3 years on and Im hurting just as badly.

Hi all

this is my first post here, and Id just like to apologise in advance for its negative nature but its how Im feeling. I lost my mum 3 years ago aged 66 to breast cancer. Yeah my parents worked so hard their entire lives and their reward for that and sticking to the marriage vows was her being taken a couple of months after retirement age. She had it intially in 1997 and after going through the masectomy and recostruction seemed to recover well. Then in 2005 it came back with a vengeance, but this time it was even sneakier than it had been before, ensuring there were no physical symptoms until it had already metastised to her stomach. She went through a very difficult time before passing away in 2007. I feel very very low, have lost all faith in life and just dont want to wake up anymore. I thought I had an idea about cancer, that if you smoked you increased youre risk of lung cancer, but what IS this dispicable thing that can attack someone like my mum out of the blue, who ticked every conceivable fitness box?!!! She ate well, exercised well with lots of fresh air, didnt drink or smoke and looked after herself in every possible way. She was my rock, with an incredible inner stregnth that I admire so much. She was a giver in life helping other women going through breast cancer after her. Why is it always the good that get taken? I thought life’s motto was “survival of the fittest?” My mum was as fit as anyone I know, she looked and acted 15 years younger and never even got a cold. Her mother, my grandmother who much as I loved her was overweight and didnt really take care of herself had to help us bury her and passed away aged 91. Maybe we really are here to suffer and people who ease that burden are taken out of the equation. I have friends who are more concerned about how much inheritance they will receive when their parents go, yet they still have both parents. Ironic. When somebody is murdered motive is top of the questions asked, well I NEED lifes motive for this horrible disease, that rips families apart and leaves children much younger than me motherless. Ive tried everything from councelling to hypnotherapy and as one of the therapists said, “I cant help you anymore because I cant bring her back”. Nothing changes the fact shes gone, Ive tried adjusting but Ive come to realise sometimes wounds will never heal. I feel manipulated by life. I feel life is selfish, that it is only concerned with the continuity of the whole, with no regard for the individuals who make up that whole. It bestoyed love on us to bind parent to child so that the child had the best chance of survival, with no real concern for the hurt it would cause when the parent or child died. Life can be so wonderful and resourceful, surely it could have come up with a better less distressing way to bring a relationship to a close. I dont know, so many questions, never an answer. The not knowing why is driving me into the ground, killing me slowly I know it, but Im so stubburn Id rather die than accept there is no reason. I know other people are going through the same thing, but for me personally what sort of person would I be if I took confort from somebody elses suffering? So that coping strategy doesnt help. All I ask is that nobody offers the “what would youre mum tell you to do if she were here”. She isnt here, and the way Im feeling Im not sure she wouldnt just say youve suffered enough, come to me.

Your pain comes across in every word that you have written and I am so sorry that nothing is easing it for you. I can see that you have tried really hard to get help and that so far nothing has made it better for you. Please don’t stop trying. I have bc my mam doesn’t but I am so close to her I worry more about her dying than I do me. She has been with me through everything and I know I will be lost without her. The only way to describe it is that she is the only one who knows the whole me. But I keep reminding my OH that I will struggle if she goes before me, but as she said I am the best thing she did and it would break her heart that her death ruined what she lovingly nurtured and created. I am sure that your mum would not be upset that you are struggling, but I am sure she would not want you to give up trying. All I want is for my children tohave a happy life and it terrifies me that I could be the cause of their deep sasaddness. I need to hope that come what may that the 2 best things in my life, will carry on and with them , a little bit of me goes too… Please I bet like me the best part of your mums llife was giving you yours. Please take your time and be good to yourself and keep asking for help. Debx

I lost my Mum to BC when I was in my twenties and nursed her for many months but she had secondaries and some other complications so her ending was hastened dramatically. I was diagnosed with BC August 2009 and have had to endure a difficult year but I do know enduring my cancer journey with its three ops and a positive outcome was a ‘lighter’ experience than nursing my Mum to her death and the aftermath of loss.
Caring for a loved one with any illness is really hard and then when they pass away you’re left with this terrible feeling of becoming an orphan! When it happened to me I had to come to terms with becoming an adult for the very first time. I was leading an adult life but with the death of a parent it is a real wake-up call. I then had to care for my Dad who deteriorated afterwards and it did feel as if I was going to take on my MUM’s role, for another ten years.
There is no solution to this age old problem of losing a healthy parent, but with time the situation becomes easier to manage. I’ve been without my Mum for twenty five years now and I still miss her. I’ve got used to being an adult and trusting that my existence would make my Mum proud.

