Cancer treatment and children

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I was diagnosed ages ago but only recently found out after surgery, that I have a grade 3 glioma, I'm due to start radiotherapy and possibly chemotherapy together depending on final results of the histology report. I have 2 very young children 6 months and 5 years, my son will be way to young to grasp any indication something is wrong but my daughter will. How do you explain something like this to such young children, she's seen me get upset and cried herself because she doesn't understand why I'm upset. 

  • Hi reallife36 welcome to the forum. I  am so sorry to hear how difficult things are for you right now and with a young family as well to care for and worry about.

    Macmillan do have books that can be used to chat to children and are in the form of stories which makes it easier for children to grasp and Im wondering if you felt  able to give the MacMillan Line a call they can send  these out for you . 08088080000.

    I hope that they help to make talking to the children just a little easier. xxx


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  • Thank you, I got the booklet from my oncologist today and it has soon good tips on explaining such a difficult subject with children. Out of no were, my 5 year old asked me today if I was going to die soon, and I honestly didn't know what to say, as potentially the answer is yes. I just explained as best I could that people do die, but usually when their old, she then asked me if she was going to die. This disease is so cruel and I'm devastated my children are caught up in this. I will fight as hard as I can to be with them for as long as I can 

  • Hi - I am touched by your story about your little ones.  My kids were 18 and 21 when I had to tell them similar.  Their ages make it a totally different prospect.  But I read all the advice about telling your children and I sought advice from a couple of places.  A local place was rubbish and I felt they mismanaged my query so they were binned ( I didn't trust them so no point in talking further).  After many weeks mulling it over I phoned Macmillan here to talk it through.  They were great and I suggest you try them if you feel up to it.  I would say give yourself lots of time to come to terms with it yourself first, although I see your 5 year old has already picked up on the situation.  Always keep the Q&A open, be approachable and always truthful.  I suspect a lot of the answers will be unknown.  My approach was always that I was preparing them so that it didn't hurt as much, later.  And we have no idea when "later" will be.  But at the end of the day treatment can be very successful and as you say, you will fight to be with them as long as poss.  Little ones are precious. 

    My kids both said "we know all about cancer mum.  We've seen it in films!  Is your hair going to fall out?!" haha

  • Hi 

    I had to tell my 7 year old daughter and nephew last year about their grandad. It's so hard but Macmillan were brill and give me some advice on how to tell them