Adult children of parents with cancer
Even if you’re grown up, having a parent diagnosed with cancer can be scary. For one thing, it may be the first time that you’ve thought about the fact that one day your parent will die. Depending on your relationship with your parent, you may feel many different emotions. It’s normal to feel sad or shocked, but it’s also normal to feel emotions like anger or guilt over what your relationship has or hasn’t been like over the years.
As an adult, your life is probably full of responsibilities with your partner, children, home and career. Now you may need to spend more time and energy caring for your parent as well. You may feel like you’re caught between the needs of the family who has come before you and the family who will come after you, with no time at all to look after your own needs. This can make you stressed and anxious. And if you’re not in a position to help your parent, but you feel that you should, this can also cause stress and anxiety.
Make the most of the time that you do have with your parents. Decide what events are the most important for you to be at, and that you can all enjoy together. You may find that your relationship with your parents may become closer and you appreciate the time together.
Song L, Northouse L. Family and caregiver issues. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice . 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2016: 73:2045–2062.