• Grown children and their way of dealing

    Asked by jennt4211 on Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Grown children and their way of dealing

    I'm curious how others grown children or teenagers react to their parent having cancer? I am in the early stages of breast cancer and start treatments next week. I was diagnosed in November 2010. Initially my daughters were very devastated and supportive, understanding. Now that I have had surgery and healed from that, its like they feel I am healed. I still need chemo and radiation and this is still very real to me. I don't feel like they understand. I am physically weak and tired all the time and they don't want to do much to help out. My youngest, 16, can't grasp that I don't have the energy right now to do a lot of the things she wants me to do. I get upset about it and don't know how else to get it through their heads that I am still sick. I know it has to be hard for them, and my youngest is a teenager. Her mind is filled with a lot of other things. I don't want them to dwell on this or not enjoy their lives. I told both of them to look for support of a family member with cancer.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • Lovie's Avatar

      Altho I had another type of cancer, I had the same experience with my family, even my mother. After surgery it was as if everything in the world was going to be fine and back to normal. I was getting awfully discouraged, but then I decided to look at it in another way. If my whole crew thought I was my old self, then that must have meant that I was tolerating my treatment very well, and what a blessing that was! I felt that I was setting an example for my family that challenges can be handled in life and not to let it get you down. There were those days that I couldn't keep up, but on those occasions, I excused myself with a smile, and let my family figure things out for themselves, without feeling guilty! Try to relax, do what you can, and your family will manage just fine.

      almost 5 years ago
    • stillkickin's Avatar

      Jenn, thanks so much for sharing your experiences with your daughters. I've been having a similar experience, and didn't realize that others were experiencing the same thing.

      I have a 28 year old daughter who can't seem to recognize that I'm not the mom/person I used to be. I had surgery and have recuperated well from that, but chemo is ongoing, and it takes its toll.

      I have lots of good days, but on my down days when I may not feel up to doing things, my daughter will say, "But you're doing great. What's the problem?" I've stopped even trying to talk to her about it. I feel that she HAS to believe that I'm fine in order to get by, and I'm just leaving that one alone.

      Again, thanks for sharing and for letting me know that I'm not alone in dealing with this issue.

      almost 5 years ago
    • fulto11's Avatar

      I have two daughters ages of 30 and 40 year old. Being older they see the seriousness of our plight. And are our full and total support team. When it is time for a review...they demand to go and support us. I am raising a 14 and 15 year old step-grandchildren (since age of 1 and 2 yrs. of age).
      My point and experience is that we both try to play this down. We both know of the sickening, stomach crawling and fears that we experience and don't want our children laying down at night with their nerves on edge. Fore this reason; we choose to keep the home as normal and blind as possible. This is too much for kids to handle.
      We got off kilter for a little while and I saw grades go down and staying closer to the house. Thank God we are back to "normal".
      It is the adults that I would like to rattle. I was told by one "friend" that they weren't coming around because it was too hard to see him. Wow! When someone asks me what they can do...I tell them to give a 5 minute call or stop by for 5 minutes. I haven't seen anyone do this yet. My step daughter will call and say, "Do you need anything? What can I do to help"? She came by at Thanksgiving and I gave her a written list of things she could do to help. Baby sitting her Dad so I can step out, drop a casserole off, etc. I haven't heard from her since. Lol. I have lost 15 pounds due to having to take the whole load. Sports, weekend activity, etc. Would someone like to pick Jacob up after Tai Wai Do on Tues. and Thurs. nights? It is tough trying to cook supper and get out in time for church on Wednesdays.
      Boy, did I just dump. I pray I'm not out of line with these comments. Just venting. Smile.
      Let me close with; We are blessed, happy, content and full of love. This is not meaning to be a negative...just thoughts. Have a blessed day.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Cath1953's Avatar

      My kids as you know are 28 and 30. My 28 yr lod is like he feels it in his heart, but doesn't really ask if he can do anything. My daughter is 30. She has a learng disabilaty. She does a lot i ask her to do. But if I say I can't do this or that right noe I don't feel good .She does't understand. She has a fit.

      almost 5 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      My son is 31 and was strong and supportive during my treatment but became impatient at times when I was chemo sick. A couple of times I told him I couldn't take it anymore and he said, mom, you know you will feel better in a few days. I know his impatience was his frustration in not being able to help me.

      I am in remission and I believe he doesn't want me to even mention the c word. He recently told me he doesn't think it is a good idea for me to continue to go to th ACS Cancer Survivors Network because now that I am "good" it can only bring me down to read about others who are ill or pass on.

      I tried to explain that I continue to receive support from the board and can also give support to someone going through what I have already gone through. I compared it to an alcholic attending AA meetings even after (or especially after) they are sober or like a person who has reached goal at Weight Watcher's is expected to attend a monthly meeting. I am reaching for that goal again.

      My son along with others in my life want this chapter to be over and I understand that. That is why this site and the ACS CSN are vital to us.

      almost 5 years ago
    • TomLand's Avatar

      Different perspective - I am male, age 61 with sons 35, 25 & 21 and all live away from home. Also different, I have pancreatic cancer, a terminal diagnosis. My sons have the tendency to - as others have so aptly put it - expect me to be Superman. I think they soon realize that I am not.

      My sons have been extremely supportive. Each of them has made time in their busy lives to visit with me. I have found each digests the news and shows their support in their own way. My youngest is the closest to home and would make the 5 hours drive immediately if called. My oldest always responds with ideas when I come across a new challenge. The middle one keeps track and is very supportive of his Mom - it is important not to forget the other parent.

