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Any suggestions? Any suggestions?

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Unread 02-06-2002, 09:09 PM
Any suggestions?

Hey ladies,
Thought I'd drop in over here and ask a question, see if I can get some suggestions. I don't have a female cancer but I was diagnosed with Leukemia a couple of weeks ago, and started chemo last Thursday. It's going as well as can be expected and now I have a problem. Ya see, everything happened so fast with the diagnosis 'and starting treatment, that I haven't had a chance to really sit down and talk to my sons about all of this. They have a very active after school life, with basketball and church and, to be honest with ya, I've dreaded having to tell them. Well, at treatment today, the oncology nurse told me that it would be a good idea to have them typed!!, in case I need a bone marrow transplant down the road. So, now I'm in the position of having to tell them. My question is, How am I going to do this? It really tears me up just thinking about it. They are 14 and 12 so they're old enough to understand, and I just know that my 12 year old is going to be really upset. The time has come though and I can't put it off any longer. Chemo is starting to make me sick for a couple days, and they need to be told. DH is trying to figure out a way to help, but I think I need to be the one to sit down and tell them. Any suggestions on how to get this job done will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your help,
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Unread 02-07-2002, 02:19 AM
Any suggestions?


I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, and that you are feeling ill with your treatments. Chemo is so tough, and having been through it and ill with it as well I can fully understand.

I don't have children, but my sister and her husband are right now facing the same dilemma with having to tell their 2 boys that their dad has been diagnosed with lung and kidney cancer last week. Their boys are 17 and 19 and although older than your children I don't think its ever an easy thing to do.
The fact that their kids have been after them both to quit smoking since they were toddlers, doesn't help with this either.

I think with cancer unfortunately being so wide spread and talked about in this day and age helps with the kids understanding, and I am sure once you tell them, it will be a tremendous relief off of your shoulders and although they will of course be worried and concerned about you, I think its important to reinforce the great strides that are being made with chemo, and the good success rates that it has.

I am sure others with children who have been in this position will be along shortly, but I wanted to let you know Susan, that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope your side effects from the chemo improve, and you are getting lots of rest. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

Love and Hugs,
Unread 02-07-2002, 05:33 AM
Any suggestions?

Susan, I prayed for you for help in talking with your children
and for your chemo to work well for you! I don't have
personal experience with cancer, so I will yield here to
those who have. I just had two quick thoughts. One,
through your oncologist, maybe your doctor can refer you
to a social worker who works with many cancer patients.
That social worker may have some good suggestions for
talking with your children. Also, the social worker/ or your
doctor may know of a local support group for children of
cancer patients. In a group setting with other children facing the
same situation, they may feel more comfortable talking about
their feelings and fears.
I will continue to pray for you, Susan!
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Unread 02-07-2002, 01:46 PM
Any suggestions?

Susan, it is never easy telling loved ones that you have cancer. I had it all planned on how to tell my eldest ( son, age 27 ) I went to his home and planned on being very calm but when I got there I just blurted it out. I was so nervous, I wanted to spare him the pain . The girls ( my dds) were easier but it was still hard. I sure wish I had an answer for you.

I know that my oncology dept. had a special publication on how to tell the children, maybe you can find something like that. But as you are their mum , I am sure you will know in your heart what is best. Sending you many prayers and lots of love.
Unread 02-07-2002, 05:37 PM

I don`t have any young kidlets around. I have 3 grown step children and we did not tell them till after the surgery. I don`t have any advice, sweetie. I just wanted to pop in and tell you that I am praying for you and give you a .

Wishing you healing.


Unread 02-10-2002, 09:10 AM
Thanks ladies

Hey sisters,
Just wanted to say thanks for your hugs and encouragement. I've decided that this is something that needs to be done in the next few days. I had planned on doing it this weekend but ball games got in the way. Now the seasons over and I feel like this will be a good time to get it out of the way. Locki, I checked with my Dr. and I've found a support group for kids right here in our town, and I've also been talking to an oncology nurse about HOW to talk to my boys. She's been an enormous help, BUT, it still all comes down to me. I am praying that GOd will lead me in picking the right time and place and just help me get this all out in the open.
Robyn, I know what you mean about planning everything, I had a plan for telling DH, but it took me several days and then it just came out not at all like I had it planned.
Ok ladies, looks like this is a job for Supermom, excuse me while I put on my cape! lol
Pray for me ladies, Monday at 7:30, I'll try to do the hardest thing I've ever had to do! Katie, thanks for the HUGS! And Maria, after two treatments, I think we've lucked up on some meds for the nausea!
Love ya all,
Unread 02-10-2002, 03:21 PM
telling the kids

Susan--two weeks ago, I told my three children that I had cancer. Yes, I dreaded it. The minute I said "cancer" their eyes opened up big. You could see it. I told them you can live with cancer. It is not a death sentence. It can just be a chronic disease. I told them my prognosis is good. By the time I was finished, they had the facts. They digested them. They were okay with it. Maybe it's because I was calm (thank you xanax) and didn't cry or anything. Was very matter of fact. You know, they all knew somethiing was going on. But my one son said, "I knew you were going to the Dr alot, but I thought, well at least it isn't cancer" Here I was looking fine, sitting with them, hugging them and telling them that it shouldn't affect them. That I should be okay. Kids process things in thinking about how it will affect their own lives. That's a normal thing for them so don't expect a lot of help or pity ;-). Sure you're ill. But you look good and you assured them that you're okay. That's enough to start with. Sugar coat it if you need to at first. It's okay. Then make life around the house as normal as possible. Later if it's more serious -then address that. They need time to absorb it. It's life -but don't let your illness take over their lives. They may ignore it, that's the way some kids cope. They will worry. I do periodic "checks" now to see if everyone is okay. I ask if they're worrying at all. My 18 year old-not a bit. My 16 year old..not too much. My 20 year old-yes-but he hasn't seen me since surgery since he's at college. I'll see him soon and it will reassure him.
So we all made it through my surgery and 3 nights in the hospital. They have pitched in around the house (to a certain degree) and my son has enjoyed being the "driver" for me and my daughter.
You'll find that it isn't as bad as you think telling them. You all love each other. You are there to support each other.
Feel free to email me. Maybe I can help.
Susan L
TAH/BSO +lymph nodes
low grade endometrial stromal sarcoma
radiation coming up
Unread 02-10-2002, 04:11 PM
Any suggestions?

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers on Monday, Susan. I'm sure it will go well. You will all get through it together. Children can be such a wonderful support once they know what is going on.

Unread 02-10-2002, 08:26 PM
Any suggestions?


I don't have any children either but wanted to send you some {{hugs}} and my prayers that everything will go okay for you tomorrow.

I wish you the best and hope the meds take care of the nausea. By the way, what did they give you to help with that? I was given Kytril, Zofran and Ativan (for night time use). They really did a wonderful job for me in keeping the nausea at bay, although if you were given something like this, they can at times cause some pretty bad constipation.

Please keep us posted on how things go and how you are doing with your treatments.



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