My children

Hello.  As I am getting tons of support to help me through this journey, is there any support my children can get. They are 8+11 and have become very clingy and withdrawn.  Thank you. 

  • Hello Smurfy,

    Thank you for contacting the Macmillan Online Community.

    I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I can appreciate having lost your mum and dad to cancer, that this would be a particularly difficult time for you. I can see from your posts on the community that the last few days have been a bit of a rollercoaster, with your operation date changing. I’m glad you’ve found the community and that you’ve received such a warm welcome from those in similar situations.

    Smurfy, can I ask how much your children know so far, and if you’ve told them about your diagnosis?

    If you haven’t already, you might firstly like to contact their schools to let them know what is going on at home. This would mean their teachers are aware of this, and can offer a listening ear when needed, and be understanding if their temperaments or behaviours seem different from usual. Schools usually have student support staff in place, and can sometimes arrange support sessions or even counselling. It may be worth finding what their schools can offer.

    The family GP may also be a helpful resource, as they would be aware of any support for children, through the NHS or other local organisations.

    There are a couple of websites which offer online support to young people of 11+ who have a parent with a cancer diagnosis. You might like to have a look and see if you feel they would be appropriate for your 11 year old. Riprap has information and support pages and a forum for young people, moderated by professionals, and Hope Support offers online 1-1 or group peer support.

    We also have a booklet on talking to children and teenagers about cancer – the booklet gives guidance on supporting children, taking different ages into consideration, and ways to access support, including a list of other organisations who may be able to offer support, in the back. You can find the booklet online here.

    I hope this helps, Smurfy, and gives you some options for support for your children. Remember we’re here to support you too, if you need to talk, or have any further questions, especially with your operation next week. Would you like to talk a little bit about how you’re feeling just now?

  • Hi.  Thanks for the speedy reply.  Both my children know I ha e cancer. The eldest is aware of what will happen with surgery etc but I've told my youngest that I'm poorly and need nasty medicine.  I downloaded a book called.mummys lump for her to read.  Both the schools are aware and can offer a limited support, but I was wondering if there are any support groups we could go to as a family and maybe the children could talk to other children.  My eldest has been on riprap and finds it a good source of knowledge but I think physically meeting other children would benefit them too.  As for me, I haven't actually thought of myself in all of this as I'm just more concerned with my children's welfare.  My only thought has been why me? After watching both my parents go through treatments and dying from the disease I don't want to think too much which I suppose is why I'm focusing more on the children than myself.  I darent think really as I I'm scared witless about it all.  I don't have much in the way of support so I'm keeping busy at work and with the children. 

  • Hello Smurfy,

    Thank you for your reply.

    It’s understandable you’re wanting to find the right kind of support for your children and I can hear that you think face to face support would benefit them the most.

    This isn’t something we ourselves specialise in but it might be worth looking at the ‘in your area’ section of our website to see what support there is locally. We have centres around the UK that offer a wide range of services and even if they can’t offer you and your family the support you’re looking for they might be able to signpost to someone who can.

    I’m glad your son found ‘riprap’ useful Smurfy, did you have a chance to look at their 'support in my area' section? They might have information about the kind of support your looking for near to you.

    You saw both your parents go through treatment in recent years and have two young children, so I think ‘why me?’ is an understandable reaction to the shock and perhaps even anger you might be feeling just now. Just remember that if further down the line you’d like to talk more about how you feel we are here for you Smurfy.

     I’m sorry to hear you don’t have much support around you I can understand why you want to focus on your children and work just now but try to make time for yourself and to process this when you are able to, as scary as this is to contemplate. If there is any further support you feel you’d benefit from, now or further down the line, don’t hesitate to ask.