When you are faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, it is important to be honest with your family so they may lend their support as you go through treatment. Speaking to your own kids about cancer can be more difficult than consulting other members of your family, but they should be informed of the situation and how it will affect them. Below are some tips to help you have an appropriate conversation with your children about your diagnosis and plans for treatment.
- Speak with each child individually: If you have children who are not within the same age group, it may be better to speak with them individually so that the conversation can be framed with an age-appropriate tone. Younger children may require a more in-depth description of what cancer is while older children might be more interested in what can be done about it.
- Address common misconceptions: Children are likely to have some confusion about what a cancer diagnosis means, so they may behave strangely when the news of breast cancer is brought up. Make sure that you set aside enough time to answer all of your child's questions and debunk some myths like “cancer is contagious.”
- Clarify your child's role: You should reassure your children that they are loved and that they will remain a priority in your life during your cancer care. This will be a point that should be reiterated frequently as you discuss how the diagnosis may change your children's lives. Remember that children are likely to accept blame for bad things that happen to a parent, so reassure younger children that they are not at fault.
For ongoing support and excellent care for breast cancer, consult Dr. Marla W. Dudak, MD at her Boca Raton practice. Contact us for an appointment on our website or call us at (888) 418-6759. We offer weekly meetings for newly diagnosed patients and their families so that coping with your diagnosis is an easier process.