I feel incredibly selfish : (

My mum was diagnosed with bc a few weeks ago and she’s having surgery on Thursday to remove the lump and her lymphnodes. When I first heard the news all I could do was cry at everything, but now I just feel angry and seem to be getting angrier by the day. I feel really selfish because I am jealous of anyone who spends time with my mum. It seems like she is a totally different person and is acting really strange; I can understand that it is a major strain on her emotionally and physically but I just want my old mum back. She has been glued to the computer for weeks and doesn’t seem to want to talk to her family, which is very hard for me as we are usually very close. She says she’s trying to ‘keep it together for everyone’ but I’ve told her she doesn’t need to. I haven’t spoken to her all day, its like shes ignoring me and would rather pour her heart out and tell total strangers on the internet her whole life story. I don’t for one minute begrudge her support in any way but I would like to be involved in that support. Sorry for the long post just needed a moan. Thanks


Dear Nikki, welcome to the Breast Cancer Care forums.

I am sorry to read about your Mum’s recent diagnosis and can appreciate that you have concerns about how your relationship with your Mum is at the moment, it sounds as though you are finding the changes very hard to cope with. I am sure that your fellow forum members will be along soon with valuable support and advice, you are also welcome to call our freephone confidential helpline for a chat with one of our specialist nurses. The nurses can talk to you about ideas of support for you and maybe how you can talk to your Mum to let her know how you are feeling at the moment and that you want to be more involved in her care. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Oh Angel, my mum was dx last friday and I feel selfish too, but for different reasons! Like you were ,I am very tearful at the moment! I am trying my best to support her as bestI can, by research on the net and by phone at least once a day! The thing that is upsetting for me and this sounds really crap!!! Is that I don’t think my parents have acknowledged that I feel their pain! I too feel really shut out! I am on my own with 2 children ( one a teeenager about to sit GCSE’s) and he is v upset . My head is all over the place at the minute and can’tthink properly! My computer is nearly dead!! Would like to chat when I have my brain back!! God look I cant even string a paragraph!!! Maybe if you form a supportnetwork on-line too, you will have something in common with your mum?? Love Nikki

Hi Nikki, you don’t say how old you are, but your post could almost have been by my daughter - except that I’ve already had surgery. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum’s diagnosis and I can understand a bit about how she might be feeling. It’s scary for all of you, not knowing what news each week, each appointment will bring. I have found these forums an absolute lifeline. Yes, it feels safe discussing it with absolute strangers who are, or have been in the same situation; there is no emotional tie, no tears or fear to see… it’s impossible to have the same kind of discussion with my children (21, 19 and 16), or their father (separated, but we’re good friends). They worry about me, and how the immediate and long-term future will look for them. They can’t empathise with how I feel, they can’t supply information in the way the internet can.

continued, sorry, timed out…

Please, please don’t begrudge the time your mum is spending gathering information and support in the way she finds useful. It doesn’t reflect on you at all. She will be scared, of course she is, but she will know how much you care for her - and vice versa. I’m someone who internalises problems and the more I’m pushed to talk, the more I clam up - that’s just me. Maybe she’s similar? And telling her she doesn’t need to keep it together is good for her to hear, but she’ll do just that for as long as she is able - let her take it at her own pace. Make the tea, tidy the kitchen, she’ll really appreciate it, but don’t try to force a conversation she isn’t able to have. Do talk to the helpline if it will help you to vent to someone who won’t be hurt by what you say. Sending you strength and hugs (((()))) Lyn xxx

Hi Angel, just read that back and realise how dumb I sound! Sorry, computer has some sort of virus! Every letter I type is sooooo slow, and keep getting unwanted pop ups! Can’t stay on line, as the computer keeps closing down!! I feel sure if your mum thought for one second that you felt pushed out, she would be there like a shot. Thinking more clearly now, its a mothers way of protecting their kids from pain!! Its not brilliant if you’re 40 years old though!!


Well said… as a mum I want to make it better when my kids are hurt or angry, and I don’t know how to stop them being angry about my dx, the surgery, the coming treatment, the sheer inconvenience of me not driving, or doing what I normally do. Perhaps it’s denial but I’m not really letting myself be too angry, focusing on getting information is my way of coping for now. I want to make everything better for everyone, and I think my kids do too… between us we’re not doing a great job of it - it’s impossible - sometimes just quietly being supportive in a practical way is the thing I appreciate the most from them, and I’m trying to be as available as they want me to be, but when nobody really knows what to say, a lot of conversations just don’t get off the ground. Trying to find things outside this topic that we can all laugh about is a tonic, keeping up with trivia in the news etc is not sweeping this under the carpet but we need a bit of lightheartedness now and then without it feeling forced. Hang in there, it’s easier said than done, you’re wonderful daughters! Lyn xx

Nikki, I was like your mum. I have three sons and three daughters. When I was diagnosed I just couldn’t believe it. I thought I knew about breast cancer but believe me most people do not. I was very frightened and the more knowledge I gained the more frightened I was. Your mum will be finding information about bc and like most of us I think she will be learning that with breast cancer you are never ‘cured’ she will be learning that bc can return. I thought you had your breast off had the treatment and bob’s yer uncle but it is a far more complicated and complex disease, and no one knows who’s cancer will return or not. I wanted to protect my daughters and sons and didn’t want them to know what I knew. This made me distant as my mind was working overtime ie planning what would happen if anything happened to me. I was in a world of my own with thoughts flying round my head…what if… I am the one who calms their fears and didn’t want them to see how frightened I was. I am 16 months down the line now and have got my head round it. Your mum will slowly come to accept the diagnosis and once her treatment starts she will feel proactive. It is the worst time the weeks after you are diagnosed. My kids are 33 down to 17 and I still don’t show any fear but that’s not to say I am not feared !! It is how I want it… I can’t bear for them to be frightened.Let your mum deal with it in her way. Feel so much for you as I think my daughters must have felt the same in those first weeks. Take car love Eileen

Hi Nikki

I’m not a mother so can’t speak from that perspective…but like us all I am someone’s daughter so I really feel for you.

