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by SusieQ

Cancer Support Specialist's View
14 September 2017 at 15:13

Family support and cancer

Most of us are part of a bigger family and friend network. When we, or someone close to us, are diagnosed with cancer – the emotional fallout ripples through the family. Sometimes it can feel even worse for those closest to us – as it’s a huge life event, and shakes the everyday world we live in.

We tend to live in certainty…the knowledge that bad things can happen, but usually to other people. Cancer comes along, and takes the wind out of our sails.

If you’re reading this, you and your family may be living with cancer and its impact right now. It might be a new diagnosis, treatment hassles, trying to move beyond cancer – or living with cancer that isn’t going away.

As a family, you may all be experiencing emotional turmoil, and showing it in different ways. The uncertainty and unpredictability about the future impacts on all the family and all generations – children , teenagers, partners, grandparents, and siblings. Routines change and anxiety levels may rise, as no-one feels very sure about the next steps.

The impact on relationships can cause tension, withdrawal or over protectiveness. You may feel the family dynamics are changing, and everyone in the family may react in a different way. Normal coping styles may suddenly seem less effective, and emotions like guilt, anger, sadness and confusion may simmer away gently in the background.

Research shows that families who openly communicate, share information and feelings are less stressed and anxious. Much easier said than done – and sometimes a guiding hand through the process can help. Whether you want further information as a family, or need to talk with people who can help make what happening feel less fearful – Maggie’s Centres can provide that support.

It might be practical, emotional or social support you’re looking for – or a combination of all three aspects. Drop in to one of our physical Maggie's Centres, or here online, and ask about our range of practical and emotional support activities for families and friends. You may simply want to talk – not sure of what help you need just yet – and that’s OK too.

There’ll be a warm welcome….

Meanwhile, you can message Robyn or myself to ask any questions, or talk through anything about family concerns you may have....

Warm wishes


Registered Office: Maggie's, The Stables, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU   Registered Charity Number: SC024414
The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is a company limited by guarantee   Company Number: SC162451