Together we will beat cancer


How to go on

12 Sep 2021 16:39

My brother passed Aug 21st at 32 years old of colony cancer that had spread to his liver, I'm 38 and I know its still fresh, but I don't know if I will be able to go on a lifetime of this pain. A few days before we were talking and then I was told to go to hospital as he was deteriorating. Watching my baby brother in pain was the hardest thing in my life. And then I watched his last breath. Those last memories are killing me. I only get out of bed because my partner has been bringing mum to our house every day and cooking, not that I eat it much. He's been so good.I have 3 kids 20 ,16 and 9 and everyone's been strong.My kids don't see me cry but I feel useless, my brother would have been stronger than me for my mum if we had traded places. I just want to sleep.i don't express my feelings generally and I can't talk to those close as they're grieving too ,i don't want to burden them with the way I feel. My mums way of dealing is to talk to everyone, I just don't.i can't without crying anyway. My brother didn't have a bad bone in his body. The only comfort I get at the moment is little signs showing that maybe he is still around. Sometimes I feel numb which is a relief from all the crying, but then when I'm numb I feel nothing else either. It's not fair on my family to grieve and watch me be weak and useless. I have been thinking of the best way to join my brother but knowing I'd leave my kids without a mum is the only thing that stops me. Although I think of ways where it wouldn't hurt them so much, if they thought I had just left or something. I dont think I would, but its horrible that I'm even thinking it. Just at the moment I'm no good for them and don't see when I will be

How to go on

12 Sep 2021 19:16 in response to Maria21

Hi there didn't want to read and run I've lost a few people from cancer and now my parent has it it's a terrible disease I can't really relate to your post as much but I can in a sense that I have 4 children I have had the thoughts of I don't want to be here and wanting to sleep to take the pain away and I had to force myself to get on with life or live in depression.what would your brother want for you?

I said that my parent would want me to keep living and would never want me to take my life because of theirs and that had kept me going.

when I'm going to a dark place I can feel it coming and I force myself to do something to take my mind off it I hope this is a little bit helpful I look at my kids faces and say I wouldn't want to miss a day with them

How to go on

12 Sep 2021 19:18 in response to Maria21

Hello Maria21, I'm so sorry that you have lost your brother to this awful disease. Life is incredibly cruel and unfair and nothing makes any sense anymore. My younger brother passed away in February 2020 after an horrendous 12 month battle with an aggressive cancer in his jaw which a dentist misdiagnosed which then delayed his diagnosis and treatment, he turned 45 two weeks before he passed. I remember counting the days since he left us, then counting the weeks, then the months, all the time wondering how the world kept turning without him being a part of it. My two daughters kept me going then just like your children keep you going now. It sounds as though you have a wonderful partner to look after you so just allow the tears to come and don't be hard on yourself, you have just been through the hardest experience and you have to allow yourself time to process and come to terms with what you have been through.I cried myself to sleep for many months after. It does get easier, 19 months on there is a little bit of the old me coming back. I wish I'd been able to see a grief counsellor but lockdown happened 6 weeks after we lost my brother so I came on to this forum to see if anybody here had been through the same. I remember reading something along the lines of grief being like a tsunami wave, to begin with the waves are huge and you fight just to take a breath, then the waves get smaller and you still struggle to keep your head above the water. With time the waves become more manageable but they still knock you over and you never really know when the next one will come. I think that's the best description of the last 19months for me anyway. On the days when I struggle now, I can see my brother in my minds eye telling me it's ok. I know he would not want us to grieve so much and for so long because he never wanted to be a bother to anyone. I have one of his watches which I wear now and then and his photo in a locket so I can have him close to me. Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble, I just wanted you to know your are not alone and everything you are feeling right now is natural and completely normal xx

How to go on

12 Sep 2021 20:30 in response to Afrohair91

Thank you for your reply.My brother was so strong, we know he knew the severity of it, yet didn't tell us to protect us and I know he would protect me now if he could. Even though he was younger he always protected me, his friends and his mum and I know he would hate me being like this and I'd feel ashamed if he saw me this way. He fought for his life til the very day before. So I know I've got to fight too, it's just so hard.

How to go on

12 Sep 2021 20:42 in response to NikkiL

Thanks for your kind words, and I'm so sorry for your loss.Even though I feel like I'm the only one in the world going through this like as you said, how is the world still turning? His funeral is the day before my bday too. The waves analogy is very true, I feel suffocated and at first felt like I was drowning.My brother too never wanted to be a bother as he didn't tell us the severity of his disease. But that also hurts me, like if I'd have known I would have been there for him and he wouldn't have to deal with things alone. All these things going through my head. And still not quite believing that I can't send him a song to see if he's heard a new song and he would send me one back,or he would send me what he's been cooking because he would always cook for him and mum or he would pop round to my house and I think I hear his car pull up. I know it's going to be a long road just don't know how I'm going to survive this long road in pain, my chest hurts all the time, like my heart is literally broken.xx

How to go on

12 Sep 2021 21:08 in response to Maria21

Hello Maria21, 

Just wanted to drop by and say hello although I do not want to interrupt the flow of your conversations too much as I am very pleased you have been talking to NikkiL and Afrohair91. They understand better than anyone how you are feeling at the moment and they have given you some very good advice.  

I wanted to let you know that if you ever feel really down, don't hesitate to get in touch with Samaritans .

