Anyone got teenagers to deal with?

Hi all

NWasn’t quite sure how to phrase the discussion topic - I’ve got a 15 year old daughter who could do with maybe chatting to other teenagers. Any ideas?

I’ve been dx had tumour removed going in for masectomy next week followed by chemo & rads.

Shes more concerned about the chemo I think -
What doesn’t help is a friend of ours died last year from breast cancer leaving behind a 16 year old daughter.

be glad to hear from anyone on this.

Leesha

I think it would be a brilliant idea for teenagers and older children to have their own forum where cancer could be discussed but also some of the more light hearted issues. I haven’t a clue how this could be arranged. Have you tried contacting the moderator?

Hi Leesha

I know how you feel I started a discussion a few weeks ago when my 16 year old daughter got really grumpy with me. I dont think they know how to handle all this!! (not that I know either).

I contacted school but nothing materialised I’m afraid.

There is a doc you can download via this site with help for teenagers or you could ask your BC Nurse for some info

Things have settled down a bit for me at the moment and I count my blessings when she seems to be having a good day!

Take Care I will be thinking about you

Kay x

Hi Leesha

There is a website that your daughter may find helpful called Riprap, it’s a website offering support and advice for 12 - 16 year olds who have a parent with cancer. It includes real life stories, discussion forums, information and tips, I have added the link for you riprap.org.uk/.
I hope she finds this of help.

Kind regards
Katie

thanks Katie - will pass that one to her

Kay - I know the grumpy bit - last tuesday was particularly bad - very angry when asked if she was worried about wednesday (my results day again) she replied " theres nothing happening tomorrow" as it is its settled again a bit. But it must be extremely hard for her - she went away this weekend competing something we usually all do - and was upset that everyone kept asking her how I was. Something I had not foreseen - but folks seem to forget shes going through a lot too. In fact probably more emotionally than me as I feel good and positive and upbeat.
all i can do is keep listening.

Thanks for you comments

Leesha

Hi,

My daughter is 13 and I have told her what is happening to me but she has not asked much and does not seem to want to talk about it a lot. My boy (12) asks about it more. I can understand this because I was also 13 when my mum first got bc. I was not told at the time what was wrong with her (as was typical of that time when cancer was hidden much more than it is now) but I obviously realised she was very ill and she was in hospital for a long time with a radical mastectomy - this was back in the early 1970’s. I can only relate my feelings at the time…
I was angry
I was angry with my mum, after all, she was strong, she was supposed to make everything right, she was my rock. how DARE she get ill.
Basically I denied it was happening.
OK, so even if she is ill, she is going to get better so what is all the fuss about??
DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT IT because I do not want to know, because she is going to be ok and I don’t need to know about it.
It’s ok for her sitting there in hospital, but I have to live with my brother which is horrid so it is worse for me - why can’t she just get better and stop making a fuss!

And that makes me sound like a selfish horrid teenager, but I wasn’t, by most peoples standards I was quite the angel, but I do remember those feelings well. Luckily for me, Mum did survive and even when she got bc again, 20 years later, those same feelings flooded back, which is why I remember them so well, and I refused to believe she could be ill. (She got through it that time as well by the way).

When I thought about talking to my daughter about it, i decided to tell her, and her brother, the facts, let them know I would keep them updated and stressed that if they had any questions at all they need to ask me and it doesn’t matter how stupid the question seems, just ask and I will answer it as best I can. I think that is what I would have wanted when it was me. I only tell them things that are going to affect them, e.g. going back into hospital, and will let them know about chemo effects when it comes to that time. One of the first things my daughter said was “does that mean I am going to get it?” I gave her a big hug and laughed - that was a great reaction, kids/teenagers cannot think far past what directly affects them, Beth is a very kind and caring child but it was a relief to hear such a natural and honest reaction (if that makes sense).

Now I have decided that 13 is an unlucky number for females in my family. My mum was 13 when her mum died !! (NOT of bc tho).

Teenagers are complicated, my only advice is to keep positive with her but don’t expect her to ‘join in’ with the discussions because she may be denying the threat, just like I did.

Not sure I expressed that very well - I have never talked about my reaction to my mum’s illness before and it may have come out a bit strange, but I hope it may have been of some help.

Firebird - thanks you’ve hit it on the nail - thats exactly how she behaves - I too have told her whats happening where to find info if she needs it - and to ask me anything even if she thinks it’ll hurt me or be silly. Thats all you can do keep channels of communication open. She has told one friend at School which is a big step for her.

My daughter is Beth too - and she is a very caring & kind child. Again the younger of the two Emma (12) is more open to talk.

cheers
Leesha

Leesha
I have an Emma and she can talk for England. She was absolutely distraught when I told her, it took my sister 3 hours to get her to look up from under the quilt. The main problem was that she had guessed something was going on but I wouldn’t tell them for three weeks cos they both had exams [Emma was 17 and Paul 18] plus absolutely nothing happened for three weeks between dx and surgery so it was my way of coping with the news as well.

Paul was alot calmer, he listened more and accepted everything quite quickly. I told them both it wasn’t a secret and they could tell anyone they liked [in fact i encouraged them to tell a friend and get that person to tell people so they didn’t have to keep repeating it].

Once the initial shock passed they were and still are very supportive, Emma has come to lots of my appointments cos she finds it easier to hear things from the horses mouth. Paul started at uni in October which was hard cos it was in the middle of my chemo.

