Hi everyone, I’m Jill Mills and I’ve just joined Cancer Council NSW’s YA Survivorship Team, exploring the experiences and helping to identify and meet the needs of young adults surviving cancer. For me personally survivorship has many meanings. When I was 30 my husband passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer just 9 months before; we had a 3 month old, a 3 year old and 3 stepsons (from his previous marriage, they were in their late teens). It was a rough time and I remember very well the struggles we all had personally and as a family, before and after his death. Even though that was 21 years ago the personal experience seems to be universal, even with the advances in cancer treatment and the amount of support available. I was lucky, I had family around me giving support, love and financial help, but there were many times then and now that I felt and feel alone. As a partner, I often felt forgotten in the whole process. After his death new friends I met didn’t seem to want to talk about my experience and I didn’t feel strong enough to ask why. It was a confusing time. It seemed too hard to look into the future, or at life as a single mother?? With 5 boys in my life. I had actually survived cancer, but not in the traditional sense and I felt for a long time that I had nobody to share my feelings with.
4 Comments
Occasional Contributor
Hi Jill, Thank you for sharing your story. It is very reassuring for me to see stories of other people who have been (or are) in a situation that is similar to my own. I identify with many of the feelings that you have mentioned. I keep coming back to your post and reading it again. It helps. xxx Symphony
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Cancer Council NSW
Hi Symphony, I read your post this morning and have been thinking about it since. It is wonderful that my sharing has helped you!! You know I have never shared these feelings with many people before (just close friends and family) and found it quite liberating to do so!! and even better that someone, such as yourself would read them and find some reassurance. I am curious now though about your experience and your feelings!! Jill.
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Occasional Contributor
HI Jill, I have been talking about my experiences and feelings on the forum, under the topic "People with young children." A couple of other women with similar situations have responded. Perhaps you'd like to take a look. :) Symphony
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Occasional Contributor
Hi again, forgot to mention that it's in the "young adults" section. Symphony
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