For more information, see How Do I Tell My Kids I Have Cancer?
I envy anybody who has the choice. You must have a minimal treatment to go through or an unbelievable support system.
This was not a feasible choice for me, given over a year of treatment and my sensitivity to side effects. I could not fake wellness for the sake of my children, no matter how much I wish I could have.
My children are more grateful, compassionate, and independent people because of what we went through as a family. In the end, although I would not have chosen to have this as part of their childhood, we steered them to learn lessons from this experience that make them better people.
In a word, YES!!! My son was 3 1/2 when I was diagnosed, nearly 10 years ago. Between the numerous doctor appointments, calls to the house from loved ones, anxiety and confusion in making treatment decisions, and eventually a tired, bald mom, I can’t fathom how a child would “miss” it. Moreover, it would be devestating for them to find out on the school yard, or from some other third party!The truth is, if we don’t share, our kids will fill in the blanks…and often with something far worse than the reality. I would much rather my child hear it from me, and come to trust that I will be there to help him though, and that *I* am the source of honest (and appropriately couched) information. I know it’s hard to find the words, and resources like this site were no where to be found back then…but we know our kids best.
My son recently posted about his recollections of that time in our lives. While I wish it hadn’t had to be that way, I firmly believe that our openness with him helped us turn lemons into lemonade, and that he is a stronger, kinder person for having walked that road.
Can’t imagine NOT telling them….It would have scared my 3 boys more if I had not prepared them for the baldness, tiredness and just plain lack of being ‘Mom’. I reassured them that my team of doctors were doing everything they could do get rid of the cancer – and if the prognosis turned grim – they would be the first to know. If would only be fair to give them the information to cope in their own way. My boys were 12, 15 and 17 at the time. We are so open about my surgery, what I am doing to keep cancer “away” and how blessed we are to all still be together.
I just wanted to say thanks. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 2 hours ago. We will be telling the kids as soon as they get out of school today. I’ve had better days! We are very thankful though, that I have what I have because it could be so much worse! Thanks for the moment to hear from someone else who has been there.
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