Losing 2 parents to cancer

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Losing 2 parents to cancer

I lost my dad to lung cancer 18 years ago. At the time I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I was hoping he would be alive when my daughter was born but he died 2 days before she was born. I don’t think I ever grieved properly as I was busy caring for my baby & looking out for my mum.


3 months ago my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her bones. It was such a shock. I had being helping her with various health issues for last few years, but never suspected she had cancer. I just kept thinking how can this be happening again. 


Mum was in so much pain, her mobility was effected too. I did everything I could to try and make things better just like I did with my dad. But 8 weeks after she was diagnosed she was admitted to hospital with a blood clot in the lung. Then we were told she was bleeding internally  because of  some of the medications she was on. The doctors tried but couldn’t stop the bleeding.  They also told us the cancer had spread more than we were originally told. We were told she had a week to live. It was so horrible to watch her in pain, we didn’t tell her she was going to die. Mum told us right from her early diagnosis that she didn’t want to know how bad it was. 


We kept it from her as long as we could & were struggling with how or if we should tell her. One evening she woke up & looked at my brother & I and said ‘this is it isnt’. I looked at her & said yes mum it is.

My heart was breaking. The next day she was sedated & sleep all day so I didn’t get to talk to her about what she wanted. The following day she was agitated so was sedated, a few times she wld wake & say ‘please help me’. This has stayed with me ever since, it haunts me. I was by her bedside all day, the doctors didn’t indicate that she was worse, so my brother & I decided to leave. She died the next day around 5am. They tell us she stopped breathing while she was sleeping. I just hope that is true & she didn’t wake up & realise we weren’t there. 


Two weeks later I had to cope with mum not being there for my daughters 18th. 


I feel lost, mum & I were so close. I feel guilty sometimes, going over things in my mind, hoping we did the right thing protecting her. 


She was the glue & now I feel like my family is drifting apart. 




Valued Contributor

Re: Losing 2 parents to cancer

Sending hugs @Anne64 Heart


I don't think there's any right or wrong way to grieve, but it is something we all need to do. We have a great ebook around understanding grief available here, that I think would be worth giving a read.


We also have our Telephone Support Group, called Life After Loss, that I think would be ideal for you. This service is free and the group runs over 6 sessions, feel free to send me a private message or an email to onlinecommunity@nswcc.org.au with your phone number and I'll have one of our facilitators contact you - they sit right behind me here in the office.


Take care of you!


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