Cancer is a devastating disease which directly or indirectly affects 1 in every 3 people around the world. I was unfortunate enough to become one of the 33% last year after my Mum discovered that she had breast cancer and was forced to have a breast mastectomy as part of her treatment.

Thankfully my Mum is now in remission but the news and the illness absolutely rocked our family to the core. Fortunately for us, we are all very close and we rallied together to get through this terrible time. I thought then, that I would share with you some of the ways in which we managed to get through this as a family and how you can too should the unthinkable happen.

Dark Humor

As dark as it may sound, one thing that helped the family out most during this difficult time, was out ability to make jokes and laugh at our misfortune. I do not mean that we did this in a crass way, on the contrary but it was our ability to laugh that really helped us to pull through together. I can remember that my mum used to break wind a lot as the result of the tablets she was taking and as you can imagine, this provided quite a source of humor. Don’t laugh at the illness, laugh together about the consequences and keep your spirits up.

Involvement is Crucial

In order to best understand what is going on, it is important that you all stay as involved as possible in the illness and have a good amount of knowledge about what is happening. My family and I all live close so we would take turns in turning up for appointments and hospital visits so that we all could understand what was happening and what the next steps were. This level of involvement from all of us was certainly something that helped to keep my Mum’s spirits high.

Ensuring That Honesty is Policy

It is important that you are all honest to each other about your feelings relating to what is happening, if you are scared, say it, if you don’t know how to feel, talk about it. Bottling things up inside doesn’t help anyone and if you want to get through this awful situation in the best possible way then you need to be speaking to each other regularly in order to feel better and help one another.

Making The Sacrifice

There will be times when you have to sacrifice something in order to look after your family member or even just listen to them and it is important to all involved that you are prepared to make these sacrifices. Cancer is a terrible disease which affects many people, if the worst should happen to your family you need to be ready to sacrifice whatever you need to in order to be a strong and supportive member of the family.