Hi ladies, Can anybody give me any advice on telling my children I am going in for a hysterectomy. My eldest is 11 & know she will ask my lots of tricky questions. Don't want to tell her too much information, as she will freak out if I tell her I have pre cancerous cells. My step dad died of cancer 3 years ago. So everytime I go to the hospital, she thinks the worse. She associates hospital with death, even tho I reassure her I will be okay. My op is not til March, so wasn't going to tell them til nearer the time. Any advice would be great thanks. xxx
Hi, I'm not sure I can be a great deal of help because when I had my operation my baby was only 5 months old but I have often wondered whether it was a good thing him being so young and not understanding what was going on. I have also wondered how I would have handled it if he'd been older. I have an 11 year old god daughter and knowing her as I do she likes to be treated like an "adult" but of course that can only be to a certain extent.
If it were me I think I would maybe tell her the basic bits that she can handle and leave out the bits that you think she can't. I'm sure your daughter will be a huge part in getting you through this and therefore you telling her what you think she can handle will show that you trust her and that you want her to be part of your recovery plan.
I hope this helps and good luck with your operation x
When I was first diagnosed with cc my children were aged 17, 15, 14 and 11. I was really worried about telling them, especially as I knew the older ones might ‘google’ and be misinformed. I didn’t tell them until I knew exactly what treatment I was going to have as I felt I would be better placed to answer any questions. Also, like you, felt it was better not to tell them until much nearer the date of my hysterectomy. I then just sat them down and told them and tried to be quite factual and reassuring. Children being children, they actually took it far better than I thought they would. My 15 year old wanted to know who was going to drive her to all her after school activities if I couldn’t drive due to my hysterectomy, which actually made me laugh!
I answered questions as best I could but I did not volunteer too much information, I was guided by them. What I did find was that they didn’t want to really discuss it at the time I told them but would sidle up to me and ask a question, usually at a really inconvenient time, like when I was dishing up the dinner. Your eldest clearly wants reassurance from you, so if she sees you being positive and talking about it openly hopefully she will feel that things are going to be OK.
I tasked my 11 year old daughter with making me a really lovely ‘craft’ picture, we brought a kit beforehand from one of those craft shops, which she then made me and brought into hospital. It maybe that when your step father was ill she was excluded from the conversations due to her age so she may be concerned now that she hasn’t been told the whole story. You might need to explain that you will be feeling a bit sore so might not be able to give very good hugs and that they will need to help out more at home, putting their toys away etc. Mine quite liked being given some responsibility to help out, although it didn’t last very long! I also told them they had to look after each other and not argue as I would be feeling poorly, they could see that I was still clearly being ‘nagging mum’ so things couldn’t have been too bad. Children really are amazingly resilient and I’m sure that yours will help you through this difficult time. Sorry if I have rambled on but hope some of it might be of use.
Best wishes, Julie
Hi ladies, thank you so much for your replies. Still very worried of what to tell them & when to tell them. Sometimes I just want to sit them down & have a chat, but with the op still 6 weeks away, feel its too long away for them to worry. Was going to wait til I have my pre assessment. Do I tell them about my hysterectomy or say its something else? Know my eldest will want to talk to her friends about it, she did when I went for my lltez because she was worried about me. Think they are too old to say I'm having a op in my tummy to make me better, as I've not been poorly, don't think that will be enough. But at the same time if I say they are going to take away my baby equipment that will upset her too, she keeps asking if I'm going to have another baby. Maybe I will just know the right time to tell them & go with my gut instinct. Thanks for all your advice. Worried sick about op. xxx
Hi, thought I'd give an update. Have been for my pre-op today. Had a chat with the girls, & wasn't half as bad as I thought. They were both very grown up about it. Said about having a hysterectomy, my periods would stop & would not be able to have anymore babies. played it down to them. Explained both their great grandmas had had it done & they were alright. said if they had any questions they could ask me at any time. Have told them mummy will get very tired, & need their help. Both seemed happy with that. My 8 year old has been a bit upset about me staying in hospital, & missing me. but told her the nurses need to look after mummy, then mummy can come home. xxx
If it were me I think I would maybe tell her the basic bits that she can handle and leave out the bits that you think she can’t. I’m sure your daughter will be a huge part in getting you through this and therefore you telling her what you think she can handle will show that you trust her and that you want her to be part of your recovery plan.