You can talk to them every single day of the year 24h a day on this free number 116 123 

It's really sad what happened to your brother and I am so sorry for your loss. It is all so raw for you at the moment and it will take time and you will need support to help you walk this long road as you said. Perhaps you could talk to your GP about how you have been feeling and ask whether they have any suggestions to help you cope in the coming days and months.

Keep strong, you are doing amazingly and I wanted you to know we are all here for you on the forum.  

Best wishes, 

Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator


How to go on

12 Sep 2021 21:18 in response to Moderator Lucie

Thank you , I appreciate your reply.

I think I may need to speak to someone soon. I know I will need help. I don't want to get out of the house for fear of seeing anyone, because I don't want to talk, as much as I know they mean well. . At the moment to call anyone and talk, I can't even get any words out. Hopefully I will be able to soon.


How to go on

13 Sep 2021 06:48 in response to Maria21

It's the little things that we took for granted at the time that really play on your mind because we thought that our little brothers would grow old with us and we would have years and years of their company. 

And yes your heart is broken, your brother was such a huge part of your life, part of who you are and his influence on you helped to make you the person you are today. The loss of someone that important leaves a huge hole in our heart that will never heal. We somehow learn to accommodate that missing part of us, we learn how to carry on, I don't know how we do it, maybe it's just by putting one foot in front of the other each day. Life goes on and it drags us along with it. 

It's a phrase used often in this situation but just take one day at a time. You will get there because we both know that our brothers would want us to live our lives and carry them with us xx





How to go on

13 Sep 2021 08:30 in response to NikkiL

Yes that's so true.

I should have gone before him. 

I feel guilty that I'm still here when he should be

How to go on

13 Sep 2021 09:14 in response to Maria21

Yes, I felt that guilt too. I've smoked for many years, trying to give up. I've had a few drinks over the years. All risk factors for oral cancer. My brother did neither but it still got him. 

I felt that if it had been me instead of him, my parents would have been a little less heartbroken because he still lived with them due to a form of auto immune arthritis. 

I have trawled the internet trying to find answers to the "why him and not me" question. There is no answer to it apart from it was just incredibly bad luck or fate or whatever your particular beliefs are. What I have found is that guilt is part of the grief process along with anxiety and anger and tears and disbelief and denial. Apparently sibling grief is very complicated, we worry about our parents and neglect to deal with ourselves. I honestly felt that I was completely on my own but looking back now I know I wasn't, I was just hiding away from everyone and everything. I still avoid some people but have one very good friend who would text me and ring me just to check in and talk about day to day things. A lot of people just couldn't handle the depth of my grief so just didn't mention it.

Sadly there are many on here who understand exactly how you feel right now. The pain is all consuming and you probably cannot think of anything or anyone else. Just know that that is normal, you loved your brother with all your heart and now that love has nowhere to go. Talk to him, write to him, tell us about him if you feel able to. Do whatever you need to do to get through this time when the grief is raw and sharp.

I don't come on this forum as often these days but I'll keep checking in if you need to chat xx


How to go on

13 Sep 2021 09:16 in response to Maria21

Hi Maria

sorry for the loss of your brother, i feel your pain i lost my dad 9 weeks ago. I too am constantly re going over my dads hospital moments in my mind i feel they will haunt me forever. I get you on the burdening others there so upset why should they have to deal with worrying on you to i feel that a lot so you just suffer in silence and don’t speak to anyone. Your not weak or useless just try and take each day focus on just making it through and cry if you need to cry. As i keep getting told its going to take time to get over such a great loss and try and not put pressure on yourself to much and be kind to yourself. Its hard to see a day were things will ever be ok but i get told it gets easier. When you feel ready maybe talk to someone, i have found it helps in the past and i feel i to might need to speak to someone at somepoint also. The people on here seem lovely and very supportive as we are all going through the same thing.

How to go on

13 Sep 2021 09:49 in response to Tasha-x18


Yes I forget there are so many people going through the same thing and just think my grief is greater than anyone's because how can people feel this way and still make it through the day? Everybody says it gets easier with time, I just don't me having that amount of time. I feel in limbo and do things on at pilot, like having to get up to make my sons pack up for school. I will talk to someone, I have a friend that didn't know my brother well so it's easier to talk to her when I can and she's been through a lot and knows how I feel.i still feel that I will drain her energy talking about my pain though so it's just hard.

Thank you for your message, you look after yourself too xx

How to go on

13 Sep 2021 11:07 in response to Maria21

yeah i totally get that, just making it through each day or even getting out of bed is an effort. You dont want to continue on without them. Yeah speak to who you feel comfortable with. Friends who have been through alot are better as other just go oh you will be ok. But they dont fully understand your situation because they havent been through it themselfs.

Keep strong if you ever what to talk privately please drop me a message x

How to go on

13 Sep 2021 11:24 in response to Tasha-x18

I will do, thank you. Same to you xx

How to go on

13 Sep 2021 12:40 in response to NikkiL

Thank you, I appreciate it. Theres one friend who knows exactly how I'm feeling and shes dealt with it before, alone and I didn't reach out the way she has for me and I feel guilty about that too, because now i know how bad this pain feels. Yes it's unfair, he kept fit ate good and then to succumb to this horrible disease and I thought the same maybe my mum wouldn't feel as bad if it was me rather than me. I'm useless to them all now. He would have been stronger if he was here. I know I won't want to see anyone forva good while as they know how close we we're and I know that will push everyone away. 

I just keep thinking of when he was at my house a few weeks ago, joking, eating,talking...I wonder if he knew then... and I still don't get that he's gone forever