little by telling her that you are trying to find support, and you have made an excellent first step in contacting us. If you need any further advice or information, please get in touch. Take care!