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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 know that it's just a label, but it really hit me then. My Dad had cancer.

My Dad was diagnosed originally with a blood problem that was caused by a mutation in the bone marrow. As it stands it's a relatively slow cancer that doesn't affect his activity that much. The medicine as it stands is the only thing that makes him feel ill. With the reclassification of cancers to include any mutation of the body, he fell right into that category. I know that it's just a label, but it really hit me then. My Dad had cancer. Originally I just tried not the think about it. I know denying it wasn't really a good idea but it was the easiest way to do so for me. To be honest I wasn't wanting to accept it. After that, things really started to deteriorate between us. We had always argued sure, but now they came more frequently. We did try to settle our problems but in light of recent events (on my part) they have once again fallen. We tried again to talk it out but it really just turned into a horrible argument that left me in tears. During that, he told me that he was going to start Chemotherapy. This scared me the most so far. I know it's just another label but it scares me greatly. I'm afraid what might happen. I'm scared about what I don't know and I worry about him. I try to be as helpful and useful as I can but he just can't see it. I honestly don't know what I can do but I want to know what I can. I want to be able to say, I know what's happening. I know that things will get better...right now I can't.

From what you've detailed about your dad's medical condition, it sounds like he may have a myeloproliferative disorder - which is slow growing, and often people live for many years with it. It is only in recent years that it has been reclassified by some medical specialists, as a cancer.

You're right about the 'cancer' label. It somehow makes your dad's illness sound more scary - and the fact that he is needing chemotherapy may have made everything feel real. I think he might be feeling a bit scared too, and often when we're scared, it comes out as anger. He's also likely to be feeling tired and therefore not very patient with those he cares about.

As you recognise yourself, boys and their dads often's part of growing up, and as a teenager, you're finding your own personality, and discovering that you and your dad may have differing viewpoints on things. There may be times when you both feel cross with each other...but it doesn't stop the underlying affection you both may have. Your dad will know that - and perhaps understand how you feel. Finding the words to say what you feel deep inside, can be hard.

You have expressed your thoughts, hopes and fears very well here. Perhaps writing your dad a card or a letter, saying some of what you've said here, might help..? After arguments, it's natural to feel upset...your dad may be feeling the same. You could ask him some questions about how he's feeling, and how you can help him get through the treatment - he might be glad to know you're there for him.

The unknown somehow tends to feel more scary than the known. Ask your dad if he can tell you a bit more about his illness, and what the chemotherapy will be, and for how long. Accept that some days you will still argue...but after cooling down, and saying sorry, hopefully you'll both be back on track...

If you'd like any more information, or to talk anything through, please do get in touch with us.