Help! how do you tell your family you have cancer?

Michelle - posted on 08/24/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Hi I have just been told that I have cancer. How do I tell my family, Aged 23, 20, 18,14, 9,6,5,4,3,2,1.

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Dorothy - posted on 08/28/2009

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I would ask for a family get together with your family members. let them know you have to discuss something with them. When they are together let them know. I just lost my mom to cancer. Believe me when i say that even people who are far away or are not in constant contact should be told. There is nothing like feeling you cannot help. On a personal note if you have cancer, I urge you to find a natural practitioner as well as your regular doctor. Reiki has been being used in hospitals for cancer therapy and ask the holistic natural practitioner about the acid/alkaline balance. Disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. I did not have the opportunity to help my mom. I wasn't told. If I could be of help Please don't hesitate to contact me@ hunnybunny68iou1@yahoo.com and put something in the subject that would let me know its you. if you wish i could send you long distance reiki. I wish you the best and you will be in my prayers.

Maria - posted on 08/24/2009

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Michelle, I will be praying for you and your family. The news you received is not easy, but I suggest that you get all the facts and make sure that when you see the doctor to get all your questions answered that you take someone that can be your support and is ready to hear anything you might miss in the converstaion or that will be ready to ask questions you might miss. Make sure to ask about all your possible options and write them down. Ask about your disease and what stage you are in. Make sure to ask about the side-effects and the prognosis to each option they give you. Get all the facts, pray about your situation and ask God to give you the answers to your questions relating to how to tell your family. Take time to think about what God reveals to you about what to say, then with your friend at your side, sit down and talk to them about your diagnosis, your options and what you are planning to do. Make sure to let them all know that you love them and that no matter what, you are ready to fight the good fight. I don't know if what I am telling you makes sense to you or if you find any comfort in this, but I do know that I want to be available for you if you need someone to pray with or someone to listen to your fears, hurts and difficulties. Please keep that in mind. God bless you, I will be praying for you.

Randee - posted on 01/07/2013

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Thank you for sharing everyone I just read all of the posts. I just found out I have breast cancer and as everyone who hears those words I am devastated, scared,shaking, heart pounding out of my chest..I am going 1 by 1 to tell me kids. The adult girls first 36, 42, 43. I just told me son 34 today he immediately offered to go with me to app tomorrow no hesitation and I know he works alot. Yes, you guys are so right...i was happy to tell him after I read how important sharing is. I didn't want to tell anyone. I wanted to run and hide somwhere. But I can't hide...I must fight. Thank you all for being here and God Bless Us All to keep our chins up and see us thru Thank you for listening to me. I feel invisible and in shock

Delicia - posted on 08/30/2009

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There is another support group / way to communicate with others via the web ... caringbridge.com ... I will include you in my prayers.

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Amber - posted on 01/07/2013

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OMG ! I am soooooo sorry to hear you have cancer!!
There is no good way to hear or tell that news. But tell them soon. You need the support and they need to know. There is no great speech needed. Let them be there for you. Many cancers respond well to treatment. Tell your husband first, then have him go with you to tell the other adults in your family. I would encourage you to find out all the information you can and be prepared to share it with the family when you tell them.

You will fight this Michelle! ♥33

Deanna - posted on 09/06/2011

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I had Cancer 5 yrs ago You just Get them all together and Tell them. And for the Kids I let mine Shave my Head They Loved it and when anyone ask way I was Bald Kids would say They did it and laugh. There r Books to read to younger Kids too. Good Luck Hun I doing Very well Clean almost 6yrs Now Tk GOD

Wendy - posted on 09/03/2011

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Just sit the older onesl down and tell them you will need all the support you can get and you may well be surprised how well the will give you just that after the inital shock. Good luck children can be more resilient than we give them credit for it is a mums nature to want to protect her family. My late husband had cancer and my children his step children were absolutely brilliant with him. x Hope this helps
Lorraine

