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Mommy, don't go to the hospital...

ruggersocks's picture
ruggersocks
Posts: 78
Joined: Aug 2006

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in May 2006 and after chemo/radiation in June, surgery will be on August 28th.

Well, the above words were spoken by my 3 1/2 yr old daughter. I had briefly told her a few days ago that I would have to go to the hospital. I didn't get into specifics and haven't really spoken about it since then. Last night she was just hysterical about me going to the hospital. Basically I told her that sometimes people are sick, like Mommy, and they need to see a Doctor to make them feel better. And to do that I have to visit the doctor in the hospital. That I wasn't scared to go and I was happy to be able to get well. She seemed to settle down a little after that.

I realized not talking at all about the hospital/doctor stuff is causing her a lot of stress. Has anyone dealt with this - especially with a young child? I am at a loss right now and just heartbroken.

Thanks in advance,

Cheryl

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

I had big surgery in my head when my kids were 2-1/2 and 4-1/2 years ago. I think I understand your situation. It is important to prepare your child, you did well in telling your daughter that you had to go to the hospital before it happens. She doesn't need to know all the details of the surgery, of course, but there are things you can tell her that she can understand. Telling her that you are not feeling good but that the doctor will make you better in the hospital is good. Reassure her that you are coming back and Dad, Grandma or whoever will be taking care of her while you are in the hospital. Talk to her and listen to what she says. Did you tell her anything when you had chemo and radiation?

I told my kids I was a little sick and I had to be in the hospital so the doctor could make me well. They were both very calm until I checked in the hospital and they had to leave. They cried and screamed that they wanted to stay with mommy and it broke my heart. Maybe you can add that while you are in the hospital, she cannot be with you but someone like Dad, Grandma or whoever will be taking care of her until you can come home. Once my kids were home they were fine but when they were finally allowed to see me in the hospital, no one had told them anything about my appearance. My head was completely bandaged and my face looked twisted because of the swealling and because half the face was paralized. This is shocking for little kids. When they came in, my daughter stayed at the door, looked at me and said she wanted to go home. My son, refused to come close to my bed. This was very scary for them and painful for me; I wish they had been prepared.

I don't know, but could it be possible that you went to the hospital for chemo and your daughter saw you sick and now associates hospitals with "hurting" and that is why it is scary?

I know this is a difficult time not just for you but for the entire family. Your and yours will be in my prayers.
All the best,
TereB

mum-of-four's picture
mum-of-four
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2006

boy, can I relate to this. I had to have my colon removed a month before my youngest's 3rd birthday. We tried to explain to him as much as possible in his language what was happening (unfortunately my parents were of the generation you shouldn't tell children anything which I don't agree with)

Anyway he seemed to understand and I told him about my "bad tummy" and he would ask me how it was etc etc. All was well, until I started my chemo. Anyway, on my 2nd and 3rd treatment I had to go into hospital in the middle of the night due to problems from result of having chemo and obviously when he got up in the morning, I wasn't there.

After this he became very clingy and didn't want me to leave him at pre-school - he kept saying "mummy you might lose me" I think he meant I would forget to pick him up. He also broke out in severe excma (sp?) Once everything settled down with my chemo, the excma went and he stopped being so clingy. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is completely normal behaviour for such a young child and I think you are doing totally the right thing by being honest with her (as much as possible for her age)

good luck and hope all goes well

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