Together we will beat cancer


Don’t know how to cope

9 Nov 2017 23:15

My dad went into hospital 3 weeks ago with severe headaches and was kept in overnight with what we thought was meningitis, after CT scans we were told he had a 4cm brain tumour and it was primary meaning it started in the brain. He has had 80% of it removed and my family found out from the biopsy it is a stage 4 glioblastoma and it will come back eventually but he will be receiving chemo and radiotherapy until after Christmas. I’m really struggling to cope as I’m just 16 with a younger brother and sister I am looking after a lot as my mum is always so tired and stressed about my dad so I feel like I can’t talk to anyone at home about how I feel. At school my friends don’t understand and have stopped asking me to go out with them because they think I won’t want to and I’ve really distanced from them recently. I’m behind with all my school work and I feel like everything is piling up on me and I really am struggling to cope

Re: Don’t know how to cope

9 Nov 2017 23:43 in response to Amy12344

Hi Amy... I'm so sorry your dad is going through so much and I can't imagine just how hard you must be finding it at such a young age ... my heart goes out to you .... I know the "ask the nurses" know of a site were it is for young ones to chat together about their feelings and I'm sure you would find this helpful... though your always welcome on here too ... I think it's something like yip yap but they can tell you the right one ... just post another one in their ask the nurses ... but they may even pick this up and reply here ... well Amy just sending you a big hug brave lass .. hold on in there ... hopefully others will get back to you soon with more support too ... take care and know all those feelings your having are quite normal ... it's all part of this journey we find ourselves on ... Chrisie xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

10 Nov 2017 00:23 in response to Amy12344


Hi Amy,

A warm welcome to Cancer Chat.

What a lot you are trying to cope with at the moment. Your dad’s diagnosis must have come as an awful shock to your whole family? You are at an important cross-roads in your life too. This is a stage when your schooling is so important for anything you want to do when you leave school. Have you discussed the pressure that you are under with your teachers? There are various cancer charities which provide free counselling services, which might help you too. Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger who understands exactly what you are going through, rather than to well-meaning family and friends who don’t. Your teacher should also be able to arrange this for you too.

The longer everything piles up on you, the harder it is to catch up, so please try to talk to one of your more understanding teachers. I am sure that your mum and dad wouldn’t like to think that you were finding it so hard to cope. Have you tried to discuss how you feel with your mum? I know that she has a lot on her plate just now, but a problem shared is a problem halved.

I hope that you can get out of this hole, with a little help.

Please keep in touch and let us know how both you and your dad are getting on. We are always here to support you whenever you want to talk.

Big virtual hugs.

Jolamine xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

10 Nov 2017 08:36 in response to Amy12344

Hello Amy and welcome to our forum although I'm sorry for the reasons that bring you here.

I noticed you already received two helpful replies from our members Chrisie and Jolamine but I wanted to stop by and share a website with you which I think might help too. It's called riprap and it is dedicated to helping teenagers who have a parent with cancer. They also have a forum like this one where you can chat with other teenagers who are going through similar situations. 

And if you feel like talking to one of our cancer nurses might help, their lines are open Monday - Friday between 9 a.m - 5 p.m on 0808 800 4040.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Renata, Cancer Chat Moderator



Re: Don’t know how to cope

10 Nov 2017 23:50 in response to Jolamine

It was a really big shock it almost doesn’t seem real still cause my dads never been ill before really, I’ve spoken to a couple of my teachers as I’ve been trying to hold it together at school but as soon as someone asks me if I’m okay I get upset, I think it would help to talk to someone about how I feel even if it was a stranger because i find it so difficult to keep everything bottled up. I do try to talk to my mum but she just seems to be really snappy all the time. Thank you xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

10 Nov 2017 23:50 in response to Moderator Renata

I’ll definitely have a look at that website it might help to talk to someone my age, thank you x


Re: Don’t know how to cope

10 Nov 2017 23:51 in response to Chriss

Thank you I’ll have a look at that website as people my own age would probably be better to talk to as they understand exactly how I feel about this. Thanks again xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

11 Nov 2017 01:11 in response to Amy12344


Hi Amy,

I couldn't remember the name of the teenager's site riprap, so thanks to Renata for mentioning it. Your mum is probably snappy because she is worried about your dad and how she will be able to cope. This is a natural reaction to this type of situaton. It sounds as if she is still worrying about the big picture, which is too much to cope with. She would be better taking things day by day. Do you think that she would benefit from speaking to a counsellor too? It might be worth suggesting that you both need help and seeing how she takes this.

Anything you say to a counsellor will be strictly in confidence, as will your mum's conversation, even if you were to see the same counsellor. What ages are your brother and sister and do they know how ill your dad is?

I hope that you find riprap useful. it will be good to talk to others of your age, who unlike your school friends, do really know what you are going through. We are always here for you too. If we can help you in any way, please come back to us.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

11 Nov 2017 23:44 in response to Jolamine

My mum is really worried and I can tell but I just wish she’d talk to me about it instead of trying to make sure I’m not upset, it just hurts me more her trying to protect me from it. My mums not the kind of person to go to a counsellor she just wouldn’t go no matter what I said. My brother is 10 and my sister is 12 and they don’t seem to understand how poorly my dad is because after his operation they seem to think it’ll be okay now, which I hope it will be but still xx

Re: Don’t know how to cope

12 Nov 2017 01:30 in response to Amy12344


Hi Amy,

I can fully understand how worried your mum must be feeling at the moment, but I’m sure that if you told her that you are just not coping and would like to see a counsellor, she would be happy enough for you to do this. We all have to face the inevitable at some stage, but you are young to have this on your shoulders and you need to be able to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. Your brother and sister are probably still young enough to have the simplistic expectation that if your dad is in hospital and he has had an operation then, he will come home completely better. If only it were that simple.

Your mum might open up a little more if you explained how isolated and alone you feel. Tell her that you would rather speak openly with her and be able to support her, than having her trying to shield you from this. You sound like a mature young lady, you are not a child any longer and I’m sure that you would both benefit from being able to talk openly to one another.

I hope that you manage to get your mum to understand that you are as worried as she is and, that between the two of you, you will gradually reach a solution that helps you both to cope with all this.

Big hugs,

Jolamine xx