Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone can tell me how to tell my boys that their dad has Stage IV colon cancer. He was diagnosed in November of 2013 and after chemo, radiation and a colostomy they belived they had gotten it all. Today he was diagnosed with stage IV. I am not really sure how to tell my boys or really what to tell them. They are 13 and 10. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Welcome tp the board

    I am so sorry that you have the need to be here, but you have found a wonderful group of caring and knowledgable folks.

    How and what you tell your children depends a lot on their ability to understand what is going on around them.

    Since your husband has already had treatments and surgery, they must know that their dad was sick.

    It sounds as if you are describing a recurrance.  If that is the case and your sons believed that he was cured from the orginial findings, that may make things a bit harder.

    Tell them as much as you feel they can understand, but keep it as positive as you can without glossing over the situation.

    The most often asked question by children is, is my parent going to die.  The honest answer is that we are all going to die sometime, but that your dad and I will do all we can to keep him with us for a long time.

    Being stage IV does not preclude a long life.  We have many here who can attest to that.  It most often means living with chronic disease which needs constant treatment.

    Please let us know how things go for your family.  Folks here have much to share in all aspects of fighting this disease and can help you.


    Marie who loves kitties

  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
    When my husband was diagnosed

    When my husband was diagnosed stage 4 in August 2012, our children were 1, 12 and 14.   One of the first questions I asked the oncologist after she hit us with the news was what do we say to our kids?   What she suggested was similar to what Marie suggested, that the doctors will do all they can to help him.   The last two and a half years have not been easy, but life goes on.   I think the best thing you can do for the boys is try to keep life normal.  I know that is not easy and they have seen us both at our worse.   try to explain that no matter what happens, they will be okay.   I worry a lot about what I will do if the times comes and Im on my own raising three kids and trying to keep our house, but I've tried to be confident around them that things will be okay.  

    I know how difficult those words are...stage 4, but there are many long time survivors.  Try to take it a day at a time.  This is a great place to come and unload your worries, questions and just vent.  We get it like no one else will unless they have lived it.

    what makes your husband stage 4 and what is the doctor proposing for treatment?


  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624 Member
    I'm Stage IV

    I have been Stage 4 since Feb 2010, that's five years, while my children are grown ( it isn't easy to tell them either) I have 4 (3 at the time) grandchildren.  The three were 8, 10 and 10, what we told them was Grandma has cancer and that sometimes I'm going to be sick and can't do things we normally do, but other days I'll be just fine and we'll enjoy those days, which is what we have done, every once in a while it comes up, they ask a question we provide an answer, the main thing was telling them I wasn't going to die soon, but that I was doing everything I could to stay here longer.

    My grandson will be attending a camp this summer that is just for kids with parents and grandparents that have cancer and is free for 60 children, I think this is going to help him a lot, since I got skinny and can't walk far he's been steadily getting more worried.

    It isn't easy telling your children, I can imagine the worry you are having even thinking about telling them.  I wish you luck and your husband the best for getting through this, you can SURVIVE stage IV, all isn't lost.  Here's to your husband and you being together at their Highschool graduations.

    Winter Marie

  • impactzone
    impactzone Member Posts: 551 Member
    DX stage 4 8 years ago when

    DX stage 4 8 years ago when my son was in 6th grade and daughter in 4th. I am here as a high school teacher and walked with both at graduation. I was hoping to just get to middle school graduation but you never know. For us, we were honest. They saw me a few times at the hospitl after one of my 6 surgeries. They had jobs at home and better learned to help others. Both cried often and I confess my son became too interested in video games as we stayed around at home often but he now builds apps and is doing well. We tried to live the adadge fall down 7, stand up 8. This is a tough thing and we will do all we can but its not your fault and you gotta believe things happen for a reason...even if t isn't fair. They did read parts of Lance Armstrongs book, It's Not About the Bike. So sorry you are here but they can come out stronger and better able to help others.