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my mum has cancer

hi sam

my mum has lung cancer from smoking and its really upsetting she is having radiotherapy at the moment but it doesnt seem to be working as the doctors suspected do she now has a breathing tube she seems to be getting worse what will happen to her ? is she going to survive ? i cant bare loosing her ... thanks

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When someone we love is very unwell it can be difficult for us to see them like that. When we're used to seeing someone when they're healthy, it's a shock when an illness makes us worried we might lose them. Whatever happens to your mum, it's important you get support for yourself and think about what you want to do and say to get through this tough time.

Not all cancer is fatal. But it's natural to worry about someone dying if they have cancer - especially if it's making day-to-day life very hard for them. Any illness that means someone is in hospital a lot or needs extra help to breathe and walk about can be hard to come to terms with. I don't know what will happen to your mum, but it's really important that you do what you need to do to look after yourself.

Part of looking after yourself is making sure you focus on your needs. It might be that you see friends or give yourself some space to do other things. Everyone copes differently but it's okay to take time for you. Organisations like Macmillan can help you and your family cope with what's happening.

There are lots of things you can do to make the time you spend with your mum special. You could talk to her about the things you most want to say to her and the things she does for you that make you happiest. If you want to, you could record some videos of you talking with her, so that no matter what happens next you have something to look back on and see how well you connect with your mum.

You could also try writing letters to your mum and asking her to write back to you, if she is able. It can be a lot easier to express yourself through writing than in person. The nice thing about letters is that you can keep them forever. For years to come you'll be able to see the things your mum says and how she talks with you. It's important to tell her everything you want to say.

If the worst does happen, there is support for you. Talking about feelings is an important step towards coping and I know there are a lot of feelings going on for you right now. You could talk to an adult you trust or to one of our counsellors - they are there to listen and support you, no matter what happens next.

Thank you for sharing this and sending me your letter.

Take care,


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