Homeschooling Moms

Pukalani79
I need a hug!
May 13, 2013 at 1:16 AM

 I need some positive thoughts and prayers and a little advice please. 

Friday morning my grandmother was diagnosed with liver cancer.  I am in shock because until about a year ago, she was the healthiest person I've ever met in my life.  We all used to joke that she'd outlive every one of us.  I need to be proactive and there's not much I can do other than be there for her appointments and whatever else she's going to need.  I did agree to captain a Relay for Life team Saturday morning.  At least I feel like I'm doing... something.  So I need your positive thoughts and prayers, please.

I also need your advice. How do you explain cancer to children? My older two (11 and 9) have a fair understanding, I think.  My youngest though...

Two years ago we lost my husband's aunt to stomach cancer.  It was stage 4 before she was ever diagnosed and she did not have a lot of time.  At the same time, my youngest daughter was 6 and having terrible abdominal pain.  The doctors were clueless as to what it could be and she was so scared that it might be the same thing that killed her Aunt B.  Now Gran has cancer.  This is bringing back my DD's old fears, because while we have a diagnosis of abdominal migraines, we haven't been able to get her to a pain free state.  How do I explain about cancer to her (emotionally/mentally she's at about a 6 year old level) in a way that will alleviate her fear?  She is terrified.

 

Replies

  • luvemboth
    May 13, 2013 at 1:28 AM
    I'm so sorry :( prayers for your entire family.

    I'd briefly explain what cancer is- when abnormal cells in someone's body start dividing and take over, then briefly explain what her abdominal migraines are and how the 2 are not related at all. Maybe also read her a couple success stories of ppl who have fought cancer. Hugs to you all
  • 101stwife
    May 13, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    My youngest son had cancer when he was born. He had to go through surgery and chemotherapy. I also had a 4 and 1 year old at the time. They make books on how to explain cancer to young children, you can ask the doctor for one or they might have one in the gift shop of the hospital. You don't have to get into the medical terminology of everything, just a brief explaination.

    Cancer is a bunch of cells that start growing and they don't know when to stop. So, those cells begin to take over and make the organs and body sick. Sometimes a person can have surgery to remove the bad cells and sometimes they take medicine. The medicine can make the person very sick because it doesn't know how to just get rid of the bad cells, it gets rid of the good cells too. Sometimes people get better, and sometimes they don't. But, the doctors do everything that they can to help the person get better. While the person is taking the medicine they will be sick and very tired and weak. They look different. Their hair falls out and sometimes they lose a lot of weight. Sometimes the medicine makes them gain weight. You have to be careful when they are taking the medicince because then they don't have an immune system, which protects us from germs.

    It is important that they know you can't "catch" cancer, and although you have to be careful around someone taking chemo or radiation it is because you can give them germs, not the other way around. The person who is sick still needs lots of love and encouragement and they shouldn't be afraid to call, make cards and tell them that they love them.

  • Boobah
    by Boobah
    May 13, 2013 at 7:11 AM
    (((hugs)))) I wish I had advice, im so sorry your little one has to worry about this. I would probably just say she is very sick and not mention cancer or where. Im not sure :(
  • energygirl
    May 13, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    it does seem that the older a person is...the harder the battle with cancer can be...... not sure if that would help or not.  I don't know what to tell you.....but I will gladly pray

  • Kat0038
    by Kat0038
    May 13, 2013 at 8:41 AM

     My dad died of cancer two years ago and my cousin is struggling with breast cancer now.  I still struggle about how to explain things to my six year old who still remembers her grandpa.  I simply explained grandpa became very sick and went to live with Jesus.  Doesnt make it hurt less or miss him less but she seems to understand that.  As a parent I feel as though I dont have all the answers and I dont think I am supposed too.  I answer her questions the best I can and just let her know I am here if she wants to talk about it. I have considered going to a family therapist, which might be something you might want to consider. I am so sorry about your situation.  It is not easy, has not been easy for my family.  

  • tuffymama
    May 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM
    Great big (((HUGS)))! I'm so sorry this is happening. If it is any consolation, liver cancer is way more survivable than it used to be, so there is realistic room for more hope. I have no idea how to break it to any individual child. I just went with my gut with ODS when my grandfather was sick and died. Truthfully, I think I had it pretty easy because ODS has always been the thoughtful, logical, mellow kind of kid. Explaining all of this to LO would be much different. He's a big feeler, and tends to absorb things at maximum impact, and repeatedly. I think the "she's very sick, let's pray" approach is a good one, let it soak in a bit, and then explain the mechanics of cancer in an understandable way. Back off if it becomes overwhelming (and pay attention for signs of triggering).

    As far as the patient goes, macrobiotic diet (like Kushi and others), Gerson Therapy, raw diet, vegan diet, and apple cider vinegar treatment have all shown promise in increasing survivability, even used in tandem with conventional western treatment. Sugar is super fertilizer for cancer, so you may wnat to research that. Personally, researching and acting to help are what alleviate some of my pain and give me some semblance of control to stem my full-body FREAK OUT when someone I love is ill or otherwise enduring a particularly lifey situation. GL!
  • mem82
    by mem82
    May 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM
    This.

    Quoting luvemboth:

    I'm so sorry :( prayers for your entire family.

    I'd briefly explain what cancer is- when abnormal cells in someone's body start dividing and take over, then briefly explain what her abdominal migraines are and how the 2 are not related at all. Maybe also read her a couple success stories of ppl who have fought cancer. Hugs to you all
  • mem82
    by mem82
    May 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM
    I'm praying for your family!
  • Pukalani79
    May 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Thank you

    Quoting luvemboth:

    I'm so sorry :( prayers for your entire family.

    I'd briefly explain what cancer is- when abnormal cells in someone's body start dividing and take over, then briefly explain what her abdominal migraines are and how the 2 are not related at all. Maybe also read her a couple success stories of ppl who have fought cancer. Hugs to you all

     

  • Pukalani79
    May 13, 2013 at 11:08 AM

     Thank you.   How is your son?

    Quoting 101stwife:

    My youngest son had cancer when he was born. He had to go through surgery and chemotherapy.

     

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