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...

What happens next?

When a parent has cancer, life often changes in various ways. This may cause a great deal of uncertainty for you and your family.

It is likely you will have many questions - will your parent be OK, will their treatment be successful, what will Christmas be like, can you still go on holiday as planned? Changes in daily life might include meals and meal times changing, having to do more chores around the house, having less money for treats and you may be less able to pursue your hobbies, particularly if you need transport or other support from your parent in doing so. You may also find you have less time to hang out with your friends and lead the carefree life they seem to have. Sometimes trips will be cancelled as it clashes with your parent’s therapy or your parent may not have the energy to go on trips. Times like this can be very frustrating and can make you feel angry that your normal life has been taken away from you. This is a perfectly normal reaction as we all like to have some routines in our lives and we are usually not keen on too many changes – particularly when the changes are out of our control and not how we would like it to be. Try to be flexible and take things day by day. It will take a while to get used to what this means for you, your parent and the rest of your family.

You might find that people react and deal with things in different ways as they try to adapt to the situation. You may be unsure about the future, unsure about what is happening at home and even unsure about your place in your family. People may be more easily hurt or upset and you may feel left out or stuck in the middle. If you are feeling this way, try to talk to your family about it. If you do not feel able to do this, ask someone you trust to do this for you.

Coping with the effects of a parent who has cancer is certainly challenging. It might call on you to show courage and strength that you have not had to show before. Often, when people look back over a difficult situation, they find that they have changed. Some people find that they try harder at school and grow up more. Other people find that they have more problems at school and cannot concentrate on their work. Some try more dangerous things or worry about becoming ill themselves. This is usually because they are worried and scared. It will help to talk about it if you or someone else have noticed that you are behaving differently or taking more risks.

There will be times when you need to look forward and think about your future. You may need to plan for your SATS, G.C.S.E options, or plan for work or college. Whatever it is, try not to feel guilty about thinking about yourself and looking ahead. If you wish, it may help to talk to your parent(s) and other people such as school teachers if you would like help when planning ahead. This may be particularly helpful if you are feeling uncertain about the future.

It can be easier for you to understand what is happening to your parent and family if you know something about cancer and how it is being treated. Understanding things often makes it easier to deal with, although many things will still be uncertain in your daily life and when thinking about the future. It can also be a help to find out how others in the same situation are handling things and hopefully you can use this site for both these things.