When a Loved One Has Cancer


If you recently received news that a loved one has cancer, we’re here to help. Though cancer is a scary disease, many people survive. Currently, there are over 10 million survivors living in the U.S! The doctors and scientists at Roswell Park are determined to beat cancer, and work each day to discover treatments and possible cures. So stay positive and have hope that your loved one will pull through!

Keeping Life in Focus
Keeping your life balanced and in focus is hard, but important. You may find yourself always thinking about your loved one or worrying about their health. Take time out for yourself and talk to your friends and family about your feelings. They can offer advice and give you a much-needed shoulder to cry on.

Dealing with Feelings
Many teens believe they need to protect their loved ones from worry. They feel that they have to be perfect. If you feel stressed, remember, no one can be wonderful all the time. You need time to share your emotions and be happy. Cancer is a disease with various causes, none of which has to do with what you have done, thought or said. To help you cope, here are some people you can talk to about your feelings:

  • Your parents, siblings or grandparents
  • Your friends and their parents
  • Your priest or religious leader
  • Your school guidance counselor
  • Your teacher or coach
  • Your neighbors

Though you may feel lonely, there are millions of people around the world just like you. Reach out! You’ll be surprised how much support other people can offer.

Long Term Grief
Coping is never easy, but if you’ve been grieving for months and don’t feel better, tell someone, because you may have depression. Take this quick questionnaire. Have you:

  • Felt like you can’t go on with everyday activities?
  • Had trouble sleeping, concentrating or eating?
  • Felt like your sadness interferes with your schoolwork or extracurricular activities?
  • Stopped socializing with friends or stopped doing the normal activities you used to enjoy?
  • Thought about ending your own life or hurting yourself?

If you answered ‘YES’ to one or more of the questions above, consider talking to a counselor or therapist. They will work with to you develop coping techniques to help you gain strength while you cope. Knowledge is Power It may help to learn more about cancer and the treatments. Sometimes what you imagine is actually worse than reality. To learn more about cancer, visit Yroswell’s Learning section.