My daughter's reaction to my cancer is bewildering

Hi all! I’m new on here but decided to post about my daughter’s reaction to my now 2 year advanced breast cancer. Since I first announced the diagnosis to her, she only pronounced one sentence and has never tried to chat about it since then. She never asks me how I am doing and knows nothing about my treatment. I think it might be too painful for her? Have any of you had a similar reaction from your children? I would greatly appreciate your help if any.


I have a child I am very close to although she’s not biologically mine. At any rate her father died of cancer when she was seven years old and when I was diagnosed I was really concerned about telling her. But she acted pretty much like she didn’t care and never asked me about it. Once my active treatment was over she addressed the issue and told me that it wasn’t that she didn’t care but she just didn’t want to experience the pain of losing someone she loves with cancer again. It was easier not talking about it which I totally got and accepted. But if it came back as advanced I think I would be less likely to accept that excuse as valid because part of being a good grown up, a contributor to society, is to be able to offer other people comfort IMO. So she sure as crap better step up. Not in weird ways or overly involved ways but I’d expect a card, a phone call, some general questions about how I am, offerings to help, etc. In other words I’d expect her to act like a responsible, caring adult. So in saying that, yes, I’m sure it’s pain keeping your daughter from asking you questions and expressing concern about the situation. But if it bothers you, you should feel free to address the issue with her and ask her to step up. And if she can’t she can tell you why and at least you’d know it’s not because she doesn’t care.


Thank you so much Kay for your message. It’s a great help reading other peoples experiences. I tried to talk to my daughter but she just said she didn’t want to talk about it. She is a Mum herself and her reaction surprised me but have to get on with it.

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I’m so sorry. We’ll listen on this site though. Always. I know it’s not the same thing but I hope it can help somewhat.


Dear Shamrock,

So pleased you have come to the forum, I feel sure you’ve been a loving mum to your daughter, and finding it quite hard the way she has responded to your cancer, I feel that she is afraid of the outcome and hopefully will come to terms with this very quick for herself and for you.

Our children amaze us at times, sometimes they just shut down another time, they’re telling us exactly what to do as if we are their children.

Taking one day at a time, we have all been there, keep posting we are here for you.

Biggest hugs Tili :pray::rainbow::pray::rainbow:


I have found that people’s reaction to the “c word” varies hugely. When I was diagnosed last year, I was totally open about what had happened and what I expected to have treatment wise; so matter of fact that some expressed surprise that I was so calm. But, as a high functioning autistic that’s just me, call me Spock. On the other hand, my friend’s husband got cancer and I was told of it “in confidence” as “he didn’t want people to know”. I thought that was odd, but it does illustrate the other extreme. I obviously don’t know your daughter at all, but perhaps this is her way of dealing with the situation/processing it and, in a funny sort of way, if I don’t acknowledge it’s happening then it won’t be. You are her mum and I am sure she loves you dearly and is scared of losing you, so hey, let’s just ignore the whole thing and carry on. You just need to keep in mind that it’s not because she doesn’t care, in fact I bet it’s totally the reverse. Look after yourself xxx hugs from me xxx


Its not just children who react/clam up friends do too

I’ve had just about every reaction from being snubbed/ de friended on Facebook, to being told Im selfish for not telling someone straight away to others who have cooked, cleaned, taken my dog out for walks, hugged me, sent me on spa days, invited me out for drinks, cuppas etc

Its not you its them, and whilst i understand i dont worry about it

As we all know life is just too short for the negative stuff, we’ve got our own negative stuff to deal with

Hugs xx


Thank you so much. It’s really nice for people to take time out to reply to me. Yes, I think my daughter is scared, but being a bit like you and not having problems talking about it, I find people’s reactions a bit strange. Again, many thanks Moggy!!

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