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Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

26 REPLIES 26
Penny47
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

I have been moved to read through this thread and I realize how resilient our children/offspring have been over our diagnoses. One theme that comes through so clearly is the care some us took to be with the son or daughter or to know they had someone else they could lean on. In my case I realised how much I was blessed with a CS and BCN and allowed to take in my OH when they broke the bad news and also they gave us lots of time to weep and ask questions. I thought-oh if only my kids could have this support. In the end, all were supported by either their OH or their Church or both. And one of them rang the BCN (with my consent of course!). Then it was time for the older grandchildren to learn of my dx- it was just before our American Thanksgiving so we had to share it as we were all going to be together and partying with friends. We kept the news within the family and worked hard which was a team-building effort as it turned out. And the best thiing was the older grandchildren as they arrived cheerfully craning their heads around their car-seats to count how many bumps I had just in case I'd had them whisked away in the 2 days since they'd been told! 6 and 7 year olds do not think like older folk! Now, a few months on, when most of my family and friends know my dx and tx, I do wonder if I should have been as caring about telling them as I was about my kids? I wonder!
Lols
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

hi janey, im new to this computer thing, but was reading your entry about telling your son. I was dreading telling my two sons , bc was confirmed with me 24th may 2013. not even had surgery yet first one 18th june roll on!!!! my sons 26 and 23 youngest was in middle of exams in uni so had to wait . At first both very shocked as was i. but it was a relief as i must have sounded strange to them on phone etc as i was trying to hide it. Its amazing how resiliant they are and it brings out their caring side (at times). My youngest would never have been as patient as he has been today with all this computer stuff hes shown me!!! he would normally have told me to get a grip or go and ask Dan (my eldest). Im having a bad two days imagining worst when staging comes back approx 10 days after op, my imagination is running overtime and it dosent help that im a staff nurse know too much but not enough about bc, my background is cardiology. Anyway hope all goes ok for you and hope your sons anxieties are improving . Its not a thing you ever plan to have to tell your children and it hurts but part of life i suppose, take care juliehollyZZ
jayney234
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Thanks Emma it is really amazing how much it helps coming on this forum and realising you are not alone (unfortunately) in having BC. It is another world and I am humbled by some of the women on here who remain positive and determined to beat this horrible horrible disease. I am taking valium every day and a glass of wine in the evening to get through but funnily enough it is the early morning that is the worst. I wake up and it hits me like an iceberg and I go into an immediate state of terror. I suspect I am not alone in this as it is so hard to accept and take in. Also amazing how reading other peoples stories makes you really care and worry for others in the same boat. Jaynexx
Melrose15
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Sorry Jayne my predicted text changed your name 😉
Melrose15
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Janet. I can only reiterate what the other lovely ladies have said. It is early days so please take each day as it comes. It's our natural instinct to protect our children so hard to tell them something we know will hurt them. I felt the same as you and felt guilty, angry, sad that they have to see me go through this awful time. On the other hand they gave me the reason to fight this thing and that's what I'm doing 😉
With regards to your lump; I had five tumours, four cancerous, one benign and lymph nodes involvement. I had a mx and anc last month and as far as I am concerned it's all gone so as others have said try not to worry about the size. You'll feel more assured after Thursday. Good luck then.
Hugs
Emma
jayney234
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Thanks you Jude for your lovely response. It is so hard isn't it. I felt far worse after I had told my son as he was so upset and scared and try as I might to put a positive spin on it all I knew he could sense the fear. He is coming home next weekend which is after my first appointment at BCC so I hope I can give him encouraging news. Thanks for the virtual hug - it is much needed and appreciated Jayne xxx
una12
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Jayney
I don't come on here so often now but wanted to reply as your post really struck a chord. I was diagnosed in Feb 2011 and as others have said telling my 3 daughters was definitely one of the worst bits. My youngest was 21 and away at uni, and took it very hard. I also had 7cm of tumour, which really scared me at first - seemed a lot more than everyone else I met/ heard about. And the stage you're at, waiting for more information, is just horrible. But it really does get easier for everyone when you have that information and a treatment plan. You adust to the shock and may be surprised at how much love and support your family and friends will give you. Our family felt very close that year, and my daughter coped really well, and is a strong and caring young woman. I feel so proud of them all. And its true that there are many factors apart from size that affect your treatment and recovery. I ended up having lots of treatment but have been back at work full- time for over a year and just celebrating an 'everything ok' 2 year check up, so there really is light at the end of the tunnel.
I also found all the friendship and shared experience inn here was an amazing help. With love and another virtual hug, Jude

