Monday, 5 March 2012

A Little Personal...

Hello Everyone,
I know it was only a few days ago i last did one of these style posts, but after having such good feedback from the last one, i thought i would go ahead and do the next.

This topic is one which i think most people can relate to, they have experience with either first hand or know somebody who has gone through it. I am talking about having to cope with someone who has cancer. It could be a friend, a family member, which is what happened in my situation. When i was younger i had my Grandad pass away with cancer, and more recently i have had to deal with finding out that my mum was diagnosed as well. At the time i found that i felt like i had few options of where to turn to and places where i could say how i feel about all the different things going on, hence why i thought i would write this blog post about the ways i coped and the different outlets of information and help available to people in similar situations. 

Firstly i found that it is important to realise that you are not alone! It can seem a really daunting and frightening situation and can leave you feeling like you have to cope and try to sort through your thoughts on your own which is completely untrue! I always ended up thinking i shouldn't talk to people about it especially with other family members as i did not want to upset them or burden them with my troubles, but i soon realised that speaking about how you are feeling is vital as it always ends up building up and making me feel awful and start to affect how i acted around others. If you have no other family or friends to speak to there is always local support groups or charities,in particular (and who i personally turned to) MacMillan Nurses.It is  an amazing charity which provides information,support and nurses which help cancer patients, but they also have a massive support system for friends and family who know someone who has been diagnosed or has sadly passed away from cancer. They have a phone line available where you can call up and have a chat with one of their specialists who will sit and listen to how your feeling and answer any questions you may possibly have. They also have an online community and local support groups where you can talk. I found this SO helpful  when my mother was diagnosed! The ability to speak to somebody for however long you need,knowing they will never judge you allows you to release any burdens or feelings you may have been keeping locked up inside! 

If speaking to others about it all is not necessarily your way of coping, another technique which my mum actually did when she was going through her treatment but could be used by anyone really is to write it down. You could keep a diary or even write a blog about everything you are feeling or any situations you have been through.

Another thing to remember while everything is going on is that is not selfish to want to spend time away from anything that is going on or the person who has been diagnosed. I particularly struggled with this, i felt incredibly guilty about leaving my mum or being away at uni while she was at treatment appointments, but i came to realise it isn't healthy to be in those situations 24/7. Of course you should support the individual is suffering, but trust me when i say that nobody would judge you by spending even a short time away. Giving yourself time to make sure you are eating correctly and are mentally stable is highly important and in the long term it will be better for all if you are feeling your best, there is little you can do if you are not feeling right! 

One thing i also used to worry about is not understanding what is going on. I always used to think i didn't know what actually was wrong with my mum or what her treatment was actually doing to help her. I found that asking my mums doctors/nurses to explain to me what was going on, as well as asking questions like i mentioned before to the MacMillan nurses phoneline and also family and friends made me feel much more comfortable about the situation as i felt i could understand much better exactly what was going on. By leaving yourself confused and questioning what is going on, you lead yourself to worrying more and feeling more anxious of what is going on. Another piece of advice i would also say is to stay clear of unreliable sources of info, such as certain websites on the internet! By reading the wrong info you can end up worrying yourself more ( which i did at first!). You are much safer asking somebody who will actually be able to answer your questions correctly and will give you more realistic expectations of what to expect.

I am in absolutely in no way a medical expert,but i hope you have found this somewhat helpful. I remember at the time when it was all going on i just did not know where to even begin to turn to so hopefully this post has given you a few ideas. I have been asking on twitter others ways of coping and the biggest response by far was spending time with friends and family and talking together about what is going on! 

I have added a few websites and telephone numbers below which may also be helpful:

MacMillan website : here
MacMillan Advice for partners,friends and carers : here
MacMillan telephone number for a chat with their cancer support specialists : 0808 808000
MacMillan 'talk to us' page : here
NHS Direct: here Telephone number: 08454647
NHS24: here Telephone number: 08454 242424
The Samaritans: Here ,Telephone number: 0845 790 9090

If you need a chat or would like to leave me your suggestions of how you coped if you have been in this situation then leave a comment :D!
Love Kristina x

P.s. i am sorry to those who these types of blog posts may not particularly interest if you are simply looking for beauty blog posts, but i really enjoy doing them and if i can help even one person then it is worthwhile :D! There will be plenty of beauty blog posts to come so hopefully you will still enjoy the blog! I appreciate absolutely everyone that comes to check it out!!


  1. Great post. I admire you a lot for posting this as a lot of people go through this, but never talk about it.
    Firstly I want to I wish your mum all the best, as well as you and the rest of your family.

    I've been where you are, and Its very difficult to cope with. I'm never good at coping with bad news, and often end up 'burying my head in the sand' in the hope it all just goes away. But I definitely agree its much healthier to face things, and I hope more people take your advice

    MacMillan is an amazing charity and definitely helped my family out a lot, and I'm glad they managed to help you deal with it all.

