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Worried about telling the kids

12 REPLIES 12
ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Dot

 

What a lovely reassuring post and so glad to hear that you are through your surgery

 

Sending you all hugs

 

Helena xxx

Dot2
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Good evening everyone,

 

I thought I would would follow up on this thread as I am almost a month along since my first post, and thought it might be encouraging to some who might be at that daunting stage of telling their children the 'rotten news'.

 

To recap, my girls are 19 and 14, so sugar-coating was not an option.  Honestly and understanding (and of course the words 'I am not going to die') was the way I went.  They seemed fine at first, but then about an hour later it hit. The tears and anger all came out at once, and they needed a good amount of time to process.  I think it is the same when you tell the adults in your family,  but for your children, you will need to spend time with them to support them, until they can come to terms with it.

 

My oldest daughter came home for a few days from Uni as she could not concentrate there on her own.  I was glad to have her close to support her. Together we spoke to her uni and arranged extra time and support for her studies, and once we had done this, she felt she could cope better. Thank the internet gods for facetime!

 

My youngest didn't want much fuss at school so I told her form tutor and the nurse, who invited me to come for coffee and a chat at any time! How lovely was that?

 

My surgery was booked for a week later, so we decided that the night before we would all go to the cinema...so good to take your mind away from things! As it happened, my surgery was cancelled due to staff shortages (!!) Thats another story for another thread...

 

I had my lumpectomy on Wednesday 1/11/17.  My eldest stayed at Uni and we texted all day till I went for the op, and she was fine with that.  Her dad kept her in the loop and I phoned her when I was in the car on the way home.  The youngest was given the option to be off school which she took (shocker!). 

 

Home and mum was fine, if not a little pale and woozy...love those pain meds!

 

I am unbelievably lucky to be able to tell the girls that my nodes were tested and clear so far, but have to wait for results, so now they are under instruction to get back on with enjoying their lives.

 

I really do think that for young people, the surgery is the most worrying time for them, and whatever comes after, 'mum' will be able to deal with.

 

So now I am healing and still a bit sore, we are waiting one more week for results. The girls have moved on which is the best I could hope for. If there is more to tell, then that will happen as it comes. The are aware that there will probably be rads over Christmas which means a nice quiet one on our own (YES!).

 

People do say in this new 'breast cancer' world we are living in, 'take a step at a time'.  If I can give any advise to you out there facing the horrible task of telling your young loved ones, it would be to be open and honest, don't give too much future information and take it stage by stage. They will trust you once the initial shock has passed.  Of course, if you can wait until you have your treatment plan in place, then the information is much clearer for them, the are no what if's etc.

 

I hope this insight may be of help to someone facing the fear as I was last month, and I thank all those who replied, giving me the extra strength to support all that are closest to me.

 

Love and strength to you all xxx

 

Dot 

 

"Always look for the Glad"

Pollyanna

 

 

AnnaKarenina
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Thanks for asking this question and to everyone who shared their perspective. It was hands down the hardest bit for me as well. My daughter is 23 and has just returned home after graduating to begin a postgraduate course and my son is miles away at University in his final year. However, being open, honest and positive did allow us to find a way through. I know that it was easier because I was able to draw on the advice and experience of others. I wish more than anything I hadn't had to land this news on them, but as with so much since I received the daignosis, the wisdom of those who posted here really helped. 

Chaffinch17
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Mine were angry as much with the situation as anything especially on top of other family problems this year. I think that it is best to be open with them so that they feel included x
Ali49
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Glad it went ok Dot. Your daughter is probably more angry that this is happening to you! Hope you and they are all.ok xx
Dot2
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Thank you all for your kind words and advise, it has been a massive help!

 

I told them both today in person, it was daunting and hard not to be emotional, but I was as honest as possible, without bombarding them with too much information.  

 

They were both angry because I hadn't told them sooner, I was expecting that.  My oldest daughter took it harder, but I think it is just time with them to process the situation, as it was with me.

 

Just my siblings to tell now, then the easy bit (treatment!) starts...

