Advice on Telling Kids

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KM 2075
KM 2075 Member Posts: 6
edited October 2016 in Newly diagnosed

Hi Everyone, I was told I had invasive BC and DCIS in my right breast yesterday, today I saw the surgeon and I have a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes to be removed in two weeks time.  It is all happening very quickly and my head is spinning but I am feeling like I am doing something proactive to address this cancer.  My request to those out there is for advice on the best way to tell my children.  I want to be open and honest without alarming them unnecessarily.  I have tweens and an eight year old.  I would appreciate hearing any experiences others have had when telling their children.  Many thanks.

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  • mona63
    mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015
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    trying to remember but i think i didnt use the word cancer for about two weeks--i just wanted to adjust to diagnosis etc so i think i referred to lump being removed and i would let them know about procedures --ie today they are taking a sample of the tissue etc.  and i put some of my attention in resting and adjusting to the diagnosis and treatment without sharing all my thoughts ie 'today i saw myself in a coffin...' and fears etc.  i did find it helpful to speak freely to husband but we would often have conversaitons and then give a condensed version to the kids.  older women would demand that the kids helped out but really i wanted business as usual for them and thought they both have their lives, pressures etc on top of bc stress i didnt want them to have to cook/clean etc we did tell them diagnosis and treatment including 'breast cancer' but didnt rush into to be 'hopeful' or any real approach but told their schools and i know the youngest did nt have conversations with me about it a lot but spoke to friends, friends mothers etc i wouldnt take kids to radiation appts etc --if they asked i would but they didnt want to get too involved --i gave messages that i found helpful to me and gave them to them--probably got it all in surgery, radiation extra protection or treatment and now have to take medication --this all worked as other than some extra rest, a bit of time off work and not cooking for a few weeks...life continued as pretty much usual

    best wishes

  • mona63
    mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015
    Options

    trying to remember but i think i didnt use the word cancer for about two weeks--i just wanted to adjust to diagnosis etc so i think i referred to lump being removed and i would let them know about procedures --ie today they are taking a sample of the tissue etc.  and i put some of my attention in resting and adjusting to the diagnosis and treatment without sharing all my thoughts ie 'today i saw myself in a coffin...' and fears etc.  i did find it helpful to speak freely to husband but we would often have conversaitons and then give a condensed version to the kids.  older women would demand that the kids helped out but really i wanted business as usual for them and thought they both have their lives, pressures etc on top of bc stress i didnt want them to have to cook/clean etc we did tell them diagnosis and treatment including 'breast cancer' but didnt rush into to be 'hopeful' or any real approach but told their schools and i know the youngest did nt have conversations with me about it a lot but spoke to friends, friends mothers etc i wouldnt take kids to radiation appts etc --if they asked i would but they didnt want to get too involved --i gave messages that i found helpful to me and gave them to them--probably got it all in surgery, radiation extra protection or treatment and now have to take medication --this all worked as other than some extra rest, a bit of time off work and not cooking for a few weeks...life continued as pretty much usual

    best wishes

  • mona63
    mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015
    Options

    trying to remember but i think i didnt use the word cancer for about two weeks--i just wanted to adjust to diagnosis etc so i think i referred to lump being removed and i would let them know about procedures --ie today they are taking a sample of the tissue etc.  and i put some of my attention in resting and adjusting to the diagnosis and treatment without sharing all my thoughts ie 'today i saw myself in a coffin...' and fears etc.  i did find it helpful to speak freely to husband but we would often have conversaitons and then give a condensed version to the kids.  older women would demand that the kids helped out but really i wanted business as usual for them and thought they both have their lives, pressures etc on top of bc stress i didnt want them to have to cook/clean etc we did tell them diagnosis and treatment including 'breast cancer' but didnt rush into to be 'hopeful' or any real approach but told their schools and i know the youngest did nt have conversations with me about it a lot but spoke to friends, friends mothers etc i wouldnt take kids to radiation appts etc --if they asked i would but they didnt want to get too involved --i gave messages that i found helpful to me and gave them to them--probably got it all in surgery, radiation extra protection or treatment and now have to take medication --this all worked as other than some extra rest, a bit of time off work and not cooking for a few weeks...life continued as pretty much usual

    best wishes

  • Chorsell
    Chorsell Member Posts: 465
    edited March 2015
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    Hi there
    I have a 16yo boy and 2 older daughters so was really honest with them - my 16 yo was ok with it once he felt confident I wasn't going to die :-) I found out later that he thought he was supposed to keep it a secret and I was quick to reassure him that he could talk to his mates/ teachers if he needed to ...

