Family and cancer

I’ve never posted on here before, but I think it is time to talk to some people who know how I feel. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma when I was 17, and now am 20, at college, cancer free, but technically in remission for 2 years now. I was the first person in my family to ever have cancer and I thought I’d be the last. My family and I have been moving on from cancer, and now we find out that my grandmother has cancer. We are so close with her, and I can’t explain how upset just the fact itself that she has cancer makes me, but what really hurts is to see my mom go through this again. I feel guilty and helpless because she has to see the two women she loves most experience cancer, and I can’t help her because I am one of them. I don’t understand how this can happen. How God would do this to our family. I hate that I hurt so many people, and just as they recover from my cancer, we have to worry about someone else’s cancer. I don’t know how to help anyone, or what to say/do. I am so confused and disappointed. I thought this was all behind us. I know that this happens to other people too, but you never think it can be you, until it is. Hopefully at least one person can relate.

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Friends and Family

  • Leah Shearer

    I’m so sorry you’re going through all this. I think the hardest thing to do when cancer happens is to focus a great deal of energy on the why. That is because there is no answer to that question. Cancer doesn’t “choose” someone and it is not a punishment. It’s also important to know that you didn’t hurt people. The disease itself is hurtful.

    I do agree with you with one thing— we never think it can happen to us– until it does. Remember though that there is one thing we can tap into in ourselves to get through. Our own strength. Everyone has an inner strength that we are sometimes called upon to use. You may not feel very strong right now but you clearly are strong enough to find a way to reach out…and that is a first step.

    Focus on this question…
    What makes you happy? What makes your grandmother happy? Or others in your family. During times of stress we sometimes must grasp on to the thing or things that really drives us…and let that help us with the seemingly impossible job of coping. If you like to paint, to sing, to bake cookies…if you enjoy time with friends. Celebrate life even in the toughest of times. These are the times when the things that we love to do or experience have special meaning. There’s a lovely quote that I find really helpful with what you are going through.

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

    What I think this means is that our attitude can help us get through the hardest of times. And what you might find is that finding ways to be positive might even help those around you too.

    I’m thinking of you as you endure this tough time, but know that there are a lot of people who have been there. A lot of them who surf this website. If you ever need to talk, we run a video chat – mostly on Tuesday nights on Google Hangout. If you’d like to participate email me at!

    Hang in there

    Leah Shearer

    TLC Program Coordinator

    Rochester NY

  • R

    Hi there you shouldn’t feel guilty because its not your fault cancer is something that is sometimes passed through family genes. Be happy although you sad inside and make happy memory’s before its to late with you mom and grandma :)

  • Becca

    I hear you, but I hope you know none of this is your fault, it’s not like you can just steal the cancer out of her, and you didn’t give it to her, it’s just what happens sometimes. Just be there for both of them and it should help more than you know

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