Mum's recent diagnosis - Work & Supporting Family

Hi all

Not really sure how to even do this - My mum (who is in her early 60s) was very recently diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, and we should be getting confirmation from the consultant tomorrow whether she’ll need a full mastectomy or a lumpectomy. They’ve already said she will definitely be having surgery no later than June, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I want to be by my mum’s side every step of the way and do everything in my power to support her. However, I feel completely helpless, especially as we live 4 hours away from each other I told my work today, and they were very kind asking me to just let them know when I have more information, but I wanted to let them know that I will definitely be taking time off to be there for her. I don’t think I did a good job with the conversation, as the nerves kicked in, and I’m really worried they’re not going to let me be out of the office as much as I need to be. I’m an only child and my mum is my best friend, there’s no way I’m not going to be rolling my sleeves up. Would anyone have any advice for supporting a parent through breast cancer, especially if you don’t live close to each other? Also, any work advice would be very much appreciated. Lucy xxxx

Hi @Looshi , I am sorry to read about your mum’s diagnosis, and of the challenging conversation at work.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel you weren’t able to say everything you needed to say when you let your work know. It is hard to articulate everything one feels, or to make it sound like we want it to sound. The important thing is you let them know, they are aware, and you mention they were kind.

If your job allows you to work remotely, in addition to time off, could remote work be a possibility that allows you to work from closer to your mum while reducing the amount of time you are off work?

I found some links which may be helpful re supporting a loved one with breast cancer:

Our website

Cancer Research UK’s website

Macmillan’s website re reasonable adjustments

If you ever need to talk things through with one of our breast care nurses, we are here to help. You can call on freephone 0808 800 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 9am-1pm), or post directly in our Ask Our Nurses boards.

Sending our warmest wishes