• For those that are Stage IV, if you are a parent, how have you dealt with the added stress of dealing with the possibility that

    Asked by GregP_WN on Saturday, October 10, 2015

    For those that are Stage IV, if you are a parent, how have you dealt with the added stress of dealing with the possibility that

    you could not be around for them? Or has this entered your mind at all? Here is an article about a young Woman with Stage IV breast cancer. She describes how she goes through her daily routine, then deals with her cancer and tries to balance the two. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/what-metastatic-breast-cancer-is-like

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I was having a discussion with a lady yesterday about her struggles with lung cancer. Just this weekend, she is sending her 7-year old daughter to "her new home with relatives" because she has been told her time is short. It is absolutely heartbreaking.

      I had a friend and colleague back in the 90s who had metastatic breast cancer. It was first discovered (by her, and misdiagnosed by her doctor) when her second daughter was born. I went to work for her just as the cancer returned. She spent many, MANY hours writing journals and letters to her young girls (3 and 6), lining up good friends who would help her husband raise the girls according to her wishes, and leaving yellow pad after yellow pad of written instructions for how to address every situation with her girls. She went so far as to pick the girls' next mom ... and wife for her husband (that didn't work out according to her well-laid plan).

      While she fought her cancer, she worked as much as she could but spent every possible moment of quality time with her kids. Three days before she died, i took her and the girls to a movie, at her request. It took so much out of her, but she pushed through it. She never got back out of bed, but those girls had memories of a lifetime crammed into some short months.

      My dad had died in the 70s of lung cancer, but walking that journey with Tori was the most profound experience of my life, I think.

      almost 4 years ago
    • michelerainh2o's Avatar
      michelerainh2o

      I have 3 children- 15, 17 & 19. Granted they are not little ones anymore, but to me they are still my babies (they never stop being our babies). Even before I was told of the severity of my cancer my mind went immediately to my kids- actually that's all I think about; it's what bothers me the most.

      I want to write journals for them; I'm not saying I'm going to be gone tomorrow because I'm fighting this- but for them to have just in case. The problem I have though is when I even start thinking about writing the journals I'm a total emotional wreck.

      What I hope & pray for the most is that I can see them grow into their adult lives and be ok.

      almost 4 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Even though I'm old when I got my diagnosis two years ago it was stage 4.
      Scared the crap out of me and for two years now I never know when the hammer is going to come down......Never goes away. Most nights I pray to God to either take me home in my sleep or give me tomorrow.....Just want to be taken in my sleep....don't want to be there when it happens.
      B

      almost 4 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I am NOT a parent but still worry all the time....It's much worse for younger people with kids.....but it's never easy. Some say well you are older and it's easier as you lived your life....BUT that is not how it is.

      almost 4 years ago
    • mmnorris' Avatar
      mmnorris

      My daughters have always been what I worried about the most throughout this journey. I wonder if I will be there for their graduations, weddings, and to meet my grandchildren. I was 40 when first diagnosed with salivary gland cancer Stage IVa in 2012' and my kids were 12 and 9. I recently had a recurrence in my lung which has really brought to light the likelihood that my life will probably be shorter than many others. But since I am cancer free right now I am just trying to enjoy the time that I have and not focus on what could come in the future.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Maddy61's Avatar
      Maddy61

      I have MM and was diagnosed at stage 3 (was told there is no stage 4). I have a 37 year old son who is mentally and emotionally 17 half the time. He is in a 10 year relationship and I love his partner very much. I visited them in Maine when I was diagnosed and when I was being pretreated before my SCT. I was more fatigued than he expected but I had my hair, used a wheel chair out of the house and took naps. We toured Portland and I bought a "vape" at a smoke shop up there. When we got back to their house, I had an honest conversation with them about what I expected and what I hoped for.

      I told them if they are going to get married, I would appreciate it if they could do it in the next five years. I told them I would help them move back to Philly or NJ, if that's what they wanted to do (they did), but that there would be no more money after that large chunk of change. I begged my son not to use my illness as an excuse to wreck his life which could be wonderful if he worked hard and got his life together with an eye for his future.

      They have moved to Philly, my son got a good job with benefits, he joined the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus and they got engaged. Haven't set a date, but I know it will be in a year or so. My son is focused with future plans and not just living for the day. I am very proud of him.

      Of course this is not what happens when you have young children. What happened with my family was difficult enough. But to have young kids and have to explain and plan and raise them while being treated for advanced cancer.... Honestly I can't imagine it. The people who do this are heroes.

      almost 4 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      Well as I have just moved into this category it's on my mind all the time. Because despite my bravado my youngest 13 year old girl is unable to function at the daily fear of what life will be without me. I keep on the mom face and am looking at ways to prolong my life but to answer the question. Yes this is an added stress. Attempt to keep it in check and pray for more days! Mean while I make sure the paperwork is in order in case of my death. My children are fortunate to have a great dad but my god don't know how one can prepare kids for loss of a parent when they still so young.

      almost 4 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      Ok and agreed every time I try to write I just cry and can't.

      almost 4 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      Many years ago, I worked with a girl whose family had adopted 2 young children from a single mom who died from cancer and left 8 young children. Before she passed away, she made arrangements with local latino families to each take 2 children so they would at least have one sibling and were raised in their culture. So, my friend's family took in 2 children, even though there were 7 children of their own. What a blessing for this mom to find willing families to raise her children.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar
      Lirasgirl33

      Has it entered my mind? Of course. My kids are now 14 and 17, I'm sure they are aware of the seriousness of a cancer diagnosis. Since the day I was diagnosed back in 2012, I decided that I would try my hardest to keep life as "normal" as possible for them. "Normal" being as similar to pre-diagnosis life as possible. Sure I've talked to them about life and death in general, but not really focusing on me. I really don't see a point in placing the dark cloud of fear over their heads. I want them to LIVE. To enjoy being teenagers. To smile and laugh and joke and upset me at times. :) I have been blessed with all that up to now. They see me doing ok, they feel ok. At times I'm not ok, but thankfully, they don't see too much of that, usually because they are away at school.

      These kids have grown up in an environment full of love, affection and support. Not just from me, but from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends as well. I am so thankful to God for that.

      When the time comes, if and when that happens, we will visit that subject. Is that right, wrong, or what, I don't know, but that is where my heart is guiding me right now.

      almost 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      This story brought back memories of a friend who died thirty-five years ago. She also had escaped a toxic marriage and had helped me escape mine. She had two lovely teenage daughters who baby sat my two young children while I worked a second job. If it were not for her wonderful brother. I do not know what would have happened to those beautiful girls. But God did seem to watch over them. I still pray for them even though I know they must be grown with teen-age children of their own.

      almost 4 years ago

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