Lisa G.
Posted by

Trust in Us

Lisa G.
Posted by
27 Jan 2016

When your child has cancer and your world is turned upside down, how 'should' you feel?

Since this journey began, many people have told me how well I'm doing, how well I'm coping.  I know they mean well and I view it as a compliment that people think I'm doing well.  It gives me comfort that I am providing the strength and stability that Hugo needs me to.  That I am getting something right in this mess of a situation.  But, it has also made me question how I 'should' be doing. Am I in denial? Has the enormity of the situation yet to hit me?  Or worse, am I just an unemotional, insensitive person?

I am a planner by nature, I love nothing more than a good to-do list.  I always have little projects on the go with timetables and schedules.  I love researching ideas, planning holidays and such like.  I don't always get a chance to follow through with my ideas, but I love the planning and the dreaming all the same.  I suppose Richard and I have approached Hugo's illness in much the same way.  It's what we do, it's who we are and it works well for us.

In a way we don't have a choice.  Hugo's illness is bigger than all of us and it has to come first.  Our life has to revolve around his appointments, his medication, his needs.  We need to be in control because his life depends on it.

However, much of the time we don't feel like we are in control.  We are scared and afraid of what is happening and of what lies ahead.  We don't feel strong, we feel vulnerable and alone.  We call upon our coping mechanisms because that is what we have to do.  There are practical issues to sort, childcare arrangements to be made.  There's no time for sitting in a corner sobbing.  Life goes on and we have to too.

But, what if this isn't normal?  What if this isn't the way we should be dealing with it?  Have we painted on the brave smile a little too thickly?  Sometimes selfishly I wonder if I've missed my window of opportunity to fall to pieces.  I've shown myself to be in control now.  What happens if at some point the haze of shock lifts and reality kicks in with a  burst of emotion so powerful that I can't cope.  If I need to sob uncontrollably on someone's shoulder?  What will I do if my coping mechanisms suddenly abandon me?  If it all just becomes too much to bear.

I suppose I will just have to trust in us.  Accept that there are no right or wrongs in a situation like this.  There is no normal and everyone's journey will be unique to them.  We are coping in the only way we know how, the way that works for us.  We will call upon our trusted mantra of one day at a time.  We will put our faith in our wonderful family and friends to be there to pick us up should we falter, to put us back together if we fall to pieces, to provide a shoulder for the sobs should they come.  We will keep on keeping on, one day at a time.

24 August 2015 Read more about Hugo's journey at


Eleanor Baggley

This is such a wonderful blog, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing you thoughts, feelings and experiences with us. I think you're absolutely right that there is no normal in this situation. There can never be a 'should', I guess it is just about finding the best way through for you and your family. Please do remember that we're hear to listen if you ever need to talk. Take care, Eleanor


Lisa, you are putting on a brave face because that is the only way of coping. Your mothering instincts are putting your child first. Although it is not the same when I was ill I was seen as strong etc, but I fell apart after my treatment was finished. You will get up every morning and put that smile on your face for your son and the public to see, your tears will be private, but one day, when it is all over you may find yourself overwhelmed by your emotions. Don't be afraid to ask for help and to lean on people at any time. You will find out who your true friends are. Love and best wishes to you all xx


Thank you so much Eleanor for your kind words and support.  We continue to find 'our' way forward as best we can.  Lisa


Thank you Louise.  I guess we all find an inner strength when we have to, be it as a patient or a parent.  People think we are brave, but we are just doing what we need to do.  I hope you are doing well and are slowly managing to put yourself back together again.  Much love to you xxx