How do we tell them?

My children are 6 and 3. My youngest we'll just say that mummy is poorly and that will probably suffice. My oldest (almost 7) is extremely sensitive, and already picking up on changes (I've been off work for a week and keep napping) and we need to tell him something. Hubby has said it will take me a while to get better. We should have more of an idea of treatment plan by tomorrow, so will say something in next couple days, but I'm so anxious of the effect it will have on him. Any tips please?

Hi there I have a 5 year old son who was 4 when I was diagnosed. I went through chemotherapy so lost my hair, I kept it very basic, I told him I had a sore tummy and the medicine they were giving me would make my hair fall out. Funnily enough he took my hair coming out very well and even had a laugh at my expense. I had to have surgery as well and explained that by saying the doctor was going to get rid of it now and mummy would be all better after the operation, he in curios about the scar. I know he felt the strain around here at that time and he can have days where if I'm tense his behaviour reflects it, like mirror imaging but really on the big scale of it all he's pretty much oblivious to the severity and that's how I wanted it. 


They understand on a very basic level so id keep it simple but totally agree that you have to say something cos picking up on it and coming up with his own answers will be far scarier for him. I hope it goes well and good luck with your treatment.


Charlene xx

My sister who has been battling cervical cancer for around 3 years (I think) no one is for sure because she has kept her Illness a secret from the family. We knew something was wrong with her because she was in and out of the hospital and she dropped a lot of weight very quickly. Fast forward to now. I was vacationing in Aspen and got a call from a social working from the hospital where I live. I was told by the social worker that my sister had been admitted to the hospital and her Dr wanted to speak to me. My sisters Dr informed me that my sister had advanced cervical cancer and her kidneys were failing because the tumors had spreaded. They had to operate and they placed two tubes in my sisters kidneys so that the urine could drain properly.

The Dr also told me that my sisters only option now was hospice care. I was totally taken back by this news and the next day I flew home and went straight to the hospital where my sister was at and had meeting with the Dr, social worker, and hospice nurse. I was told by the Dr that chemo would no longer help my sister was terminall and she has about 3 months to live.

As I stated in the beginning my sister kept her illness a secret from everyone, including her children who are in major denial about her diagnosis. They think God is going to perform a miracle and heal my sister and refuse to get prepared for her death.

My sister is living with me and I am caring for her since I have a background in the medical field she wanted me to take care of her. Hospice comes out twice a week and they have provided a bed and other things she needed.

It has only been 1 week since my sister has been released from the hospital and she is doing pretty good. She still has not told her kids although the Dr has and they still refuse to except it. I am caught in the middle of all of this and it is causing me a lot of stress. My sisters kids who are 20, and 22 are upset at me and the rest of the family because they said we are negative and we are given up on her and they do not want to hear any talk about their mom illness or her dying. 


My sister also refuses to have a talk with her kids and explain to them the truth about what is going on with her, yes they heard it from the Dr and myself but until their mother sit them both down and let them here it from her they will continue to be in denial like my sister is and that is going to make things very hard for them after she passes.

They have even refused to come visit her at my house which I know hurts her very much. Sorry about the long post guys.

Hi Concerned Sister, I wish I had something practical to offer, I simply want to say that I am sorry for your situation. People cope so differently as your family's seactions shows I do hope that you and your family find some peace. Also that you can find some more support for yourself - I hope the hospice are helful with this, or Macmillan nurses etc. Lots of love.

Concerned sister, so sorry to read that. It is very sad your sister felt unable to share her illness. I am sure your support is invaluable now.