jayney234
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Thanks PG for explaining it a little better. It is such a minefield and I am sure - like everyone else - the mind swings from positive to negative. Jaynexxx
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Jayney

With breast cancer, it really is a case of size doesn't matter. It is the grade that is important and the two are not related. My own lump was only 3cm, but was grade 3 - the most aggressive. Others have bigger lumps, but a lower grade. That won't make you feel any better, I know. I have five children, 3 girls and 2 boys and I have to say the girls have handled it better than the boys. My eldest son had the added worry that his wife found a lump shortly after I'd had surgery. So he packed her off to the GP straight away. She was referred to the same breast clinic that I go to and thankfully it was harmless. One of my girls checks herself regularly and is very pro-active, the youngest one says if it happens, it happens. We are all different, even in the same family.

Sending you best wishes.

PG
Suffolklady
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Jayney, you are NOT pathetic. Far from it. We are all here together but dealing with our own particular set of circumstances and you should just go with what feels right for you - cry, scream, shout, be quiet, be thoughtful, rant - I sometimes find myself laughing at the absurdity of things, at the moment, I have a drain from my op - and I keep putting it down on the floor to brush my teeth/ wash etc, then walking off and forgetting about it until it sloshes and clanks behind me. Not really funny but sometimes it's the only way I feel I can respond without weeping. I know you're going to deal with whatever lies ahead and your family will be right there with you. Sending love and hugs X
Melena
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

My three children range from 30yrs to 34yrs and I found it hard to tell them but theiy were fine, my son took it the hardest but he has a very supportive partner. I found it hrder telling my 84yr old mam. I am only one week into diagnosis so am still coming to terms with it my self. After reading all te replies it has given me hope. I wish you luck.
xx Melena
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

I had a similar start to my cancer journey. I went to the breast clinic on my own thinking I had fibrous tissue, but after exam, scan & mammogram was told I had a large cancer in my left breast and at least one lymph node showing signs. They took biopsy which confirmed suspicions. Lump was 7 cm. I had chemo first, mx and aux clearance 3 nodes affected may 12' rad therapy in aug 12. Back at work 3 days a week now and trying to be positive.
The only person i had told about the appointment was my husband. I think the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life was tell my 2 adult children daughter 26 came home unexpectedly before I had time to compose myself when I got home from the clinic. She was devastated and I found myself comforting her which helped me. I had to wait a week to tell my son 23 as he had a housewarming party organised and I didn't want to spoil it for him. He was also very distressed. By the time I told him I was more in control of my own emotions and felt better able to offer him comfort. Both of them went from childhood to adulthood overnight. We all supported each other through the tough times.
Everybodys cancer journey is different, but you need to be able to talk openly with your family to get you through. Just take one hurdle at a time. Your son will have a lot of questions you won't be able to answer for him and he will feel scared and frustrated that things are not moving fast enough.
You say you are pathetic and base this on how others seem to be coping. You will find the strength you need. Use the helpline to talk to someone. Go to your local cancer drop in centre as you can meet others and get loads of advice and support there too.
i will be routing for you.
annie c xx
Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

You are not pathetic, Jayney, look at yourself in the mirror and recite "I am not pathetic, it is normal to fear this but I shall cope" even if you cry afterwards!
There are lots of different variations on the route to diagnosis, but this site will give you a map and compass, lessons in how to use them, but most important of all, companions for the journey.
Lavender
xx

carrie35
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

my daughter was 18 at the time and I am single parent and she has no siblings. She was also away at stage school so I have to travel to London to tell her. Dreadful it was but she soon bounced back after treatment got underway. Don't obsess about the size my was big and grade 3 and aggressive but there are lots of ladies who have survived with large cancers and similarly some women with small cancers don't. It's really an individual thing and if you focus on the positives and that you will beat this you will find it easier x

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Dear Jayney

I am sorry to read that you are having such a difficult time, please bear our helpline in mind, our team are here to support you and your family through this and you are welcome to call for further support and a listening ear.