Teri - posted on 08/29/2009

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Hi there! In 2006 at the age of 43 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. At that time my children were ages 14, 10, and 4. I just sat my two oldest ones at my sisters kitchen table with my husband and siblings and told everyone at the same time. I could barely speak the words. You know, as the mom we plan all the parties, buy most of the gifts, plan the holidays and all. So we plan all the fun! And when you have to tell your family that you have cancer you now are making them sad and bringing sadness to your family. That was very very hard for me. Me, the fun mom making everyone sad. (I am crying as I write this! it still bothers me.) Some things to think about are that it seems the little ones have the hardest time adapting. In retrospect I would not tell my youngest child if I have cancer again. Not until she is 10 years old or more. She did not understand cancer but she understood that I was going to die. At least thats what we were told. So she had a very hard time thinking that her mom was going to die and she obsessed over it. It took her a long long time to stop worrying. She still worries the most every time I go to the doctor. She will ask me "What did the doctor say? Are you going to die again? Is he sure you are alright? Did he look at your lungs a lot? Did he say you were alright?" She needs constant reassurance that I am okay. Just keep that in mind. It was the small one that was the most upset. I sort of thought the older ones fwould be because they understood more about it. But they were worried but not obsessed. At least not openly. And just to let you know, I had my left lung removed, (I was never a smoker) and all is well. I am still cancer free. Take care and good luck! Don't be afraid tht the worst is going to happen. We hear cancer and we think we are going to be dead in a few months! But I have met many, many cancer survivors. Just go to those doctor appointments, get through all the treatments and then see how the treatments are going. You don't know whats going to happen until after the treatments. And tell people! I told every christian person I knew and by the time it was over I had had people praying for me from the USA all the way to Pakistan and every state and country in between! And in 3 different religions! All I know was that God was there for me in ways I never imagined and he will be there for you too. God Bless. Teri

Marta - posted on 08/29/2009

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hi I have had cancer for tow years now I am stage 4 but I have always felt ok. When we found out how sick I was my husband and daughter were in the room with me and it was very difficult for all of us. But I felt it was important to let everyone know what was going on because if one of my loved ones was ill I would want to know my 18 year old daughter got on the phone and called my mom, some friends, and my old employer and ask them to pass the word to other people who knew me. the support was incredible people came out of the workwook it help with rides, meals, financial, anything we needed. our family laughs and play with the cancer they call me baldy when i lost me hair, i let my son shave my head, and we joke about getting special treatment when using "the cancer card" people are funny when they find out they have to touch you even the tellers at the bank who you have talked to for years just reach out and grab your hand. my children are now 20, 18, 17 and we are all sad that i may not be here forever but now we cherish every day we have...I feel talking about it helps alot and I like to laugh so I do that alot also..let people help you it makes them feel good also.

Trish - posted on 08/29/2009

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Michelle, I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. I went through this battle, well still am going through this battle. I got all my facts , spoke with al the doctors, oncologists, etc. and figureded out the correct path for me, before I even told my family. I wanted to do what was right for me, what I felt was right in my heart and soul. Then I told my children who were 18-20-22 at the time. It all occured around the holidays of 2008, so it made the holidsys either worse or btter for us. I am a very posititve person, so you need to make sure that no matter what you do you always keep your self in the right frame of mind. I pray daily adn thank God everyday for the good and bad, without either we would not grow to be the person we are today. Your family loves you an they be there for youa nd help you through it all. I am living proof. Depending on what your cancer is and the path you take, you need to explain to them that there may be good days and bad days but it has nothing to do with them, you are thier mom/sister/wife and you love them, but there will be times that you need them as well. You are the care taker and now it is time that you allow someont to care for you. That was the hardest part for me. I have been a single parent for so long and having my three children have to help me was what I thought would be devastating, but it wasn't it brought us even closer together and make me see what gracious and wonderful kids I have. Postivie attiude and your lovng family along with prayer will get you though this, take my word for it. My daily blessings to you.

Dorothy - posted on 08/28/2009

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I would also like to add. keep good thoughts and have as much fun as you can. sadness depleats the immune system. so when you can try to think positive thoughts!! may Angels guide you and help you! Archangel Raphael is the angel of healing. call on him.

