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step-daughter's mom's cancer is back. Need help!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2001

My husband's ex-wife was diagnosed with rectal cancer in Sept. 2000. She is now experiencing a recurrence and it is in her lung and lymph nodes now. His daughter lives with us in another state. She is 8 years old. The prognosis isn't good. How do we tell his daughter and how much should we tell her? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. She is going to visit her mom in 2 weeks, and we don't want to send her without talking to her first.

lauramarie's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2001

My best advise is to be as open as you can with her. She will know something is wrong and not telling her the truth will just add to her pain. Check the ACS site out for some books on telling kids about cancer. I know they have a couple of them that are great.
She needs to be prepared that her mom may not feel well and why she is feeling badly. Also you are going to give her the gift of understanding each day is precious gift from god. Children are amazing. They see things simply dont try to complicate things... Just be honest with her about the situation.
And take things one day at a time.

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