 

Love and strength to all xxx

Mumoftwo
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Hi Dot, my boys were 10 and 14 when I was diagnosed last year. My husband and I decided to be honest with them from the start as I would be going to lots of hospital appointments and didn't want to lie to them about where I was going each time. They were both very upset at first, the oldest asked if I was going to die and if I was going to lose my hair. The youngest was cross and said we shouldn't have told him, he didn't want to know.  We told them that I wasn't going to die, that I didn't know if I would lose my hair, and that the doctor was very positive that it could be treated easily.  After a few days they were fine and whenever I had a hospital appointment and throughout my radiotherapy they would ask about how it went.  As the others have said, it's best to be honest and as positive as possible to reassure them it's going to be ok.  I also told their schools just in case they got upset at all (which as far as I know they did't).  Hope it all goes well for you. Michelle xx

Ali49
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Hi Dot, my cuildrem are younger than yours but i found being honest and positive is the best way. I reassured them that i was telling it just as it is. They asked some wuestions - their main concern was losing my hair! Good luck Dot x
Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Hi Dot, no, there's no easy way to tell children bad news about their parents . My sons are 42 and 40 and that was hard. I went onto the info leaflets here and got some tips on telling children so I could manage with my grandchildren . For them they needed reassurance that I wouldn't die, which I was able to give. Parents were there to add their reassurance . Hair falling out and me being bald and having a wig caused merriment for my boys, and consternation for my girl. You know your children, so know what they need. School and college counsellors can be a help in case there is an adverse affect on academic work. You shouldn't feel rotten, or guilty, about causing them pain. It is what it is, and life has dealt you all a blow. The good news, or rather, the great news, is the outstanding survival rates for BC. Research means that soon this disease will be treated like a chronic illness, much like TB, for example. Scary at the moment, and a long journey for all of you. Sending hugs to all. X X X 

Chaffinch17
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

It is a tough thing to have to do. My children are 24, 21 and 18. Eldest daughter left home fully in February middle son is 400 miles away at uni in his last year and youngest daughter started uni a couple of weeks before I started chemo. It’s been hard for all of them especially because we have had other family bad news this year. I had to tell my eldest over the phone which was the worst and the other two have found it hard being away. They are more resilient than you think though. I have been very positive with mine and we have developed a good level of black humour which has kept the mood light. I keep in touch with them all through messenger we have a group chat which we all use daily.
Just be honest and be sure to point out how treatable bc is and be prepared to answer their questions.
Best wishes for your treatment, you will find loads of support here x
Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Hi

I waited til after surgery until I told my daughter. She was 16, and just about to start her exams, so I didn't want anything to distract her. Also, I felt it was a more positive conversation by saying, yes I had BC, but now they've taken it out, so I just need follow up treatment to make sure that it won't come back. I think I was quite factual in terms of positive survival rates etc .

It's not an easy thing to do, but they will be supportive and you will all get through it.

Best wishes

Sue xx

Jobey68
Member

Re: Worried about telling the kids

Hi Dot, Sorry you find yourself needing to join us but a very warm welcome 😊 

Telling our kids is just about the worst thing, my boys were in their mid twenties but still so hard to drop this on them , my eldest was planning his wedding and it broke my heart to scare them like this but it had to be done, be honest but upbeat is my advice, Cancer is a scary word but the reality is this is very treatable and you are more likely to be knocked down by a bus than you are to be finished off by breast cancer. 

 

They will surprise you, if you keep a leval head and answer all their questions with positivity they will be just fine! xx Jo 

 

 

Dot2
Member

Worried about telling the kids

Hi all you lovely ladies!

 

I received my biopsy results yesterday and told need lumpectomy and radiotherapy, plus other investigations along the way.  Still digesting the information, but like many others, feel empowered and back in control after the agonising wait for results.  Having an MRI soon and surgery in 2/3 weeks time. Feeling super positive and upbeat.... but dreading telling the kids!

 

I have a 19 year old girl at Uni (50 minute drive away) and a 14 year old just started GCSE's.  They are both super sensitive and very close to me.  I am just dreading their happy, stable and contented lives being rocked by my news.

 

I have thought hard about how the news is delivered, just starting with the surgery information first.

 

I was wondering if anyone here has any tips or advise on how to help soften the blow, and how to stop myself feeling rotten about making them feel scared and sad?

 

Dot2