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Help is needed on how to share with grandkids


mkjess

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I am new to this discussion board. My mother was diagnosed with small cell lung ca in June, 2004. She has been through numerous courses of chemo, as well as gamma knife to the brain, and radiation to the lung. The cancer is still spreading and is now in her lymph system. She has chosen (which I completely support) to not continue any further treatment because it will only prolong the inevitable. My mother lives with me and my 2 children. Up until this point, I have not told them, and I need to know what to say. Theyare 7 and 4. The doctor has said it is month to month. I am going to move her bedroom downstairs next week because she is getting weaker. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Wow Jessie, That's a tough one. First let me tell you how sorry I am that you have to go through any of this. I hope you don't ignore your own pain while you are preparing your children. I don't have any experience in this, just shooting from the hip here. I would try to be as honest as possible, without being too specific. Right now they're not going to undestand a lot, but eventially they will. Being truthful will help in the long run. Not knowing what your background is, it's hard to say. Perhaps they know about God and heaven. I would prepare them that she will be getting sicker. And try to help them make the time left special to both your mom and them. I will be praying for courage and strength for you during this time. Hugs, Liz

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This is really a hard question. I've been honest with my 4 year old since I was diagnosed. Basically I've just told him that I have something bad inside me called cancer, and it might make me die sooner than other mommies, but I'm trying hard not to. I guess if I was discontinuing treatment, I would tell him that the cancer was too strong and God may need me to go to heaven soon. This has led to a lot of sad conversations where we talk about God and Jesus and Heaven. And also I've had to reassure him that if Mom does die, Dad and Grandma and Grandpa, etc. will take care of him and he shouldn't worry. I guess my point is to be as honest and gentle as possible, but don't dwell on it. I answer questions as my son has them, and we pray together for me to get well each night, but it doesn't dominate the things we talk about.

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I can offer nothing personally except prayers. Have no personal experience with this topic.

I can offer a link to American Cancer Society and Teleling Children about Cancer. Something in there may give you some ideas, and it is not a garbage Site of any sort. Is the ACS. Click on link to be redirected to site if interested;

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/conte ... gnosis.asp

Sending Prayers for everyone tonite and always.

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Hi, and I'm sorry you're having to have this on your mind. My daughter is 7 (almost 8 now) and her cousins are 6, 5, and 1. It's been an ongoing decision-making process on how each of us children (there are three of us) handles this with our children. My brother and I chose to not keep the major things from our kids. My daughter knows that her grandmother has lung cancer (and has known from the beginning) and that eventually she will pass because of it or some complication related to it. We leave it as "eventually" because no one knows exactly how long anyone else has. We visit my mom often (twice weekly now-a-days as she's not doing well) and encourage my daughter to ask what questions she might have and say what's on her mind without fear of being told that it's inappropriate. My brother does likewise with his older son.

My sister has chosen to hide more information from her 5 year old daughter who knows only that her grandma is "sick".

YOU know your children best. You know their maturity level, what they already understand about life/death, and how they handle the "bumps in the road" that already effect them, whether it be scraped knees or their grandmother not feeling well.

Hospice and the cancer centers offer GREAT books about death/dying written specifically for various age levels of children and hospice has social workers who are able to help you find the "best way" to help your children with this difficult and heartwrenching subject.

Much love and many, many prayers for you and your family. Again, I'm so sorry for you having to go through this...I know how hard it is to worry about a young child and your mother all at the same time.

xoxo~~

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I believe in telling kids the truth at their level of understanding. They can handle more than we give them credit for. And, besides, they know something bad is going on. Better to hear it from you or your mom than someon else. The kids are more secure in communication and truth, than in secret things going on. I would talk with them right away.

"We are moving grandma downstairs because she is very sick and will be more comfortable down there. We hope and pray she will get better soon, but we don't know. I will tell you how she is doing. If you have any questions, let me know." For example. Don

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