I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I am a mum to a 4 year old and a 8 year. I’m so frightened. I don’t know what to say to them. I’m worried I won’t be able to look after them when I start my chemo. Am I just overthinking things?
Hi, sorry you find yourself here, but lots of people with lots of experience will be able to offer you advice or just a friendly ear……I think it’s a perfectly normal reaction to overthink things, I know I have and continue to do so! I haven’t started chemo yet so can’t comment on how you may feel, but I do know everyone will have a different experience that is personal to them…… Do you have a partner with you or family nearby to help with the children should you need that? I think children can be more resilient than we give them credit for when situations change…..sorry I can’t give you any concrete answers, but please continue to let your feelings and worries out here if you need.
Sending you good wishes xx
Thanks for your reply. It’s made me feel a little reassured. I have my husband, who is around. And my mother in law that lives 5 minutes away. I haven’t started chemo yet. Dreading when I do. Good luck x
I’m dreading it too, you’re certainly not alone in that. xx
Definitely not alone in dreading it or being scared. Somehow you just seem to move through it. We’re all affected differently by the chemo, some struggle, some seem to have very few side effects that slow them down, most of us seem to be in a halfway house, where we have good or bad days, and somehow just get ourselves through it. You will still be able to look after your kids, and smile and laugh and you’ll have days where you feel absolutely your old self and days when you feel low. If you do experience side affects I’ve found that there is often something that can be done to help. It is so so much harder to do than say but try hard to deal with what is actually in front of you than what ifs because the what ifs can be very different for us all and you drive yourself mad. We all over think of sometimes, it’s frightening. Keep talking and know you aren’t alone x
Thank you so much for your reply. Just talking to people who have or going through similar situations have helped me so much already. So thank you x
hi Gloucester2468 sorry you've had to come and find us
Have a look for some books for your kids, mine told me they worried and could have done with more reassurance.
My eldest said "you said it was nothing to worry about so I didn't worry."
But my youngest wanted more of a daily update that I was fine, obviously the hair falling out was unpleasant and an obvious sign things are going on. I would have struggled to be cheerful every day, so I'm not going to say keep the happy face on but even when you're feeling knackered, and you will feel knackered, try and reassure them that it's going to be alright soon.
Chemo is harsh and it strips out every vitamin and mineral so you will need to eat, and some things won't taste so good, maybe get them to help you with a food chart. I had to hide chopped up apple in porridge, I couldn't face eating fruit.
They can also help you keep well by being your medics, taking your temp. My daughter did that job for me.
hope that helps
real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer
Dr Peter Harvey
This is a great help. I didn’t think of it like that. My daughter would love to the same to be honest. She watches operation ouch (cbbc program) and absolutely loves it. She’s heard of chemotherapy due to watching that show.
how funny, she will be your doctor/nurse/medic then.
Off the top of my head her daily charts can be :
1. temp. - taking the temp is useful when you're feeling well and a raised temp is a sign of infection, so keep a temp. chart. Sepsis is a real threat, if your temp goes up or you feel unwell get help quickly.
2. fluids - keeping hydrated helps prevent infections, not just water, can be watery fruit too, fluid chart.
3. teeth - clean teeth and floss very gently to avoid infections via gums.
4. poo chart - I'm being serious here, chemo, for me, was a juggling act between diarrhoea and constipation but obviously depends how much info you feel comfortable sharing with your young doctor, make sure you go at least once per day.
5. food - variety is essential, you might feel you can survive on toast because it's the only thing you fancy eating but you will need to top up these nutrients that are being drained from you. I had to take potassium supplements because that was almost zero. I wanted to fix it with diet but you have to eat a lot of bananas when it drops like it does on chemo. The hospital should give you your blood results which your daughter will find fascinating.
6. sickness/nausea - have an emergency supply of ice lollies in the freezer, with real fruit juice will boost your nutrients too. The anti sickness meds are good, so this is just in case.
It is a useful tip for when kids get the inevitable D&V bugs. I guess they're well drilled in hand washing and hygiene what with covid going on?
It will be over before you know it
use the @ to tag me if you've got any questions !!
Thank you. All fantastic ideas. Thank you thank you thank you x
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