Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my mum has cancer for the 3d time

hi sam my mum just told me and my sibling she has cancer but she says there's only 8.2 percent chance she will not make it but what i do not understand is my mum has already had it two times the first one was when i was 5 and last one when i was 11 which both times were really bad but why has she got now and it's really hard for me not just because she's my mum but she helps me with my autism which its quite bad well back to the maine problem when she was telling my siblings and me they showed a lot emotion but i just sat there with a blank face and i still cant show emotion over this my mum say i am still processing this but i so confused.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be shocking when someone close to us is told they have a serious illness. It can be difficult for us to hear and we might find ourselves not sure how to react. Whatever your thoughts and feelings are about your mum's illness, it's okay to feel that way.

It's quite common for shocking news to make us feel numb, or just feel nothing at all. This is sometimes a sign that our brain is trying to protect us from difficult emotions that may be hard for us to handle. This can make us worried that we should be feeling the same as other people, which can make us feel guilty. But it's important that you know it's okay to not feel anything. However you feel is valid.

Often there are different stages to how you might feel about some bad news like a cancer diagnosis.

It might help to tell your mum that you feel nothing and that you don't understand. Talking about what's happening might help you to understand your own feelings about the situation. One idea might be to sit down with your mum and talk about what worries you, what scares you and what you are not afraid of. Being open about those kinds of feelings can really help make a relationship stronger.

Whatever happens there is support for you. Childline is always here for you, and there are other charities to help people with cancer and their families. Macmillan is a good place to start looking if you want more support.

Thank you for sending me this letter, I hope it's helped.

Take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter