65.8K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

7 REPLIES 7
Crabbit
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

Hi BCM, my boy was 4 when I was diagnosed. I was grade 2 IDC and lucky enough not to need a mastectomy and this, I believe made things much easier for me. He does not know about the surgery in hospital because he went for a sleepover for a couple of days with his wonderful childminder (lucky again I know).
I had to tell him the doctor had sucked out all the bad bits, but was reticent about mentioning hospital because my little brother had been in intensive care only a couple of months before and he had picked up on a little anxiety re hospital as being a very serious issue.
I ordered mummy's lump but also did not use it. It tries to cover all the bases with the best of intentions. My BCN suggested skipping pages but children don't work that way do they? I felt it wasn't right for our situation i.e. no major surgery, chemo or issues with worry and stress. My work were great and I had 3 months off during treatment. I have still not used the word 'cancer'. He calls it my 'booby bug' and came with me to a couple of RADS sessions (which he loved!) He called it the Zap zap machine. I also felt the man falling apart a bit in the book didn't represent our situation. I gave a copy to our nurery too like Kindensurprise.
Things are trickier now. I am feeling guilty about my tamoxifen induced lack of patience and energy and feel he and my husband both suffer.
Good luck to everyone. xx

Parsnip
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

.

Parsnip
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

My son is four and I used the mummy's lump book but it does cause some big issues for me because of the illustrations and some horrible stereotyping but I had nothing else, and it was such a tough time I couldn't look elsewhere. I wouldn't recommend using it ersonal ly and would love to see something better out there. It shows a nuclear family which was tough as I'd just split up with my son's father and there were issues about daddy coming to help out Like in the book. I also don't like the way the young boy in the story is on the outside looking in whilst the daughter gets cuddles. Then there is the steretypical male who cannot look after the house or kids and gets angry and takes that anger out on the lawnmower, that is not a good way to express emotions and it shouldn't be seen as acceptable because he's upset. And then to top it all off after the treatment is over mummy seems confidenme enough with her battered and bruised body to don a swimsuit at the beach, in the sun, when she's still likely to have body issues and will at the very least be rather sensitive to sunlight due to the treatment. I know it's a book for children but it is meant to help things not set up unrealistic expectations or condone unacceptable behaviour. I just wish they had consulted some experts before publishing it as its a much needed resource and should be done correctly. Sorry about the rant but it still annoys me that this was all I had to explain this horrid situation to my son. I ended up explaining it as best I could myself which helped more I think.

Emylou9
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

Aww what a lovely boy you have smc78! My son is twelve and found it hard to talk about at first but after a melt down at school a few weeks ago I spoke to his tutor and head of house and they have been fab in supporting him. He has also now told most his friends I have cancer and they are being really kind to him. My daughter is 10 but was much more talkative and asked lots of question so I think has coped betterFromm the start (back in April). I've also been as honest as possible and told them I'm having the best treatment from the best doctors who hope to make me better. Em x

smc78
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

I got a fantastic book from Amazon called My mum's Got Cancer. Its written by a doctor who'd been through bc and the picture were drawn by her 11 yr old daughter and are fabulous, the book is very suitable for primary school aged children. My son is 11 and i was diagnosed in June. I didnt have a clue about Cancer before this happend to me and found it hard to know where to turn for information on how to tell my son. We also have the Mummys Lump book which is great too but more for younger children in my opinion. I have been very open and honest with my son and used all the proper terms. A friend of mine asked me near the beginning if i had told him i was going to be alright. I hadnt because at the time of our conversation it didnt occur to me to say that but having thought about it later i decided it was best not to. I was honest and said although people do die from cancer, i believe it is unlikely to happen to me and that the doctors are going to do everything they can to make me better. I refuse to think the worst but god forbid if it was ever to go that way i couldnt bear the thought of him saying to me 'u promised u would be ok'. We have had a few unwelcome comments from children at school (which i expected as they dont understand really) that i was going to die and 1 child was telling others that i had died!! Again we talked about it openly and honestly and the school have been fabulous about dealing with it all and supporting my son. Our latest challenge is going to be the hair loss. I had my long hair cut at the weekend to a chin lenght bob in preperation for the chemo i started yesterday and my son has said he really doesnt like it short. We talked about the reality that soon i am going to have no hair at all (I have turned down the cold cap treatment). On a day to day basis things are great as i seem to be feeling well most of the time. My son has been at school while i have been for various tests and scans so hasnt had to deal with seeing me poked and prodded. He did have a little strop a week or so ago as he complained that i was 'boring, always laying on the sofa and never wanting to do anything'. He read the info about the chemo side affects then commented on how many there are. I think he realised what he'd said and felt a built guilty. I was very tired yesterday after my 1st session and he was wonderful. He washed up for me before i made tea, went to the shop to get me ginger biscuits to help combat the nausea and this morning he made me breakfast in bed and fetched the medication i needed to take.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

Hi,
My daughter was 5 when I was diagnosed, just under a year ago. I have worked to keep everything as normal as I can for her. Luckily (?) she had a long-line in as a small baby, so when I had to have a PICC line, I could tell her that she had one years ago (and show her the scar). The hospital were very good with appointments. I had all my chemo on Monday's as (before BC) I work Monday-Wednesday, so child-care was sorted for those days.
I agree Mummy's Lump is great. My daughter especially liked the visit to the hospital post-mx here the children are helping to eat the chocolates.
Kindensurprise
Member

Re: Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

Hi there

My children were 4 and 2 when I was diagnosed. I found the BCC book 'Mummy's lump' extremely helpful - available free from this website. It normalised everything that was happening to me for them. I gave a copy to nursery and school.
This was 4 years ago for me too, and I really couldn't praise it enough. I am also a long way from family apart from OH and children, and I had to go a flight away for 6 weeks for radiotherapy.
Good luck
Kinden
x

Guest user
Not applicable

Mums with Young Children Diagnosed with Breast cancer

Hi,
I wondered if anyone reading this who has been diagnosed has children of school age or younger? My kids were aged 7 & 3 when I was diagnosed and it added a whole 'nother element of worry into the equation. I am writing a book about this to help other mums in similar situations and so ahve just started a blog about my thoughts, experience. I don't know if I am allowed to post the URL here, please let me know.
I would really like to help other mums as it is such an overwhelming time. I am now a 4 year survivor who got through a bi-lateral mastectomy & chemo, all of it 4000 miles from home 'cos we had just moved overseas! If you have just been diagnosed, have faith and believe you can fight this. You have to get your head around it all and make a committment to fight. I found things like telling the kids and helping them cope with my treatment was hard, so I would be happy to offer any tips or support to anyone who needs it.
I love quotations, this is one of my favourites when I feel I need some 'mental toughness':
"Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles." Alex Karras