Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

Telling the children.

Sukki17
Posted by

I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer, ( yesterday. )   I am frightened of telling the children and scared that I won't be strong enough for them.   I am actually still in shock myself..   I am  having a lumpectomy next Wednesday.. Would love to chat to somebody who has had this..  How do you feel afterwards?    Lots of questions... whizzing around my head.. 

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Hi

I was diagnosed in Oct last year and it was hard enough for us to get our heads round, I couldn’t imagine how my kids would feel and one of my daughters was about to do her mock exams.

We decided not to tell them till after all my results from ct scans etc were in.

I had a mastectomy first, We told them I was having a lump removed. I then had lymph node clearance as a day patient 3 weeks later, I had all the scans, then we decided to wait till after Christmas and I told them in the January, luckily everything else was clear on the scans

Im not going to lie, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Depending on the age of your children, I would just to honest, I think mine  apprieciated the honesty.

Macmillan have a booklet on Talking to children I found this out after i’d told mine. I did speak to a lovely lady at my Macmillan centre, who said she thought I’d done a good job of telling them. I told them my ‘lump’ had been cancerous as were a few of the nodes under my arm, but the lump was gone ( I didn’t see the point of telling them I’d had a mastectomy) that I was going to have chemo as a precaution, I said it could make me ill for a while but in the long run it was the best thing for me, I told them about side effects of chemo and I’d be having radiotherapy as well. I reassured them as much as possible, told them not to google as info is outdated and mostly incorrect. I said there are so many different types of cancer, not to listen to Joe bloggs whose uncle died etc and that my treatment was specially designed for me.

They were obviously very upset, especially my younger two, who were 15 and 13 at the time, the other two are older and living away from home.

Gentle hugs x

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Hi 

I was diagnosed in Oct last year and it was hard enough for us to get our heads round, I couldn’t imagine how my kids would feel and one of my daughters was about to do her mock exams.

We decided not to tell them till after all my results from ct scans etc were in.

I had a mastectomy first, We told them I was having a lump removed. I then had lymph node clearance as a day patient 3 weeks later, I had all the scans, then we decided to wait till after Christmas and I told them in the January, luckily everything else was clear on the scans

Im not going to lie, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Depending on the age of your children, I would just to honest, I think mine  apprieciated the honesty.

Macmillan have a booklet on Talking to children I found this out after i’d told mine. I did speak to a lovely lady at my Macmillan centre, who said she thought I’d done a good job of telling them. I told them my ‘lump’ had been cancerous as were a few of the nodes under my arm, but the lump was gone ( I didn’t see the point of telling them I’d had a mastectomy) that I was going to have chemo as a precaution, I said it could make me ill for a while but in the long run it was the best thing for me, I told them about side effects of chemo and I’d be having radiotherapy as well. I reassured them as much as possible, told them not to google as info is outdated and mostly incorrect. I said there are so many different types of cancer, not to listen to Joe bloggs whose uncle died etc and that my treatment was specially designed for me.

They were obviously very upset, especially my younger two, who were 15 and 13 at the time, the other two are older and living away from home.

Gentle hugs x

Sukki17
Posted by

Dear Beachwalker 19

  • Thank you very very much for your advice. ..I am dreading it but i think I will feel better when I have told them.  I have been in the house on my own since hearing my diagnosis, as all the children and my husband are away.  Not very healthy for my mental stage, - but at least I have had a bit of time to get my head around things.
  •  So mixed feelings - cant wait to see them all, but not looking forward to telling them!
  • I hope you are better now.. 
  • Sukki17 x
Beachwalker19
Posted by

O gosh it’s a lot to deal with alone, my hubby was working away at the time of my first Breast Clinic appointment for the mammo’s etc. My friend was with me.

We are here if you want to chat or rant in the meantime till your family get home.

Good Luck x

B3cky
Posted by

Hi Sukki,

I ordered a book called mummy's lump, which is free from breast cancer care website. I have found it helpful with my younger child, who is 7, to help normalise the process of chemotherapy and surgery through a story, prompting further conversation and questions.

I am currently mid chemo before surgery. I know I was scared of telling my children but felt better after I had because they didn't seem too bothered by it, maybe because I played it down though and was reasonably positive about the whole thing. I appreciate all children are different so how your children respond may be different but that was my experience.

Best wishes, 

Becky

Sukki17
Posted by

Hi Becky, 

Thank you for getting back to me.  I am really finding strength from people giving advice. When I am further down the line, I really hope I will feel strong enough to do the same.  At the moment, still feeling very wobbly... Very glad the hurdle of telling the children is over.  They all responded differently and actually it was not as bad as I had imagined.  The middle girl ( 16) - is finding it the hardest.  I will order that book that you mentioned, - even if it just helps trigger a conversation.. 

I hope you are not finding the chemo too dreadful and that you feel that you are being well looked after.. 

Love

Sukki17 xx

B3cky
Posted by

I'm happy for you that you have told the children and got that over with. My eldest daughter is 15 and I think she has worried me because she can read things online and starts feeling scared about long term outcomes. I think it's helped that I've reassured her my tumour is small and doctors say it's treatable.

I've been really lucky with side effects of chemotherapy so far and am feeling well. I hope it all goes well for you..

Becky xx

Beachwalker19
Posted by

,

Ive got 4 children, 2 older ones, but my 16 year old took it the worse I think, she was 15 at the time I told her, so like yours going through GCSEs this year and it’s been very tough on her watching me lose my hair, she said she didn’t want to see me with no hair, so I didn’t shave it and I always wear my wig when out or my hat in the house.

She doesn’t think her GCSEs have gone well, but it’s done now and whatever will be will be, she’s enrolled in college, but worries she won’t make the grades, not sure what will happen, so we have to wait till results day!

I hate that kids have to go through this, you can’t win with the teenage years really, my older two are worried and probably did use Dr. Google however I told all of them each type of cancer is different, it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, some are more aggressive than others, mine was hormone receptive so taking anti hormone tablets really helps.

I told them Google is often outdated and largely incorrect. Young children tend not too understand all the facts, but with teenagers and raging hormones, exam pressure etc, I think it’s such a tough time in their lives without a parent having to tell them you have/had cancer.

Wishing you and your family all the best x x

Sukki17
Posted by

Dear Beachwalker19,

Thank you for your reply.. it really is tough on them.  Dr. Google has caused me sleepless nights, so of course I should have told her not to do it.. She hasn't told me that she has, but I can tell by her mood that she has..

How far down the cancer journey are you?  How did you cope with all the waiting??  The waiting is agony.. I know I should do the take it step by step thing but god it's hard sometimes.. 

I hope that you are being well looked after and have been able to do,or are going to do very soon, some lovely beach walks!  

Love Sukki17 xx