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Any parents ideas on telling kids?

txbrobear
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2005

Just got my diagnosis of Hodgkins and am awaiting first treatment. Have OK relationship with ex-wife and we will talk to kids together. I wonder how much or little to tell them? At what point might we have this talk? Hopefully someone else has been down this road. My oldest is 13 and the youngest 8 years old.

stepet
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi, My kids were 5 and 8 at the time I was diagnosed. I was the stay at home mom so there was no getting around the fact that something was happening. Kids are very perceptive and they know instinctively when somethings not right. My oldest had the toughest time because he knew the word Cancer, he asked questions and talked to a school councelor. I was very honest about everything. I only had radiation, I didn't endure any chemo. My reaction to the radiation was rough, I had to be "real" with the kids whether I wanted to or not. Good Luck and know that kids want to be a part of their parents, no matter if it is good or bad. Sandi

6browns
Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi,

When my husband was diagnosed we decided to be very up front with our kids (almost 10 years at the time). I would agree that the word cancer was the scariest part for them. They assumed that anyone who had cancer would immediately die. It took a while for them to understand. I should also explain that I initially told them that Dad had Hodgkin's disease and didn't use the cancer word.

They have had times when they get really scared and other times when they forget that Dad is sick. They're very much a part of the chemo schedule and are always interested in knowing how many more sessions, etc.

I took our kids shopping about halfway through the treatments to get Dad a chemo buddy (small stuffed bunny) to take with him to treatments. He has been a good sport about taking it with him -- and I think the kids really like knowing that the stuffed animal they chose is there with him when he's getting his "medicine".

I have never taken them to the infusion unit, nor would I -- I think it's enough to process that Dad is sick (and we hope) will be better soon.

This is probably more than you wanted to know!

Best,
Lisa

gp09
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2003

I don't remember how we told the kids, but my ex would bring them to my chemo treatments. My last treatment was on March 16 '95, my daughter's birthday is March 18 when she turned 11, and my son's is March 28 when he turned 8. I was able to tell them at the supper table on March 26 that as a birthday present to them I didn't have to go to chemo anymore. They cheered and were very happy. August '94 I turned 40 and then was diagnosed before the end of the month. I'm happy to say they got the better present.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

My kids were 5 and 8 when I was diagnosed. We explained in simple words that Mom was sick that I would have treatment that might make me feel bad, explained about nausea, being tired, lost of appetite and also told them I would be fighting to get better. Kids always know when something is going on at home and if they do not know, they imagine the worst. Some may even think it is their fault their parent is ill, that is why it is important to talk to the kids and reassure them. My 8 year old one thought she had to stay home to help me all the time but I told her her job was to play with her friends and go to school and that she could help with some things at home but she was not to care for me full time, that was not her job. When my hair started falling out, my 5 year old found me crying and he gave me hugs and kisses and told me that if I had three eyes and two noses I was still beautiful to him.

My kids are now 20 & 23 and I am still fighting with all my tumors but we are all calm and enjoy life.

All the best to you and your family,
TereB

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