Occasional Visitor


The beginning of this year has been one of the hardest experiences i will ever go through. My grandma was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in January. I did not believe it. We went to so many different specialists as there was confusion. My grandma had multiple tests done, we saw specialists and then we were told we weren't meant to be at these particular appointments. It has all been very overwhelming as well as a bit frustrating, feeling as if we weren't getting the right information, wasting precious time in finding what is going on. Long story short we are now in March and my grandma has had her first lot of chemotherapy for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  We were told it was in her pancreas, her lungs, her stomach and now has spread to her liver. My heart hurts so much. My grandfather passed away when i was young and we were told he had lung cancer however this was a mistake and he passed from something else. With my grandma now i feel like it is still a mistake again. Cancer is all new to me it has never run in my family, and we were just told that it is just unfortunately bad luck. My grandma is my best friend and raised me growing up, i see her every single day and basically live with her. I prefer hanging out with her and her friends then people my own age. I have always been inseparable with her we do share the same name too :). I know that one day we are all going to die but I did not expect this, i don't want to see my best-friend suffer. I know i have to be strong for her now as she needs me the most. I am currently at my last year of university doing my honours degree in psychology which i have worked really hard for. I am now struggling because i want to be with my grandma every second but i also don't want to give up on this degree as i know she would love to see my graduate this year. I don't know how people cope with this experience, i don't get how it makes you stronger, i don't understand anything. I am really sorry to everyone that is hurting. This truly does suck and has completely changed mine and my family's life. 

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Regular Contributor

Re: C

Hello Mel, so sorry about your grandma and the diagnosis. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with her and are a blessing to each other. So heartbreaking for you💔. Hopefully the treatment will be of some help to her. If you can’t finish your degree this year I’m sure you could get compassionate leave for a while. Maybe you just need to be with your grandma while she’s having chemo. You need to look after you as well. I hope and pray that you have supportive people around you. 💕🙏 LindaG

New Contributor

Re: C

Hi Mel,


I am so so sorry to hear of your Grandmothers diagnosis. I am learning myself at the moment that this is a cruel and indiscriminate disease. I truly wish her all the best with her treatment and you both my happy and loving hours together over the next while.


I thought I would reply as I work for a university and I am aware that it's absolutely possible for you to take some time away to be with your lovely grandmother over this difficult time. The best place to start would be to speak with your uni counselling service and let them know what's going on. They will then be able to help you with the paperwork and application s that you ca take some time to care for you and be with your gran.


There are lots and lots of options - a period of compassionate leave and a plan with your unit coordinator to finish your research later is one option. Most universities also offer an option to withdrawn from any units you are enrolled in and get your money back - due to experiencing these unexpected and extraneous circumstances. If you're not ready to leave uni quite yet, they will at the very least help you with contacting your coordinator and reducing your workload a little / rescheduling things to allow for more time to yourself.


I am so sorry again to hear of what your going through and sending you and your grandmother all of the best wishes ❤️

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