And you could get run over by a bus tomorrow. As a single Mom, whether you have cancer or not, you should have a will and make arrangements for someone to become the legal guardian of your children in the event of your death.
kids and cancer
Asked by reginak on Tuesday, April 2, 2013
kids and cancer
I was just told that my frontal lobe HPC has a 50% chance of coming back in the same location within 6-10 years. I will be a single mom and my kids will be teens at that point.
What should I do?
8 Answers from the Community
I can imagine that you are disheartened, I am sorry you have to consider any possible outlook other than a life of happiness. I am an oncology nurse and HPCs are a rare grade II or III tumor that arise in the menenges, but unlike a meningiomas they usually do not invade the brain. However, they do have a potential to recur. If you have had surgery and if you keep current with surveillance, the option for treatments stay the same so unlike other brain tumors, you still have the opportunity for some beneficial therapies to extend and maintain your quality and quantity of life. I wish you all the best and I think the best medicine at this time is a positive outlook. Many things can happen in 6 to 10 years and there are great strides made in brain tumor research of late. Good luck to you, Carm RN.
It also has a 50% chance of not coming back. Until then, you may live your life with an increased sense of its value. You have been given notification that life is not permanent and that each day is to be enjoyed for what it is. Knowing this, you may raise your children loving them intensely and being thankful for each and every moment that you spend with them.
Hi reginak - your question made me immediately think of an organization here in Minnesota called Minnesota Angel. It is not a religious group but rather a group for families with children and with an adult dealing with a cancer diagnosis. We are a family of three - one adult with a cancer diagnosis (no evidence of disease at this time - hoping to stay that way), one adult who's beyond wonderful, and one 11 year old boy. The group runs a Facing Cancer Together series that meets once weekly for six weeks. Each week, we have dinner together and then the kids and adults separate for age appropriate activities. I feel like the experience really made a huge difference in our lives. In particular, we were able to talk to our child about cancer.
The things kids really need? The series taught us that kids need to know they will be taken care of - no matter what. So, having a plan should things take a turn for the worse is a good idea - even without a health concern! The kids also need to know that it's not contagious. This is a common worry for younger kids, actually, and it was a question our child asked right off the bat. The final thing they talk about is finding a role for your kids in your treatment. For one mom, her child's responsibility was to carry things to/from the car and to close and open the car doors. Those were two things that the child could do very reliably and that helped the mom... She described her child feeling very proud and helpful in doing those rather simple things.
Anyway - see if a social worker at your clinic can help connect you with a resource like this one. It is amazing what a difference it has made. Our child will actually talk about cancer - willingly. Which is amazing. He has also made some fantastic friends through the activities with MN Angle.
A last thing I'll add is that this whole thing is scary - and there's nothing wrong with being scared - even with lower recurrence risks! But, even if you do have a recurrence, that doesn't mean you'll be instantly dead. Right? I mean, yes, your chances of recurrence are high. But that doesn't tell the whole story.... I struggle with the anxiety myself - worrying about what my family would go through if I had a recurrence - if I had to do long term treatment for cancer... I do worry... But, I'm working towards keeping my optimism at the forefront... working at keeping the scary thoughts in the background... working to allow myself to be scared sometimes, but then put those feelings away so I can do stuff at work or do stuff with the family or even just get out and enjoy riding my bike....
Thank you all for your responses. I think I was just in shock over getting the news today and not being sure who would take care of my kids if I was hospitalized for any length of time. Not their dad, for certain; and his parents are currently trying to take my kids from me. My parents would, but my 30 yr old brother lives with them and they all drink. The brother smokes, which would be really bad for their health at least right now. All of you are right; I need to focus on the fact that there is a 50% chance it won't come back. Thank you.
You have come to a good conclusion on this. 50% chance it will come back, to me means 50% chance it won't, and the way my mind works, my 50% chance that it won't is larger than the 50% chance that it will. Like you have said, concentrate on the now, the chances that you are going to be fine. If you concentrate on the other side, and worry everyday that it's coming back, then you will spend everyday checking every sore spot, every cough is a bad cough, each age spot is looking like skin cancer, etc. And then, what quality of life is that?
It's hard to do, but better for you and less stress. Think about the positive in any situation you can and you will have a less stressful life, and better quality of life. I always tell myself I'm not going to worry about anything until I actually have a fact of something to worry about.
I wish you the best!
I have the same problem with the return of my liposarcoma. My plan is to monitor closely with an MRI every three months, eating healthy, living healthy and living my life. If the darn tumor wants to return, it will find a hostile environment in which to grow and a fighter who will knock it back to kingdom come. The Welcome mat has been removed. Meanwhile, I live every day.