    Sorry if this comment is a bit scattered, this is something I never really talk about, so I'm unsure of what to say. Its always a difficult subject for me to talk about. You spoke about it so well though :)

    Carrie x

    1. thankyou so much carrie! you have no idea how much your comment means to me! i really just want to spread the word and give people options which at the time when i went through it all i felt i had to figure out myself. If this post helps even 1 person it will mean an incredible amount.
      Love Kristina xxx

  2. I love this post so much. I lost my mum to cancer in 2010 when it came back after being recovered for 4 years. It's so important to know your not alone :) if you or anyone ever wants a chat about it please feel free to email/tweet me :)


    1. oh i am so sorry to hear that! thankyou for lovely comment, it means a hell of a lot! xxx

  3. Fantastic post!!! My mother in law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last June and has had 2 op's, chemo and is now having radiotherapy. It's such a hard time for family and friends as well as the person going through it. I basically held the family together and did the best I could do but it all got too much. I didn't know there was any support for us. As I'm 23 and my husband is 26 people saw it as we can cope we are old enough. He barely goes round to see his mum, not because he doesn't want to but because he can't deal with seeing her like that. If anyone needs to talk to someone who understand email or tweet me. xmwahx

    1. thankyou so so much! reading what you have gone through makes me think you are an incredibly strong person, i am only 20 years old but i can completely understand what you mean about being older therefore the expectation is that you can cope better. The exact reason i wrote this post is because at the time i had no idea of the options out there and had to find them myself through research, i was hoping by compiling it in a post it might make it easier for people, i hope that is the case anyway!
      Thankyou for your comment it means a lot to me!
      Love kristina xx

  4. Great post! Sorry to hear about your mum, hope she is doing well. I have suffered with anxiety on and off for the last six years, and my Grandad was diagnosed with Cancer 2 years ago. It was a shock but I was hopeful, or more than likely in denial seeing as we were told it was terminal. It is so horrible to watch someone you love go through that and be strong for them, but I did, I held it together the whole time and didn't want to burden anyone. I know now that this was not healthy, as 5 months later we lost him and after the funeral I had a complete breakdown. I'm still working on the after effects of that, but this post is great because I was in such denial I didn't even look where to turn, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So good on you for putting this out there, I think it will help a lot of people :) xx

    1. Thankyou for the lovely comment! Really sorry to hear about your grandad,it's so sad what you went through, hope you are doing better now though. Lots of love Kristina xx

  5. Hi Kristina. I'm sorry about your mum and I hope her treatment is going well but I'm glad that you have such a good and healthy approach to it.
    My sister-in-law's sister was diagnosed with very aggressive lung cancer in November which spread to her breasts and bones within 3 weeks. She's had some treatment but sadly it was just to give her more time. They have just lost their dad too so it's a very sad time for them.
    I want to thank you for your post because it gives me the opportunity to make my sister-in-law take a break from the situation and talk to her and make sure she's looking after herself too. I'll pass the list of contacts to my brother too just in case they need them.
    I hope your mum recovers and thank you for sharing your story with us. Never apologise for writing something like this. It's an important topic not just to you but to everyone and it's already helped a few people.

    1. thankyou so much for your comment it is so so sad what your family is going through, i really hope you are okay! please pass on the links they really have useful info and are incredibly helpful.
      The fact this might have helped you and others is really wonderful, i am so glad so thankyou again. Please feel free to contact me if you need somebody to chat to. xx

  6. Hey Hun!

    Fab post, personally I like when bloggers take time to write more serious post that affect them, I did the same recently and the reception was really good.

    I went through similar situations to you but sadly lost my mother but posts like this and the knowledge of people going through similar situations and knowing you can speak to someone else helps in more ways then people ever know. Cancer can be such a lonley and crippling illness for the patient and their families and the suggestions you have given really are great, I adore Macmillan for the work they do and sometimes it helps to talk to someone you don't know or to someone new.

    A wonderful post and if you should ever need to talk to someone about this feel free to email or tweet me :) Hope your mumma gets better soon!

    1. Awww i am so happy you enjoyed the post. I think it is incredibly important that serious topics are covered on blogs and websites, it is a brilliant way to find information i am really glad you agree :)

      Thankyou for saying that about my mummy :) at the moment she is doing brilliant :) Love Kristina xx

  7. what a lovely post hun, such an important subject. my 1st love had testicular cancer when we were 21 so I knew exactly what you mean, thankfully he survived but the relationship didn't.

    my step dad is going through it at the moment and my mum particularly have found the macmillan nurses a real help.

    one bit of advice I no she would like me to pass on (as we were only discussing it yesterday) is to really look at the persons diet and investigate foods that can help and those that should be avoided unfortunately the nhs weren't much help in this so they did their own research. also sugar compromises the immune system and anything ending in 'ucrose' i.e. sucrose, glucose feeds the cancer.

    I, truly hope your mum makes a full recovery and you all find the strength to support each other - you as a carer are very important in your own right and need to look after yourself and keep up your strength., lots of love xxx

    1. Oh i am so sorry to hear what you are having to go through! I hope you are doing okay despite the situation you are currently in! I hope your step dad gets better soon :D!

      Thankyou for the information that is really informative and interesting :).

      Thankyou for the lovely comment :) Love Krtistina xx