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Topic Friends and family

For anyone supporting someone else with cancer

  • 156 conversations

Dad has cancer, worried about mum

Started by Anonymous on 03 April 2018 at 12:44
Edited on 03 April 2018 at 12:45

We are a close family we (my husband, myself and two young children) live with both my parents.

Dad (age 77) had fluid in the Plura and got diagnosed 2 months ago with Mesothelioma and given an average of 15 months.

He started chemo and is on his second set and is in fact brilliant.Very positive and taking a day at a time.

Its mum I am worried about.She is in tears most of the time, depressed, anxious, aggressive and trying to control it.She is worried about the future without him.Doesn't socialise in case people make her feel bad or she ends up crying in front of them.

Can't afford counceling what do I do for her?

In fact not sure I am coping either and the thought of its effect on the children is hard too.Advice welcome!

Comments (2)

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  • Picture of Tombenefits
    From Tombenefits  
    05 April 2018 at 14:35
    Edited on: 05 April 2018 at 14:38


    I'm Tom , the Online centre Benefit Advisor.

    There is so much to take in during these still early days - getting heads around the diagnosis, it's life limiting potential, day to day effects now and looking ahead, the social oughts and dealing with others problems and that sense of "anticipatory grief" and natural anxiety about the future.

    And often it's the person with the cancer that can be quickest in acceptance and be the most positive and chipper., while those closest can be in bits.

    It takes time to get your head round it, get practicalities sorted, work through your own emotions and gradually cut through to what is really important in this strange new normal. I don't pretend for one moment that is ever easy, as I have found.

    One of those practicalities and a small part of the anxiety might be around financial support, both in the current situation and looking to the future. 

    Mesothelioma comes with its own potential benefits world - as well as the more general additional support that is available. So it can be worth double checking that your parents are getting all the additional financial support they could, in these difficult and more costly times.

    And with there often being a link to exposure to asbestos during a working life, there are also processes around civil compensation and a Government scheme that may be relevant.

    You may have that all in hand anyway, but do feel free as and when you want to look at such things to message me.

    But I totally appreciate this may be the least of your worries right now, so really just to say my virtual door is always open as and when you might want to explore those issues :-).  

    Best wishes,



  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    04 April 2018 at 09:56
    Edited on: 04 April 2018 at 12:24


    There's a huge amount going on for you all as a family, and I'm not surprised to hear that it is an emotionally difficult time. Your mum sounds to be struggling with the thought of what the future holds. In a long relationship, it can be hard to imagine a time when the person you love is no longer tere.

    This also applies to you - anticipating the uncertain future, and how you'll all cope as your dad's cancer develops. You may all, naturally,  be experiencing 'anticipatory grief' - where you're grieving for the potential losses that lie ahead. ( You may find my blog - 'Cancer and anticipatory grief' a useful read).

    For your mum, as you live with her, she can't hide her emotions, and you're all perhaps on the receiving end of her tears and frustrations. She's scared. She may also be wondering how she might cope as things deteriorate, and be feeling for your dad. It can be hard, when the person with cancer seems so upbeat and calm. He may be coping by living for the moment, and perhaps she feels she cant have the conversations about her fears, with him?

    Reassurance that what's she's feeling is normal can help. She probably could do with the odd break from the caring situation, with some 'me' time for her. The same applies to you too in a way.

    You may all be waiting for the 'other shoe to fall' - for things to worsen, and yet your dad, if he gets some relieve from symptoms with the chemotherapy, may still be enjoying some quality time.

    Thinking about ways to manage the stress can be helpful. This can be through exercise, relaxation, perhaps something physical like yoga, or walking. Open communication between everyone, especially your mum and dad, is important - there can be so many 'elephants in the room' when facing a cancer that isnt going to go away.

    If you live near one of our Maggies Centres, you'd be welcome to drop in - and talk about the situation for you all as a family. There's also valuable support available through online Mesothelioma groups and forums. (You can out more information on Maggie's Cancerlink's section on 'Mesothelioma')

    I'll message you, so you can ask any questions and perhaps talk through how things are for you all...

    Warm wishes


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