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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'm scared what the future might bring.

Hello, my mum was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago which then spread to her lymph nodes in her leg. She recovered from this which was amazing but last November a scan showed the cancer had returned in her lungs and brain. My dad is a huge help but I just wondered if you could give me some advice about supporting the rest of my family? I also do a lot of sport, one of my main ones being horse riding. At the moment I find it quite hard at events to deal with my friends parents/my mums friends who try to interfere a lot. I know they are trying to help but I can be independent and I'm not sure how to deal with the really pushy ones, competing without my mum is hard enough as it is! Thank you for taking the time to read this.

It sounds as though your mum has been living with cancer for some years, and that as a family, you've all been coping pretty well. However, I can imagine the news of the cancer spreading to your mum's other organs, was an emotional blow for all of you - and as the eldest, you may be the person everyone is leaning on a little at the moment?

It's good that your mum is doing well after her recent treatment, but it's natural that you feel scared about what the future might hold. Do you and your parents discuss those feelings, or are they something you're keeping to yourself? With three younger brothers, who may be dealing with your mum's illness in a variety of ways, it can feel a big responsibility. However, it's something you shouldn’t have to carry alone .

Have your mum, dad and you been able to access specialist support and/or counselling? I imagine your mum has a specialist nurse who may be supporting her, but it can be tough on the families too. You can find some useful advice and support links for young carers in Maggie's Cancerlink's section on 'supporting someone -young carers' webpage. (Riprap is part of Maggie's, a cancer support charity providing emotional and psychological support).

There's a good deal of outside pressures too, at 16 years old, with exams, and your successful horse riding events. You're going to the events and competing on your own currently, when I suspect in the past, your mum has been alongside, encouraging you. She would have been the one (possibly) to keep the pushy parents off your back, so to speak, and you're understandably fed up of their well meaning, but not necessary interference. Is the interference to do with the competitions themselves, or issues at home too? It may be that the other mums and parents are trying to over compensate for your mum's absence, but I sense it's not helping.

A polite 'thank you' for any advice received, but then 'I'm keen to remain independent, and find my own feet' (with a smile), should discourage all but the most persistent. If your dad knows the families too, he could possibly have a discrete word with them?

I hope this advice has helped a little . If you'd like to talk things through privately, please get back in touch with us here at riprap.

Page updated 4 August 2015