Dealing with Stuff
There might be people all around you, but no one who really gets it.
Usually, you might turn to your folks to lean on when you need support. But your parents have probably got a lot going on at the moment and they may not have as much time to talk. So, who else…?
Some friends are great at saying the right things and picking you up when your feelings come and hit you like a bus.
But other friends don’t really get the whole “cancer thing” and you might feel let down that they aren’t as supportive as you wish they were.
It’s normal to lose a few friends along the way. But it’s likely your real friends do want to help you, but don’t really know how. They may not know if it’s OK to mention your sibling or the “c” word.
They don’t want to upset you and think it might be better to give you a bit of space. This is new territory for everyone.
Other people in your life
This person might be in your extended family, a neighbour, a teacher, a doctor, a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, elder, Scout leader, swimming coach, choir instructor, or someone you work with. It doesn’t matter who it is. They just have to be a good listener.
If you feel like you want to talk, but are unsure who a good person might be, a counsellor is always a good option.
You might be thinking, “Nope, that’s not for me”. But counselling might not be what you think. Counsellors are trained people who are very good at listening to what you have to say and helping you to make sense of it.
You could find one through your local doctor or your school or uni. Your sibling’s hospital might also offer counselling services to family members. They don’t have to be part of your sibling’s treating team.
You can ask a nurse or call the hospital and ask for the number of the counsellors yourself. Your parents and sibling don’t even have to know, if you would prefer.
Support groups – other people in the same boat
There are also organisations that bring together other young people who are going through the same kind of stuff. It’s amazing how much it can help to talk to people who really, truly understand what it’s like.
CanTeen is one organisation that offers support to young people who have a sibling who has cancer or has died from cancer. You might go away on overnight camps or just meet up for the day. You can share stories and tips for dealing with your sibling’s cancer. You also have time to just chill out and have fun. It might surprise you how fast and deep the friendships you form at these groups can be.
If you’re feeling alone, you can also get in touch with other young people in cancerland from the comfort of your couch – online. There are online cancer support websites where you can read real-life stories, blogs and forums and read information written specifically for people like you.
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