• KarenG_WN's Avatar

    Tips for talking to your kids about cancer?

    Asked by KarenG_WN on Monday, December 26, 2011

    Tips for talking to your kids about cancer?

    If you have children, how have you handled talking to them about your cancer diagnosis and treatment? Did you tell them? Or have you not? Do you have any words of wisdom that can help others? Please share your experiences, and also let us know the age(s) of your children. Thank you.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Heidi's Avatar

      I have a 2 and 4 year old. The 2 yr old does not really understand but the 4 yr old loves for me to read her a book called "The day mama wore a hat" It's about chemo and having cancer. She loves for me to read it to her and I have found being VERY honest with seems to work with her. Hope this helps!

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      We don't have kids, just a nephew who thinks he's our's. Just kidding. We helped raise him and he was with us during my first round with Hodgkins. We told him I had cancer, and I was very sick, but that I expected to get better in time, and that's why I had to have all the treatments. He was about 8 through 10 during this stage of my treatments.

      almost 5 years ago
    • danellsar's Avatar

      First off, find books at the child's level that explain the words. They need to know what cancer, tumor, chemotherapy, radiation, and all those other words mean. They need to know that many cancer patients have to stay for a time in the hospital. They need to know that many cancer patients live a long happy life, but that some die.

      On advice from my counselor, I started the conversation with my 7 year old son by asking what he already knew about his dad's illness, and what questions he had. That gave me a chance to correct some misconceptions right away. Then we read and talked about a couple of books.

      Keep the first conversation shory and sweat, don't overload them. Then keep the conversation going and answer questions. Kids can be their parents' biggest cheerleaders!!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      I have 2 children Brittni is 20 and Nathan is 16 we have been nothing but up front and honest with our kids except for when E.R. made the mistake and told me I was full of cancer but thats another story.
      Sad to say my daughter is the one who took me into the E.R. the night I was told I had cancer March 2010 went in thinking heart attack come out with cancer. They go to Dr appts with me they come visit me when I have chemo usually takes 6hrs any questions they have we answer honestly. My daughter does alot of research on it. Just be honest with them we don't know what tomorrow will bring so we hug everyday kiss and tell each other how much we love them everyday. Some nights when I can't sleep I sneak into my kids rooms and just sit there and watch them sleep like I did when they were babies one night I even crawled into bed with my son and snuggled he woke up in the morning didn't know what the heck was going on lol. We laugh more we cry more but we are thankful for the more that we have right now. Try to make meaningful memories or silly ones when you feel good take full advantage of it. People tell me its time for my daughter to move out but I tell them no she can stay with me as long as she wants because we only have today and nobody can even promise us that!
      Good Luck and God Bless
      Just be honest.

      almost 5 years ago
    • NadJan's Avatar

      My kids (18 and 21years of age) go to college five hours away and the day I told them of my diagnosis, they came home that night! We cried for a little while, and then we (they) planned my survival strategy. I was going to be fine and I was going to fight this. They have been rock stars this whole time. They called or texted everyday to see how I was feeling during chemo and gave me many tips on dealing. When they are home, they take care of everything I ask of them! Except laundry -- that's kind of my therapy. If they are older, tell them everything. Younger, maybe not too much detail.

      almost 5 years ago
    • sueglader's Avatar

      Here's what I wrote for What's Next blog on the subject.


      over 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Cancer page.