I know your daughter is a bit younger but if she can start to bring it out into the open abit so it isn’t such a dark secret although as you have said having a friend who has had such a bad experience is very difficult.

My OH has just asked who I am talking to and I said a lady with a 15 year old daughter, he said “she’s got her work cut out then”!

There is no getting away from the harshness of the chemo. Emma hated it when I first lost my hair but she got used to it after a while and now she thinks its hilarious how its growing back in all directions. When I look back I wondered if we would ever get through ot in one piece and now its over [fingers and everything else crossed] and we would appear to be in one piece, well not sure about me but rest of the family seem to have survived intact. I’ve still got bits falling off at the moment but I’m getting there slowly.

I think the key to all teenagers is patience, patience, patience - not easy but hey who said teenagers were easy.

Take care and good luck with everything.

AJxxx

Hi everyone

Breast cancer care have a booklet called ‘talking with children’. On page 16 there is a section about teenagers which may be helpul. If you would like to look at this booklet just use the following link:-

breastcancercare.org.uk//docs/talking_to_your_children_about_breast_cancer_0.pdf

I hope you find this helpful

Kind regards

Sam
BCC Facilitator

Cheers AJ

Went to school today to see them cos I had to make a quick decision to bring my op forward to tomorrow rather than next week. But felt I needed to talk to them both before changing things. It was hard but the school were brilliant - and the girls understood a week sooner having masectomy a week sooner to start chemo and the knock on effect a week sooner its dealt with. But now they have a mentor at school who they can go see at any time. And they have now told a friend at school which I think has really helped. Also my OH is taking them to scotland for a lomg weekend over the half term hols. Which I think will do them all the world of good. And i get time for me not worrying about any one else.
well must go need to get a drink in before midnight!!! the last for a while.

Leesha

Hi Leesha

When i was diagnosed my eldest son was 13, youngest son was 10. When i told them my eldest flipped he punched his head ran to his room punched the walls and cried and cried, i was gutted and just held him. I personnally think that involving the kids helps, he came with me during his spring break at school to my Rads apptments, he asked if he could come with me so i said yes. I didnt know how this affected him until he had to write an essay for English at school. When i read it i couldnt stop crying, he wrote about BC and how he and i were affected. I am so blown away at how he was feeling inside and also how he dealt with it. Have to add cause im SO proud he passed with a 1. Involving kids might not be for everyone but it is a suggestion that worked really well for me. All the best in the world to you and your family.

Allison x

Hi Leesha,
My kids are 15, 13 & 3. I have had varying responses from them over the past months of diagnosis, further (worse) diagnosis and commencing treatment (now had my surgery). My 15 year old boy was outraged when my Mum died after 3 years of bc in 2003. He vowed he’d never get his hair cut again. And hasn’t. He was 10 then. When I initially told him he was quiet, asked one question ‘are you going to die’ and had a few tears. Since then he’s been increasingly angry and often throws comments out like ‘you’d better not ever let me see you without a wig as that would really freak me out’ Leading me to think ‘oh yes, I forgot, this is actually all about you, isn’t it!’ My daughter 13 has been great at voicing her fears - we talk about things as they come up and the school has arranged a councellor that she can contact at any time of the school day!!! My son goes to the same school, and I’ve just discovered that he’s been going too…
With my daughter, Lois, I try to look at the problem (which I can do as she tells me what it is) and deal with it. For instance, jsut before her birthday (13th) she was upset as she felt that she couldn’t have the boob cake all the other teenagers were getting. So we threw a huge party to celebrate being a woman, she had her boob cake and we raised awareness of BC and money for BCC. (it also had the upside of getting me a little tribe of cleaners for me!!).

But it’s so hard when they don’t talk. I don’t know how MSN works - is there a way of kids making contact there?? or Facebook?

I’ve asked my son to help me now … I’ve asked him to have his elbow length hair (which happens to be the same colour as mine) cut short so that I can have a wig made of it.

What d’you think my chances are???

Slim, I’d say, but at least it’s made him think about how it is from my perspective to loose your hair!!

Good luck with your op…

Big Love Td x

td good luck on the hair front - you never know.
had the op all went well came home 2day
the girls one comment when asked how theyd coped without me was ‘well we didn’t fight’ mind you wihin 3 hrs of being home with me they did!! alls normal there then.

the school have been great and they have a mentor whos been through it all too.
now i got to wait for more results nxt weds to see if plan still same chemo |& rads

leesha

Leesha

Have just caught up on this thread. Glad to hear everything went well and you are home safe. Bet you’ve never been so pleased to hear your girls fighting!!

Well done and best of luck.

AJxxx

AJ
it was def a good thing to hear.
they have been so brilliant the pair of them - we’re going shopping (girly) next Tuesday as a pick me up for them. and as a distraction beforew the next results day (Weds)
cheers for all the chat
Leesha

Leeshad

Glad to hear that the girls are being normal and enjoy the girly shopping (my daughter and I had a really good time in Primark whilst I was waiting to go in for surgery)

I left you a comment on your other thread about people who have helped when my teenage son couldn’t talk to me. He’s just opened up again so hang on in there and keep as many channels of communication open as possible.

Crispy

cheers crispy - did read the other thread haven’t got round to replying - everyones advice is so good. We have all opened up bit by bit. while i was in hospital she talked loads to my brother - whos closer to them age wise (mentally if not actually!! no hes a star - hes my taxi too at the moment)

off to get dressing removed today - another step in th eright direction

Leesha