0808 800 6000 weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

Take care

Lucy

jayney234
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Thanks so much for the thoughts. I was very surprised to be diagnosed purely on examination which is why I am so shaken. Nothing happened as it should have and I was left on my own to travel back to Devon with that diagnosis which I had not expected as they couldn't give me a mammogram as it was a Saturday. The consultant did phone me Sunday eve to make sure I got back alright but really I felt it was not the best way to break bad news. I assumed the needle biopsy indicated that I was er+ as he has asked me to stay on the Tamoxifan but I will have to wait and see what Exeter finds. My son is coming down next weekend after my hospital visit and whilst I am longing to see him I don't want to be an emotional wreck whilst he is here. Listening to all others stories I feel pathetic and have nothing but admiration to how most people are coping. Warmest love to all going through it. xx
Suffolklady
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Just to add a few words of support. I have had to tell my four teenage/ young adult children so I know how you feel. Just keep talking, ask the experts for advice and know that there is no set way in dealing with this. We all cope in our own way. Thinking of you xx
Maryland
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

My heart goes out to you Jayney....it was gut-wrenching telling my adult kids and once they had had time to take it all in they were soooo supportive in lots of different ways. As others have said, you are their Mum, always been there and they can't imagine life any different. I may be wrong but I was under the impression that bc can only be properly diagnosed by biopsy (combined with exam, mammo and ultrasound). I didn't think that ER/PR status could be confirmed except in the path lab? There will be an explanatory leaflet on this site/macmillan/cancer research?
It probably feels like you are on a theme park ride at the moment, and you will manage by getting your head down and dealing with it as best you can until you get your results with the love and support of those closest to you. Your feelings are completely natural and it is OK to feel angry, upset, pathetic, scared or whatever else you need to feel. You will probably find it more manageable when you have a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan - greater feeling of control!. Some 16 months later, I feel on solid(ish) ground again, and look back in awe of what I went through and my courage in dealing with it all. Easier said than done I know, but it really helps to 'live in the moment'. Love and a virtual hug x

H144
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Janey
Telling my 2 adult children -son (28) & daughter (24) - was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It was awful. My lump was 4 cms and it has spread to the lymph nodes. That was at the end of November and since then I have had chemo and last week had Wide Local Excision and full Axillary Node Clearance. Radiotherapy & hormone treatment are next.
We have always been a fairly close family and if anything it has brought us even closer. My son lives away from home but phones and visits regularly - though he's not much of a conversationalist! My daughter still lives at home with us and has been a tower of strength. Daft as it seems there have been some lovely moments together while I've been undergoing treatment. The initial shock is terrible but it is better once the treatment plan is sorted and at least they are old enough to talk to about it - but we always try to be only positive. Don't google just keep to this site or Macmillan!
I'm also grateful that I'm not having to deal with young children at the same time as coping with the treatment.
Try not to be overwhelmed by it all and take one step at a time - I know that's easier said than done sometimes.
Take care
Hilary x
jayney234
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Thanks for all your support - I feel really pathetic being so scared. I am really trying to be positive but I have had a very strange start on my journey. I saw a consultant privately as I found a lump and it was quicker. He diagnosed purely on examination but took a biopsy. I saw my gp who persuaded me to go to Exeter Hospital and be looked after there. I told him I did not want biopsy results and to send them to Exeter as I can't do anything until I see them next week. My consultant had already put me on Tamoxifen at the original consultation when he told me I had breast cancer and would need a mx. I have since had message from gp to carry on with the Tamoxifen. I am assuming from this my cancer is er+ but I am floundering in the what ifs until I see Exeter consultants on Thursday. Sorry for rant but I am totally confused about the whole thing. It has all happened in such a strange way. Thank you all for your support it is all I have at the moment and I am clinging to it. xx
Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Jayney, in all the breast cancer experience, nothing else was as bad as telling our adult sons.But the bad feeling gradually left after telling them, as they needed to know, I just didn't want to bring them sadness.
They were a great support, upped their frequency of visits and phone calls and emails, your son will cope too. You could try telling him about this board for information, remember to tell him not to Google!
Best wishes with it all, it does get better when you understand the plan of treatment.
Lavender
xx

