Life after cancer when you've been a young carer
When you’ve been a young carer, it’s very strange when it comes to an end. For some of us, our situation meant that the end was immediate and final. Others had less certainty. But for all of us, our lives had changed forever.
Written by people who've been in your shoes
The advice in this section has been written by people who are under 18 and caring for someone with cancer. You can download their complete handbook - A guide for young people looking after someone with cancer [PDF, 2.52 MB].
It may be that the person you’ve been caring for has got better, and they don’t need as much support any more. It can be tempting to try to keep on caring for them in the same way. But you should give yourself a break – you deserve it. And after all, they will probably tell you if they ever need some more help.
When you stop being somebody’s carer, you might find that you have a lot of time on your hands. It may make you feel quite down. Or you may get ill, because stress catches up with you. Give yourself some time to recover. You’ve been through a lot.
You might want to fill your time with a new hobby. Many of us became volunteers, so that we could put our skills and experiences as carers to good use. We found that we were stronger people. We were able to do things that other people couldn’t do. We were emotionally more mature.
And soon, our lives started to get back to normal. We saw our friends more. We took up new activities. We did exams. We made decisions about our future.
There will come a time when you consider moving away from home. You may go to college or university, or get a job away from home. And that’s fine.
You may feel guilty about leaving home. You may worry about the cancer returning, or be sad because you’re leaving someone who has lost a loved one. This is how we felt too.
But you have your whole life ahead of you, and your experience with cancer shouldn’t stop you doing all the things you want to do.
Let yourself be young. Let yourself be happy. And make the most of all the wonderful opportunities that you have.