• My daughter will know on friday if she will begin chemo. She is 24 years old. How do you tell small children-age 4?

    Asked by vivi1 on Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    My daughter will know on friday if she will begin chemo. She is 24 years old. How do you tell small children-age 4?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • BZinLV's Avatar

      I had a 3 and 6 year old when I started chemo for the first time. We (my wife ) and I were honest and told our kids what was going on. There are lots of good childrens books out there that were also very helpfull. Your grandson will see the change in your daughter and will naturally wonder what's going on.

      over 8 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Here is some basic information from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society

      They may be able to offer more guidance www.cancer.gov and www.cancer.org

      That is really tough. I can only speak from the perspective of someone who does not have professional experience dealing with this issue. I would think that anyone younger than about age seven, or whenever they start asking a lot of tough questions, doesn't need to be told much. For some people that may be younger. I would leave it up to your daughter to do it her own way. At age 4, I think it's enough to say mommy is sick with something called leukemia, the doctors are helping to make her better with medicine, and reassure the four-year-old that it was not something they caused, they're not going to get it too, that the child is going to be okay, that mommy loves them, and that there are other people to help and who love her too, like you. I think moms have special superpowers of their own to detect if their kids are taking it well.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Has she had any other medical appointments, treatments, illnesses, a cold, the flu, a sprained ankle? What did she tell her children then? Do the same now.

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      My daughter was 5 years old when I need to have my Nephertomy. We contacted her school first, to let them know what was going on, and that we planed on telling her about my surgery, this alerted the school to the family situation and how to handle any issues and acting out that might happen . Children sense when something is wrong, so it's best to tell them as soon as possible in a way they could understand. We told DD that the doctor found a "boo boo" inside my stomach, and I need to go to the hospital so they could get it out, and would have to be there for a few days to make sure I was OK. She asked questions about where it was, and we answered them. The only follow up treatment I needed was scans - which we told her were to make sure that everything was healing. When she was 10ish she asked if it was cancer, and I answered "yes"

      over 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      My daughter was 8 when I was first diagnosed (she's now 9). We read a couple of books and spoke to some counselor and in the end we were told to just be honest. We explained to her that I had cancer and then read her a story called "Kemo Shark". If you click the link below it will take to a page where you can download this story. It was written by a child psychologist H. Elizabeth King (she is also a cancer survivor). I think this will help you a lot. It sure helped us. Talking to a child about cancer is difficult. There is no easy way to do it. But honestly, it's probably harder on the parent than it is on the child (in regards to telling them about the cancer) Good luck to you.


      over 8 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I think you really need to keep it on their level, don't tell them too much or things that they cannot understand. My daughter was 7 when I was diagnosed, we waited to tell her until we had all the information. Then we told her that the medicine I had to take was going to make me sicker before it made me better. All she really wanted to know was that the doctors were going to make me better.

      over 8 years ago

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