And now, this. You are in a tough situation and I wish I could offer more.
I think honesty is best. They will figure it out anyway and it's best if you told them. Ask them to help.
How do I tell my teenage children. I am divorced disabled mother struggling to keep things together. With Dams days away n a birthday.
They recently had to move after losing our home.They lost all their friends.New school they hate youngest was being harassed. Have no relationship w father because he let it happen so he could go be happy. Their whole lives have been flipped upside down.
So sorry to hear you are going through so much right now. This is definitely one of those times they say..."When it rains, it pours". Please don't lose hope that better days will come. I know it's easier said then done but this is a time that will require your strength. You need to be strong for yourself and for your kids. Strong physically and emotionally. You've been thrown on an emotional roller coaster. Firstly, I would recommend calling the American Cancer Society. Telling them your situation. One of their representatives can give you phone #'s to all the resources in your area. Whether it's financial, support groups, help with insurance,etc. I also suggest applying for any state/federal assistance. I myself being a single mother of a 12 & 14 year old had to apply for additional medical insurance assistance to help with co pays that my regular health insurance wouldn't cover. I applied for the food stamp program. I am receiving disability as income. Hey, we all need help some times, and this is definitely one of those times. It will feel like you are working as administrative assistant with all the calls and paperwork.
As far as telling your kids, I agree, honesty is best but no need to worry them with a lot of stuff that hasn't happened yet. Don't let the "cancer is a death sentence" mentality control your life. Cancer is cancer and there are treatments out there. Many people are living full happy lives after being diagnosed with cancer. Let me tell you how I handled this whole "cancer" thing with my kids. My kids had known I wasn't feeling too good prior to being diagnosed. I had been bleeding a lot due to stage 3 cervical cancer. I told them I would be going to see the doctor. Once the cervical biopsy was done to determine whether it was cancer or not and the results came back positive stage 3. A radical hysterectomy and pathology would be able to tell how "advanced" the disease really was. I told my babies I would be having my reproductive organs removed to help stop the bleeding. After the surgery, after receiving pathology results confirming stage 3 and after knowing the type of cancer treatment I would be receiving, I sat down with my family. I explained to them that the doctors had found cancer and that I would be going through treatment (radiation/chemo) to kill the cancer cells in my body. I explained to them what radiation and chemo was. I explained of the "possible" side effects I might experience. I went over the more common side effects. I told them if they saw me looking sick or not feeling good to make me smile by telling me a joke. Which they did on many occasions. :) That helped me a lot. Through all of this I've tried to not let my kids see me at my worst. My worst, thankfully, has been while they were in school. I have not once mentioned death. Why? Because I don't know that, no one knows that with 100% certainty. Therefore there is no need for me to worry or to make my kids worry. I just have it in my head that I will get through this rough "patch" in life and continue living and enjoying my kids for years to come. I really wish you all the best in your journey. Let's kick cancer's butt! Sending lots of hugs your way.
Oh, and forgot to tell you that all of us here on Whatnext are on your side. We're a family here. A family that is going through similar journey as yourself. If you ever need to talk to someone or have questions feel free to go right ahead and ask. No question is a silly question here. Please keep in touch and keep us posted.
Hugs to you and your family. What a very very tough time you are all going through. As everyone else has said honesty is the best way to go. Listen to what they have to say, you all need each other very much right now, and it will be hard, acknowledge their pain, ask them for suggestions and if they would like to accompany you to any visits and/or treatments and let them know that you will need help and there will be days that you will be unavailable emotionally and/or physically and this has to with treatment not with them.
If possible see if you can find a place that offers free or inexpensive therapy for all of you. Ask your oncology team and/or a social worker where you are being treated for recommendations and referrals.