I’m glad you’re still trying to help yourself but you eventually have to live a life of your own that your Mum would be proud of too.
Having had BC and knowing how lucky I am to be facing forward at last I am indeed glad to be living my life again.

The past three years must have been so hard for you and your pain is so very obvious but try to LIVE on for your Mum and not allow your feelings of wanting to join her dominate.

With my best wishes, Welsh girl.

Hi, What a heatbreaking post, not sure how to respond to you,
Sometimes in life there are no answers, life can be very sad.

Everyday we hear terrible news on the radio and televison, babies, children, teenagers, adults dying in horrendous ways, all seems so needless. And sadly we cannot change things.

I am not sure there is a purpose to life, l suppose the only purpose to life is what you give it yourself.

You never mentioned if you have family yourself? l know l have found great strength in my family during this nightmare breast cancer. But even with their support, it is still a very lonely road. So l can understand your feelings, you sound so very depressed, and sometimes in life no one can help us, but we can try and help ourselves.

Not sure if it because it is coming up to an anniversary of when your Mum was diagnosed, had an operatation or died, that has bought you to the forum, or whether you are so desperate! and obviously crying out for help.

Three years is not a long time when your Mum or Dad has died, it is just over 3 years since my Dad died, after suffering years of Alzheimers, and it seems like yesterday, never a day goes by without me thinking of him and that is how it should be. BUT l also know he would be devastated to think l couldn’t get on with my life. And that is what l do.

Not knowing you as a person makes it very hard to suggest anything that might help you, have you tried speaking to family and friends about how you feel, they know you and perhaps could shed some light on why they think you are still feeling so very low.

I hope some day you can feel like life is worth living, too many people die far too young, you must feel so very low to say your Mum would say, ‘that you have suffered enough, come to me’

I know you say you have tried counselling! Not sure of your relationship with your GP, perhaps you need to speak to them about antidepressants, if you have not already tried them or are taking them already.
Hugs to you
Sandra xxx

I am so sorry you feel so sad. Three years isn’t that long when you have lost your mum. I lost my mum 6 years ago to BC and miss her so much too, especially now. I too found it hard and lost faith in things, my beliefs completely changed. But in a way i feel closer to her now though, even though we were close when she was alive, the love i have for her will never die.

I hope you can feel better in your self and maybe find another counsellor who can help you find your way back. Your mum sounds like a lovely lady and i think she would want you to have some happiness and joy.

Lots of love to you



I’m so sorry you are going through this pain. Please keep trying to find a way help yourself feel better, it does take a long time to get over a loss like yours.

I’ve had BC, I’m going through chemo at the moment to be followed with rads.

My heart goes out to you.

Love to you xxx


I’m so sorry about what you’re going through and what your mum has been through. The only comment I’d like to add is that maybe try a different counsellor. I’ve just started some counselling myself, having had thoughts of dying after my liver secondary diagnosis. With what your said about your therapist that “I cant help you any more because I cant bring her back”. That would be equivalent to my counsellor saying to me “I cant help you any more because I cant take away your cancer.” That to me is not good enough!

Please don’t give up in trying and sharing your emotions. Sometimes letting it all out just help a tiny bit.

With deepest sympathy xx

Hi MissYoumum

I am sorry to read that you are having such a difficult time and wanted to let you know that we are also here to support you, our helpline is available weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2 on 0808 800 6000. Here you can speak to someone in confidence about how you are feeling and share your thoughts which may help you, the helpline is open to your family and friends too.

I know you have tried counselling which didn’t really help but have you thought about contacting the Samaritans too? They are there to offer help to anyone who is experiencing feelings of distress or despair and they are open 24 hours a day, the link is:


