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4 Lessons Learned: Resources

Talking to Children Regarding Cancer

A lot of people are frightened to mention the word ‘cancer’ to kids. You might not know what things to say if someone significant to your kids has cancer.

In the event that you or somebody else they love has cancer, it is vital that you talk to your kids shortly following the diagnosis to develop trust and to assist them understand what is occurring. If your kids know you’ll always tell them what’s going on, they will feel less afraid. Children feel scared and alone when they’ve been told that “all is well,” because they know this isn’t true. They see whispering, crying, changes in other family tasks as well as meal schedules. Children have vivid imaginations and the things they envision are worse than reality.

Continually have regular conversations with the kids in the days and weeks that follow diagnosis and reassure them that you love them so much. Allow them to ask you their questions and answer them honestly.

The Best Way to Describe What Cancer Is

What you say about cancer will vary depending on the age of your children. With younger children, do not get overly technical. Let them know that cancer is a thing that grows in the body and is not supposed to be there. It is kind of like weeds in the garden. There are plenty of methods to do away with weeds (pulling, cutting, weed killer) and there are a lot of methods to take care of cancer (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, pills).

Explain that at times you might be overly tired to snuggle or play. This really doesn’t mean they should be sad. It is natural and normal to feel disappointed in case your parent or grandparent is too worn out to play.

If you are likely to experience hair loss, tell the kids before it happens. Clarify that side effects like nausea, tiredness, and baldness are all signs that the treatment is working.

In case your young ones ask whether you are going to die, do not offer false assurances. Instead, respond by saying, “I have great physicians who are doing everything they are able to in order to make me well again. ” If your cancer is advanced, tell them you have great doctors who are doing their utmost to treat it. And you will let them know of the treatment’s progress.

Suggestions for Helping Children Cope

It is OK to take the kids to the doctor’s visits with you if they want to go. It helps some children to see the place which will help you get better. Explain what’s happening to you. Consider giving younger kids a souvenir like surgical gloves or tongue depressors.

If specific days, like chemo days, are worse than others, consider having a special basket of goodies/toys that just comes out on those days. Another idea is to keep the kids’ minds as engaged as possible, with things at home or school, while you or a loved one is at the clinic. By taking advantage of the snapfish promo code, the photos can be made into a photobook so that they can share their experiences with you.

The important thing to helping your kids cope with a cancer diagnosis will be to speak to them openly and frankly. Enable them to know they can always come for support or with questions to you, and that you adore them so much not to hide anything from them.