Secondhand cancer journey

Occasional Visitor

Secondhand cancer journey

Hi, I’m 29 years old and recently had the amazing news that my dads treatment is working. It was 4 years of hell with doom constantly looming over my head and anxiety of the unknown. The 4 years took its toll on me in so many ways and was depressed and suicidal (am now on antidepressants). My dad was depressed himself towards the end and just wanted to die, this new treatment was offered to him so we decided we’d give it one more fight so flew to Sydney to to participate in this trial treatment called car-t therapy which was being trialed on solid tumours (which my dad was riddled with, head to toe). It’s working, he is a walking miracle and it’s been hard to wrap my head around. 

My reason for sharing my story is I would like to invite anyone out there my support. I know how alone I was and it broke me, with friends that didn’t understand my pain and simply weren’t there for me. I felt no one ever reached out to me or didn’t know how, talk of death is a strange one and people don’t know what to do. I only felt comfortable opening up to people who have gone through this journey. I want to help anyone I can to express themselves and have an ear and a shoulder without having to ask. People always say “I’m here if you need anything, just call” but that is hard for someone to admit firstly and secondly you need someone to just be there and not have to ask. 

I live in Brisbane and would love to here from you, so please don’t be shy and leave a comment 🙂 

Frequent Contributor

Re: Secondhand cancer journey

Hi Stacie,


You’re a local, I live in Brisbane too! Small world huh? It's great news to hear that your father's treatment is responding well, new trials and practices are being performed and invested in everyday. I'm happy to see that you discovered these forums; they are filled with knowledgeable and caring individuals, with understanding about the overall experience.


It’s common and absolutely understandable for affected individuals to express tiredness or frustration during discouraging times, especially if the experience has been long-term for them. I’ve heard particularly phrases from a loved one that was disheartening on many occasions.  Many find support and solace through supportive groups, guidance counselors, organizations and etc. It all depends on the person, of course.


I’m sorry you felt alone during certain times and that some of your friends didn’t quite understand the position. It’s not an easy subject to cover and sometimes tends to be one of those things, where you need to either feel or see, to really appreciate the stance. Sometimes people will remove themselves from a difficult/surreal matter, some might step or jump in, while others will hang around, so to speak – being unsure on what to do or say next. Everyone reacts differently. But this is why we have forums like this: To share, to support and to listen. It's an pleasure to meet you.

Super Contributor

Re: Secondhand cancer journey

Hi Stacie,


I'm sorry to hear of your experience.

I think sometimes if people don't understand something or they are scared of it, they don't know how to respond to that.

Death and cancer - I think both generally are included here.

Friends and family find it confronting and if it's something that they are not familiar with or don't know how to deal with, they tend to shut down.


I'm sorry to hear of what happened. Both to your Dad and your experience with your support network.

I am however excited to hear of your Dads recovery!



Valued Contributor

Re: Secondhand cancer journey

That's amazing news @Stacie!!


Am I right in assuming you are your Dad's carer? 🙂

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