    I also have 3 grandchildren - the approach with them has been a bit different as we have talked more along the lines of nanny has a sore boob... The little ones are 2 and 3 - they wanted to see and touch my scar from the WE biopsy and they were ok with that...

    I think the key is open honest and age appropriate!!!

    The conversation with my two daughters also covered self examination and wether we should explore genetic testing - what this means for them and their daughters....

    I am sure you will make the right decision for your kids

    Good luck xxx

    Chris
  • jenpen
    jenpen Member Posts: 315
    edited March 2015
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    Hi and welcome to this club none of us choose to join!

    My children were 9 & 10 when I was diagnosed last September (similar diagnosis to yours). One of the first things I told them was that I was not going to die!  My husband & I have been very honest & open with them and told them about every procedure and treatment as it came up. They asked lots of questions which we answered as best we could but also let them know we just had to wait and see sometimes, as it was all new for us too!.....as Robyn said, they are very resilient & have been pretty good all the way through.

    When my hair started falling out we made a special "date" and the kids had turns in clipping it short.....I wanted to make it more fun than scary for them to get used to seeing me bald. I took them to chemo during the school holidays so they could see where I had treatment.....showed them my scars etc & let them hold my prosthesis which they suggested would make a great stress ball!

    I spoke to their school teachers & principal so they knew if any problems arose at school which there didn't. My son was at first a little embarassed when I started wearing my scarves instead of my wig but soon got used to it.

    As scary and daunting as all this is, you will find great support and understanding on this forum...just remember to take one day at a time.

    Jenny x

  • jenpen
    jenpen Member Posts: 315
    edited March 2015
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    Hi and welcome to this club none of us choose to join!

    My children were 9 & 10 when I was diagnosed last September (similar diagnosis to yours). One of the first things I told them was that I was not going to die!  My husband & I have been very honest & open with them and told them about every procedure and treatment as it came up. They asked lots of questions which we answered as best we could but also let them know we just had to wait and see sometimes, as it was all new for us too!.....as Robyn said, they are very resilient & have been pretty good all the way through.

    When my hair started falling out we made a special "date" and the kids had turns in clipping it short.....I wanted to make it more fun than scary for them to get used to seeing me bald. I took them to chemo during the school holidays so they could see where I had treatment.....showed them my scars etc & let them hold my prosthesis which they suggested would make a great stress ball!

    I spoke to their school teachers & principal so they knew if any problems arose at school which there didn't. My son was at first a little embarassed when I started wearing my scarves instead of my wig but soon got used to it.

    As scary and daunting as all this is, you will find great support and understanding on this forum...just remember to take one day at a time.

    Jenny x

  • KM 2075
    KM 2075 Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2015
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    Dear Robyn, Mona, Chris, Jenny and Christine,

    Many thanks for your advice and sharing your experiences. My husband and I plan to tell our children this Friday.  You have helped me very much with your comments.  This forum is a great source of inspiration.

    Best wishes to all of you.

    Kelley

  • KM 2075
    KM 2075 Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2015
    Options

    Dear Robyn, Mona, Chris, Jenny and Christine,

    Many thanks for your advice and sharing your experiences. My husband and I plan to tell our children this Friday.  You have helped me very much with your comments.  This forum is a great source of inspiration.

    Best wishes to all of you.

    Kelley

  • Christine Marie
    Christine Marie Member Posts: 180
    edited March 2015
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    My daughter was 14 when I was diagnosed... I was honest with her right from the start... she had a little cry & ask if I was going to die & once I explained everything to her she was fine & We tried to keep things pretty normal for her & she also had the great support of 2 older brothers as well. I also spoke to her school teachers so they could support her if needed.... So I think honesty is the best thing..you will be surprised at how the kids can actually get you through some of the tuff times.... I wish you all the best with your journey & the best advice you will hear is take one day at a time & take time out for yourself...& come on here whenever you need to....there is so much to learn & so many lovely ladies to talk to...... Take care:) Christine:) xox

  • Christine Marie
    Christine Marie Member Posts: 180
    edited March 2015
    Options

    My daughter was 14 when I was diagnosed... I was honest with her right from the start... she had a little cry & ask if I was going to die & once I explained everything to her she was fine & We tried to keep things pretty normal for her & she also had the great support of 2 older brothers as well. I also spoke to her school teachers so they could support her if needed.... So I think honesty is the best thing..you will be surprised at how the kids can actually get you through some of the tuff times.... I wish you all the best with your journey & the best advice you will hear is take one day at a time & take time out for yourself...& come on here whenever you need to....there is so much to learn & so many lovely ladies to talk to...... Take care:) Christine:) xox