Coping with other people's feelings

It can be hard to cope with adults getting upset in front of you. You may not have had to deal with this before. You may feel uncomfortable or helpless, or you might not know what to say.

Often the best thing is to just be there. Be there to listen if they need to talk. Be there to give them a hug or make a cup of tea if they get upset. It’s also important to be there to share the happier times.

Sometimes they may want to take their mind off the situation, just as you do. You could watch a DVD together or play a board game (if they are up to it). They will really appreciate just doing something normal and spending time with you.

If you have brothers or sisters, they might get upset too. If you are older, one of your responsibilities as a young carer may be to look after your siblings. This might include talking to them and comforting them. It is not always easy to know what to say or do. But just doing your best to look after them is good enough.

Often families say that something like cancer brings them closer together. But being a young carer can also sometimes make you feel alone. Having someone in the family with cancer can put a lot of pressure on everyone. This might mean that people get angry and upset more often, or argue with each other. If this happens, try not to let it upset you. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, you can always contact the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00. We also have information about other useful organisations.

Remember that everyone is different, and there is no right or wrong way to feel.

I’m definitely closer to my dad and brother since my mum got cancer. We always try to be there for each other. I appreciate them so much more now.

Laura, 14

Back to If you are a young person looking after someone with cancer

Counselling

Counselling is support if you would like to talk to someone about your feelings.

Depression

You, or the person you look after, might feel very low at times.

Coping with death

Hearing that the person you are looking after is going to die can be very difficult, but there are people who can support you.