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Helping children deal with your cancer

momof2
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2001

I could really use some help in this area. My son is almost 5 and is so scared that he is having separation problems from me. He worries that I won't be there when he gets home and that other bad things are going to happen to everyone else in the family. I've tried talking with him about it, but I just don't seem to get anywhere. Do any of you have any suggestions on what I could do to help my son. I just feel so helpless towards him. Any advice would be so great appreciated. THank you all for all that you have done for me. I will never forget any of it. This website has been a life saver for me at times. You all take care and God Bless you all! Carrie

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi Carrie,

My daughter Audrey was 6 when I was diagnosed with BC. At first she seemed to be OK, even commenting "it is unfair I have to go to school and you can stay home". She understood I was exhausted with chemo, but didn't quite understand everything. Then after I was done with chemo I went back to work. She started feeling sick to her stomach every morning before going to school, sometimes so bad she had to skip school and go to the babysitter instead. I thought she was having problems only with school, it never crossed my mind it could be separation problems. I finally took her to the school psychologist, a very nice young lady. She worked with Audrey every week for months, I would join them from time to time. The psychologist really helped Audrey : she now understands I am OK, and that I will share with her if I have any problem, so she doesn't have to worry all the time.

I also found that when family was coming over to be with me, they often didn't think of spending time with Audrey. Finally a friend of mine came over and took her to the zoo. No luck, it was closed ! If I had to go through it again, I think I would ask my family to also spend time with my kid, as they would usually. Seeing her Mom get all this attention must have driven the point that the situation was very serious.

Perhaps also our kids are a mirror of our own fears : I was so scared of dying and not be there to raise my daughter ! I never said a thing, and was always downplaying it, but she might have felt it none the less.

I hope this helps, I know these are tough times for you and your son.

I hope you will soon feel better.

Love,
Cathy

karbear
Posts: 166
Joined: Aug 2001

Hi there ! Just wanted to let you know how we dealt with tellin our children. Their ages are 15,12,10,7,and 4. That was the most difficult thing for us to do,is tell them. We didn't tell them until after surgery and we knew all was going to be ok. Then the most important thing was the positive attitude our household,family and friends had. My son's only concern was ,hes 10 ,that I would look funny without hair. We had told them it was all gonna be ok and that I would be sick off and on for awhile. My four year old also got very clinging,which me and her were unseparable to begin with. She would come cuddle with me as I laid in bed sick as a dog. When I would get up she was so excited and would run through the house shouting to the others " Mommy's out of bed" ! She would also ask everyday if I felt better yet..she was my encouragement to get up ! Just reassure your son its going to be ok and you will be fine when this is all over. We told our kids that chemo was just a precaution, just like they get shots for chicken pox,measles,etc...the doctors want to make sure that all the cancer is gone and none are hiding out..the chemo is like little soldiers looking around for any cancer cells..also the best reassurance is lots of kisses and hugs........I hope some of this helps..I also find this website very reassuring and helpful..God bless and I will pray for you..good luck..karin

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