Take care

Hi thankyou so much for the lovely responses. Its strange I wouldnt have thought of checking so soon after posting but I jad a dream last night that a few people had responded already. Im so sorry to hear that as well as losing a parent some people are now going through or have gone through BC themselves. I was 36 when i lost my mum, and split up with my girlfriend of the time through my own choice whilst nursing her. I have no children or partner at the moment. It cuts through me so deeply knowing that if i ever marry or have children my mum will not be there. I moved back in with my mum and dad when mum got ill and now I live with my dad. I have no brothers or sisters, we are a very small family. I wouldnt wish this on anyone but most people I know have brothers sisters girlfriends/ boyfriends both parents kids, in other words large families. We are such a small family theres just the two of us and a BIG chunk of my world has been stolen away. Like you Welsh Girl I feel I have now stepped into my mums role. I go for walks and do things with my dad. I feel like Ive jumped from a 30 something to a retiree and will never leave my dad its hit him so hard too. Hes been quite poOrly with medical issues due to stress as have I recently. I dont know what Ill do if i meet someone but he’s lost his wife, theres no way i could move out and leave him too so I guess my mid life has been wiped out. My mums anniversary is May 17th. My friends have been as good as can be expected given none of them have been through this but after a year i stopped talking about it to them they have stresses of their own without me bringing them down too. Ive tried a couple of different councillers who were both such wonderful people, one from the hospice and one through my doctor. They tried everything believe me, and whilst it felt a bit better for a day or 2 Id just slip back into the same sadness. I think the hardest thing is that as a very close family we were all protecting each other. I knew by speaking to the doctor before mum went that she would not recover, but couldnt tell her or my dad because I wanted her to be positive and did not want to take away her hope. I found out afterwards from one of mums friends whos a nurse that my mum knew too, but she was protecting me and my dad because she knew what it would do to us. So basically I carried that burden on my own for nearly 2 years, lying to my mum and dad if you like, and then never got a chance to say goodbye. The situation is so so horrid. How can I ever have the faith in life I once had, after my mum was treated worse by cancer than a mass murderer would be treated? Thanks Lucy for the number, Ive given up trying to get help as nothing works but Ive kept the number, may use it one day.

Hi again

I have just checked the bereavement site ‘Cruse’ which you may also find helpful, I know you feel like there is no use trying to get help but there will be someone out there who can help you through this as the users on the forums have already shown you, here’s the link for you to read more:


Take care

Hi there,
My heart goes out to you honey. Back in 2001, I too lost my mum and then my daughter died in 2004 and I was in such a dark place for many years. I am now battling BC and can honestly say that my bereavement battles were more brutal and are still with me.
Back then I could see no purpose in life anymore and lost my faith and felt so alone but I did get through it. I sought out medical help and councilling (the forth councillor was right for me- so keep asking)and after a while threw myself into some admin. volunteer work at my local hospice, as I was a wreck and couldn’t work back in teaching. This gave me some purpose to each day and enabled me to find stength and plan for the future. I could’t face work so did some part time study which got me mixing with people and activating my brain which a few years later got me the confidence to apply for another job etc…
There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about them but they are now happy thoughts with tears as opposed to the desperate hopeless ones from the past. I am not suggesting you act as I did, as I don’t know your circumstances etc…but I wanted to tell you that there is hope for you.
I send you all my best wishes and loving hugs for the future
Take care
Sallyann XXXXX

Hi missyoumum

I have no wise words I’m afraid, as I am in the same dark place and can really relate to some of what you say,just want to wish you well and hope you find some kind of hope for your future.I was 17 when my mum died of breast cancer many years ago now but I still miss her and think of her all the time,I then got breast cancer in 2007 and then in 2008 my 18 year old daughter contracted meningitis and died.Sending a (((hug))) to you. love Melxx

Hi Missyoumum

I am so sorry that you have found yourself in this black pit, and that nothing has been able to help ease the pain of your terrible loss. I can understand your anger at the randomness of your mother’s disease - many hear will share that feeling. I have no personal experience of deep loss, so this advice may be totally useless - but I offer it anyway just in case it could help.

The first thing that struck me is that maybe you could find some way to channel your grief by working or volunteering in an organisation that fights cancer or some other cause dear to your mother, and maybe over time this would help give a different perspective, and maybe that some good could come out of your personal tragedy. I know many parents that have lost a child tragically find campaigning is therapeutic for them.

And secondly, you mentioned counselling and therapy and may well feel it has been useless and given up - but I wondered if you have considered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? If not, CBT works a little differently to the “talking cures” in that it doesn’t focus so much on the past and analysing the issue, but tries to marry an understanding of the problem with practical behaviour modification which in time can lessen the depression. This link explains it better than I can:


finty xxx

Thankyou again to everyone for their advice, kind words and support. It really does help. This is a great little community x