You must feel really scared right now…and on top of that hurt too that you feel your mum is excluding you. Most people who get cancer try to protect those around them from their pain…and often this protection strategy can go horribly wrong I think.

One thing you could do is get knowledgeable yourself about breast cancer. Your mum will be discovering right now that breast acncer isn’t really one disaese but many…it can have a very good prognosis or a not so good one. She’sl be exploring a wealth of information about types of breast cancer and treatments…there’s no reason why you couldn’t do this too so that when your mum is ready to talk to you you have some information too.

Your mum is going through turmoil…but so are you…you are not being selfish…sometimes it helps to write stuff down that you are feeling…maybe write a letter to your mum…you might not want to send it when its finished but it could help you clarify your thoughts.

Your feelings are quite legitimate and I think in your position I’d be feeling angry too…but try to keep it together at least until after your mum’s surgery.

best wishes


Hi everyone,
Thankyou for all of your messages its nice to know that Im not thonly one who might feel like this. I’m 23 by the way. I have already started to research breast cancer, surgery, treatments etc so I can start to understand what’s going to happen to her physically. There is no way I can know what is going through her head but it is just so painful her feeling like she can’t share it with me. I have two younger brothers (13, 20) the 20yr old seems frustrated with the fact that shes changed and gets angry (when hes by hiself) but the younger one is just very quiet about it all. I spoke to my dad today and it seems that she does not talk to him about anything either.

I just don’t know what to say to her anymore, its getting worse, we have hardly passed two words in the last couple of days; not even normal casual conversation. its like she can’t even bare to be in the same room as me yet she has just spent two hours on the phone to a total stranger from the net that she has given the house number to. I know I sound selfish but I just hope that things do get better and that I get my old mum back, I know that she is terrified but I just want to be a part of it, I know its her way of protecting us but I don’t want to be protected, I’m old enough to understand and this frustration is painful anyway.

I am trying to keep it together but I keep thinking in the back of mind that I don’t want things to be left awkward between us especially just before she has her surgery.

Thankyou all for replying I just feel like I have no one to talk to at the moment and if I try I’m the ‘bad person’

You didn’t sound dumb at all Concerneddaughter, it would be ace to chat!

Thankyou again


Dear Nikki, I wonder if the call today was with the helpline on this site - they will call back if necessary. Your mum may really need to be talking to someone detached from her immediate loved ones - she’ll come back to you, hang in there… would it help at all to write down some of what you are saying here, to let her quietly read when she’s ready? May not suit everyone, and I would hate to think it might make her more defensive. I do feel for you, my own elder daughter (21)could identify very well with you, my son is nearly 20 and asks me factual questions when nobody else is around - dates, treatments etc - then goes off to digest what I’ve said without going into emotions, or ‘You’re going to be fine’ types of chat that just annoy me right now because it’s what we HOPE, not what we know. My younger daughter is 16 and internalises everything, she’s more irritated that my not driving is inconvenient, and that people will notice if I lose my hair… sorry this is not much help, I know you are trying very hard, you all are… hope your dad can talk to someone, here or outside the family. Love, Lyn xxx

from a daughter who has been dx point of view, (and im a mother) maybe she just needs some emotional space, when i was dx my floor dropped away, its like someone turns the light off, and its hard, i was the one that kept everything going, my sister, my kids, my husband, my parents, and now all of a sudden after my mum had said it will turn out to be nothing, i was seriously ill, i could have whinged for england if i had a cold before, yet here i was with a life threatening desease and i couldnt even say how i felt, and another thing is everyone takes over and tells you what to do treatment wise, how to feel, ie, be positive, which made me go absolute nuts, if someone had give me a million pounds i could be positive, someone has just given me breast cancer, i dont even want it and cant give it away, whats so bloody possitive about that?
She does love you, try talking to her and tell her how you feel, Anna

Hi Everyone-I’ve been offline for a couple of days whilst the local ( 14 yr old) computer whizz kid has tried to sort out my computer! Still not sorted…tennner down!!! Nikki?How are you feeling now? We have 2 things in common- I’m a Nikki too! Your mumhad surgery today! Hope she is ok, and expect you are now focusing on the further 3 weeks you probably have to wait for more results!!! I have decided that the sooner i can get my head round the fact that I have to wait for news, the better! I have slowly come to terms with this, and as a bit of a control freak its been hard! I would love to hear how your mum got on,please let us al know-! And just to let you know- i can now laugh again!! The sheep near us have just had lambs and when i told my littl girl that a lady sheep was called a ewe she said with the confidence of a 7 year old ( going on 21)( yawn) Yes I know mummy 'and a daddy sheep is called a me!!!"

Love and loads of hugs to everyone out there( especially Nikki)

The bloody computer is that crap-took an hour to type this!!!Any istakes are down to the computer!! I’m not dyslexic!! KO!!!