      My oldest lost his first wife to Melanoma several years ago. He has the best understanding of what I am going through. He, as well as my youngest, are working and in college - my goal is to see their graduation ceremonies in 2013. My middle son is working/living in DC so all have full lives of their own. I have tried to make it clear to each of them that my illness does not excuse them from living their own life.

      One thing I might suggest is something I have done since my diagnosis in October. I keep a running Journal through the Caring Bridge web site. That allows me to post what I want about daily trials and tribulations of dealing with the cancer and the chemo and them to read at their leisure. It also allows others I have known through the years to keep track as much as they wish. It has amazed me how many do.

      My children and immediate family know that there may be details that don't make it into print and that I will stop whatever I'm doing to take their call, anytime. I hide nothing from my children, they are adults after all and handling this type situation is one of the things adults do. The journal relives them of the feeling they should be calling every day and allows a more peaceful existence for all. Give it a try.

      almost 5 years ago
    • fulto11's Avatar

      I found this topic so rewarding. The most urgent is to share medical knowledge but to share ones personal life is also enlightening. We all have lives. God be with you all.

      almost 5 years ago
    • pakb56's Avatar

      I am newly diagnosed (endometrial cancer) and, other than a CT Scan, I have had no treatment yet. I know I have to have both chemo and radiation but that won't start until after I have a lymph node biopsy.

      I am glad you asked the question because something similar has been on my mind. I have two sons (33 and 35). I have thought they really don't ask me anything and seem to avoid the subject of my cancer. This is especially true of my 33 year old who, because he lives at home, is closer to me.

      I think they know I am beyond scared and don't want to say or do anything that may upset me. As for myself, I am trying to maintain life as close to normal as possible.

      I think we (the patient) and our families are walking a very fine emotional line and have to take it one/hour/minute at a time. Especially for those children that are younger, they probably have an even harder time dealing with their fears and emotions.

      My best to all of you!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Enemacruz's Avatar

      I was 17 when my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was a tough time for me. A handful of my high school teachers were friends of my mom, so word got around school pretty quickly. I found that people I considered VERY close friends becoming distant. I was "the girl who's mom had cancer." my school set me up with two seniors, one who had a parent in remission, and one who had lost a parent to cancer. The rest of that school year is a blur.
      My situation was a bit different because my mom was very sick from day one and never got better. Diagnosis nov 18th, and she passed march 3rd. That said, your kids might just be relieved that you are doing well, and maybe they (and their friends) rest easier thinking everything is okay now. Talk to them like adults. I wish that in my case I had been given more information. Let them see you get sick and feel awful if it gets it through to them that there is still a rode ahead they need to help you on.
      Watching my mom pass matured me with a quickness, but try to remember how rough high school can be, and I am sure your keeps don't mean to overlook what you are going through.
      Now I am 31 going through my dad's lung cancer, and it is a slightly different scenario. He lives 5 hours away and I have a house and a job and a wedding I supposed to be planning for November.
      Back on the cancer roller coaster.
      Good luck with the kids!

      almost 5 years ago
    • misha41510's Avatar

      I know I'm in a slightly different situation, but I'm 20 and I have 1 15 yr old sister. My mom has terminal brain cancer. She was diagnosed a year and a half ago and has been declining in health ever since. It's been slow, but now she's in hospice care and cannot move her left arm or leg.

      At first, after the initial surgery, everything seemed back to normal. I mean things weren't normal obviously. I had dropped out of school and moved back home to be with my mom. But she seemed pretty normal and I did everything I could to make things feel back to normal. I would visit my sister at my old high school. My sister and I would purposely fight like old times. It felt so comforting to make things feel normal. But making things feel normal also felt right because I wanted to cherish normal times with my mom.

      I'm not sure how serious your cancer is. But from a perspective like mine, making things feel as normal as possibly is the only thing I have any control over anymore.

      My mom can't even stand up anymore. I have to help her do everything. So just watching our favorite movie together like we used to do means the world to me.

      My sister on the other hand has successfully kept herself completely busy with school and sports and play practice. She is practically never home. And it's her way of coping. The seriousness will hit her later.

      over 4 years ago
    • misha41510's Avatar

      Oh and I have a blog if you are interested in reading about how I've been dealing with all of this: cominghometocancer.blogspot.com

      over 4 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      no matter what their age is when mom is sick it rocks their world! for small kids I highy suggest a support group for them as with teen a peer group helps my children were young adults 21 and 24 it rocked them pretty good I had chemo on Mon by wed they were brng me mexican food to eat it was the ONLy thing I could eat. do not be afraid to let them talk about it and even bring up the d word after all EVERYONE is thinking about the d word so talk to them no matter what age they are

      over 4 years ago
    • cbutinski's Avatar

      I have a 26year old son with a wife and three year old daughter , I have a 22 year old daughter who when I was diagnosed she found out that she was pregnant so she had a lot on her plate,my son and daughter in law lives with us along with my granddaughter, I recieved the "how are you doing mom"? but I was also asked to watch my granddaughter and I had to tell them that it was my chemo week so to find a backup in case I wasn't feeling well.
      When I had my surgery my daughter-in-law helped me a lot, my daughter was busy dealing with her own problems, I guess I felt like it was my own burden to bear.

      about 4 years ago

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