Should i change the channel ?

Hi there, Jules here -

Wanted to tell you about something that happened, and ask what you think mum REALLY wanted.

Mum and me settle in for the night (alone, husband was out) so a nice girls night in together.

Mum got settle to watch a nice 'family' movie with me. I had to go out the room before settling, so chose a TV programme really quickly - it looked to be about sisters and family - so great. Put it on and told mum i wouldn't be long.

To my horror when i came back into the room the film was about a young woman with cancer and her treatment - a really sad movie.

I didnt know what to do - so stupidly i just sat there watching it with mum - i didnt want to seem as if i was drawing attention to it - if that makes sense.

After about 30 mins, i calmly asked her, 'oh mum, i didnt think - are you ok with watching this sort of thing, sorry i didnt think'.

Mum replied that it was fine - so i left it on until the end - i was so upset watching it - mum was just quiet.

I will not let that happen again - but, can anyone tell me, should i have turned it off or over to another channel naturally ? Mum was maybe bound to say is OK to be polite do you think - or would it be something she actually would have wanted to watch.

We dont talk about it - i told my sisters, they are just pleased it didnt happen to them - so i know its bad.

What would you have thought ?

Kindest regards



7 Replies

  • I think it would have been worse to have changed the channel - the real 'elephant in the room'. You are not going to avoid hearing/seeing things about cancer. Maybe it could open the door to a chat about it, how she is really feeling. I expect she doesn't want to tell you as she knows you are vulnerable so she is keeping everything to herself. Do you think a chat with someone like a MacMillan nurse would be good for her, would it enable her to unburden herself without causing distress to any of the family and the nurse could answer any questions she has. Maybe it would also help her to talk to you about her feelings.

    Cancer is the most evil of diseases. I cannot think of one of my friends who hasn't been touched by it in some way - but I must tell you that almost every single one of them is now either cured or in remission . Treatment is so good now, although painful and upsetting at the time.

    Jules, I wish your mother the very, very best of luck with her treatment. Keep positive! She is getting the right help now and I know everyone on this forum will be rooting for her!

    Keep strong, but remember - you need to talk about your feelings too, don't let it hinder the great progress you have been making.

    Love and best wishes to you all.



  • Hello Jan, Jules here.

    I thought it might have been worse as well. But good to hear you feel the same.

    Mums got a nurse - but will not/has not rang her. Shes met her at a consultation - and shes lovely and mum liked her.

    I will tell her what you said - i just mentioned a few moments ago i had read a post from you - she knows you and Cat from the other forum.

    After i posted that previous one, about 'survivors' i sat there and wondered what i would do if nobody replied - maybe it was a stupid thing to ask. So so pleased at what everybody is saying - although, as you have just said, painful and upsetting stories they are too.

    How are things for you now Jan ? Havent chatted for a while.



  • I'm fine.

    You could always give the nurse a call yourself and ask her to come and see your mum if you think it would help her. She needs to be able to talk about this horrible thing that's happened to her.

    I know she doesn't live here, can she get access to all the necessary treatments that are here in the UK? I know in the Gambia there is little help for those with cancer. One of the nurses at my husband's chemo unit comes from the Gambia and he says there is nowhere there for him to work in cancer treatment.

    Do let us know how you and your mum are both keeping. I think about you often and wish I lived near enough to help.


  • Well Julie's to be honest, coming from myself who has terminal lung cancer, I do watch all these sort off programs as I find them nolgable, the more you learn about cancer the more you can understand it. We are all different , so our bodies act different to all the chemo that's on the market, I do believe it puts our thoughts in a better place, so don't beet yr self up about it, as I'm sure yr mum would hv turned it off if she didn't feel comfortable.

    Jean x

  • Yes Genie, thats seems to be what others think too.



  • I would think mum would have told you if she found it upsetting.

    I watched one when I had my cancer , and thought it was brilliant , as it showed how as a patient how you feel.

    If you are close enough to mum , just ask her outright. I am sure she will tell you the truth. xx

  • Hi Jilly

    Yes we are very close - i was like a rabbit in the headlight (someone else her described it as 'elephant in the room' - I thought that described it well.

    Kindest regards



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