Lisa G.
Posted by

You are not alone

Lisa G.
Posted by
25 Nov 2016

A little confession is good for the soul...

I've been struggling.  Not a huge amount, just a little bit, every once in a while.  It shouldn't be a surprise I suppose, it's probably to be expected.  My son has cancer, how could I not be finding things difficult?  Questions would surely be raised if I wasn't.  Why then does it seem so hard to admit?  I've been struggling and I've been seeing a psychologist.  There, I've said it.

There's no rule book or instruction manual for this new life, this strange mix of normality and serious illness.  For me it has brought with it loneliness and a lack of confidence, a worry over how others see me, a questioning of how I should be feeling and acting.  Maybe I always felt this way, perhaps everyone does.  Do any of us really know what we are doing?  But this experience, this journey has exaggerated these feelings, making them seem overwhelming at times and bringing with them a guilt that somehow I am getting it wrong, that I am failing my family at a time when they need me the most. 

Emotions are heightened and finding enthusiasm for the everyday is so much more challenging than it was before.  It's frustrating and much of the time it's completely exhausting. There is conflict, between wanting to be seen to be coping, of being strong and positive, but also wanting people to know that it's hard, that they shouldn't expect too much of me, because I'm not sure I'm capable of delivering.  I'm still here, I'm still me, I'm just a little blurry around the edges these days, lacking the clarity I had before this cancer filled life took over.

So, to try and make sense of the jumble in my head, to find a way of navigating through this strange new life, I have had a few sessions with a psychologist, my last one being a few days ago.

It has been a little bit of me time, an opportunity to get my feelings out there.  I talked, she listened.  She offered help and advice and challenged me when necessary.  Together we tried to find a way to remove the 'should' from my life.  To just be and feel and leave the guilt at the door.  The negative thoughts and emotions may be here to stay,  how can they not, given the situation, but I now have some techniques, some tools at my disposal to help me deal with them, to try and stop them from running out of control.  We have analysed the battles in my head, to help me gain some peace, to clear some space, to find some clarity again.

I suspect much of it may be easier said than done, that it is a work in progress full of dips and peaks, but it's a start and it has given me back some strength and confidence.

I know there will be no judgement and I know there is no shame in feeling this way, but it still feels difficult to admit.  I have thought hard about how much I want to share, how much of my life I want out there for all to see.  It feels scary.  However, it is part of this journey, a very real part.  If I have felt like this then others in the same situation most likely have too.  I want them to know that they are not alone.  That however they may be feeling or acting, it's ok.  I went to the sessions hoping to be fixed, but I came away realising it was never about being fixed, it was learning to recognise I wasn't broken in the first place, only human.  I may not have all the answers, or wonderful words of wisdom, but I have been there too. You are not alone.

7 July 2016

To read more on Hugo's journey visit



Thanks for sharing this Lisa. So many of us struggle with our emotions during this time and I still find it odd that psychological help isn't offered as routine to patients and their families (obviously funding is the issue there!). It's something that isn't talked about enough, so thank you for raising it

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