samjs
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Janey,
I understand exactly how you feel and how your son feels. My sons were distarught too.They are still little in your heart and you are their mum. You know, the mum who is always there, solves all their problmes and is totally invincible.
I think being diagnosed with or being related to someone with BC, makes you think about your own mortality, possibly for the first time ever. My boys both work away most weeks but everytime they are home they are asking if I am ok and like to be kept up to date with what is happening to me. He will come to terms with it as will you but currently you are all in a state of shock. Those days do creep up on you repeatedly but once things tart moving it does get a bit better.

Take care
Sam x
Wendy56
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Janey

Don't worry about the size it is what it is and no amount of worrying will change that. You are now being treated and that is the main thing and your consultant will tailor your treatment accordingly.

My tumour was 48mm and after 4 rounds of chemo I had what my consultant called a complete response and my tumour was no longer there and all that remained was scar tissue. So things aren't always as bad as they first seem.

Chin up and kick this bloody cancers backside. Sending hugs.

Wendy
spookymoo
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Dear Janey I know how scary this thing is. Believe me. I have had pretty much bad news on bad news since my diagnosis July 21012. But am I still here. And the truth of it is nobody, not even the professionals can really anticipate how your body will respond to treatment. So try not to worry. And you have done the right thing telling your son. I told my children at diagnosis (13 and 10). It was the WORST thing I have ever had had to do. But they are resilient. And they are fighters - like me. And life goes on as normal. Yes sure., somethings the cancer rubbish gets in the way -- but things do get easier. Gentler hugs x
MarthasSOS
Member

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

Hi Jayney

I have 2 children, my daughter is 7 and my son is 13. I told my son about my BC but because of his age, I was able to use Kylie Minogue as an example of survival.

I had a 3cm invasive BC - It was removed 2 weeks ago by lumpectomy and I also had a sentinel node biopsy. I got clear margins in my lump and nothing in my nodes. The lump also turned out to be 2.5cm. There was also no lympho vascular invasion.

I went to my results appointment thinking the absolute worse but it turned out to be good newas because although it was invasive, it was well contained.

I know it is hard, but please try not to worry.

Sending you cyber hugs
Martha xx
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

I remember well having to tell my 4 adult offspring (too big to call them children as they have children of their own). To me it was harder than hearing the news myself.
I found that as I progressed through treatment they relaxed more and more. Initially they assumed the worst but they looked at information I pointed them to, talked to friends (amazing how many of their friends have had experience of BC in the family) and started to talk to me in better way than ever before. They were a tower of strength when I needed them and it helped me to have to think of them again in a protective way, something I havent had to do for a while.
You say your tumour is large but you dont say how big. I turned out to have 2 - one 2.9cm and the other 1.5. I am out the other side of Chemo and on Herceptin and have to believe that will get the thing sorted. Statistics now are so good for survival and until someone tells me differently I am a survivor! Try not to think the worst - you are addressing a problem and that is all you can do. Keep as positive as you can.
We are closer now as a family on the whole than ever before and enjoy every opportunity to share in a bigger way, so this is a real silver lining.
Good luck, hug your boy when you see him next and let him hug you!
Kahren
jayney234
Member

Just told my son and I am so sad and despairing

I have just told my 21 year old son that I have BC. He is living away from home and he is so distraught I can't bear it. He phoned my husband back and is so scared. I have tried to be positive but my lump is large and I keep reading that the larger the lump the worse the prognosis. I am on Tamoxifen at the moment after needle biopsy but don't find out the full picture until next Thursday. I was trying to be positive but the size of my tumour is really frightening me.