Michelle - posted on 08/28/2009

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Thank you all, I really didnt expect so much support. I really appreciate all your reponses and dont feel so isolated. Today has been hard for me, its daffodil day here (in New Zealand), collecting money for the cancer society, everywhere i looked there were people wearing bright yellow vests with that c word written on it, dont get me wrong its a great cause and I have always supported it but its just the fact that its touching such a raw nerve this year. God Bless you all and thanks again

Raquel Granillo- - posted on 08/27/2009

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It's not an easy thing to tell your children..however not telling them is worse...my mother loster her battle to breast cancer n i was blessed to have lived with her the last three years of her life..They will embrace u....God Bless U. mother to mother Raquel

Rhonda - posted on 08/27/2009

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I will pray for you and your family. My son, 21 was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is now doing chemo. It is and will be hard. I think you just come right out and say it to the older ones. I don't know about the younger ones, 12 and under. Me and the family decided not to tell the younger family members right now because they may not understand and we believe that my son will be cured. We thought we wouldn't worry the younger ones. It's going to be hard for the older ones. But get all the help you can. See a family therapist, or an individual one for each person. There are support groups dor you and your family. I pray everything goes great.

Karen - posted on 08/27/2009

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Hi Michelle, it's not easy, and it's stressful, but prayer is so important. I first had to tell my children I had breast cancer when they were 15 & 12, and now again at 51 I had to tell them again....they are now 26 and 23. It is something you just have to be in control of. Make your family feel that you are, do research get answers to all you questions. Find the right path for you. Always accept help, and be very open about everything. I have had every test known to man, thank God it has not spread, but I am finishing up raditation treatments now, 7 weeks altogether. Michelle, you and your family will be in my Prayers. Take care.

Maria - posted on 08/27/2009

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Vent, all you want and need too. that is why we are here.

God bless you and your family

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My daughter was diagnosed a few years ago and what we did was tell a few family members at a time. I asked a few people to pass the information on to outside people because telling the information over and over was painful and exhausting. A social worker is helpful and is trained to help families adjust with the lifestyle changes. The hospital or clinic that you will go to for medical treatment with give you a social worker that will help you with financial, emotional and physical support for you and your family. Take it a day at a time, or sometimes, a moment at a time, and breathe. :) Allow yourself time to work through the feelings you will be going through. Find something that relaxes you. (for me it was comedies, tea, and positive people) There are many support groups out there that are cancer specific. Lean on your family and let them help. Most people want to help and don't know how. I will keep you in my prayers. BK

Linda - posted on 08/26/2009

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No one in their right mind, would not get upset with hearing they had cancer.. no matter what form. But I honestly believe, that how you tell your family and friends will reflect how you get cured. You have to be proactive in your health treatment, decided what you want to do about it. Then tell your loved ones, "this is what I have and this is how WE are going to deal with it. Although you are the "sick" one, it will be your lead your family follows.

Michelle - posted on 08/26/2009

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Hi all thanks heaps, just got back from the dr, I have stage 3 colon and bowel cancer, I havnt told the kids yet will do it soon just have to get my head around it all. Im still believing for a miracle and thank you all for your support and prayers. I will keep updating

Deborah S. (Debbie) - posted on 08/26/2009

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I would want them all to come to Dinner or Supper so you can tell them face to face on what you have. It will be okay to do it this way because you not having to tell them all a different times of the days. Get it all over with at one time at Dinner or Supper which ever one you prefer to do.

You go to them and tell them that you have Cancer and tell them where the Cancer is at because they would want to know.



Good Luck,



Deborah (Debbie) Cook Petty

Keri - posted on 08/26/2009

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Dear Michelle,

My little brother 48 last year was told he had colon cancer stage 4. He had a third of his colon removed. ( he tells everyone he has a semi colon now) He then had chemo. He has gotten a clean bill of health now but when he told me I started sending him a card at least every week to let him know that he wasn't in his battle alone. Family will want to know the truth so they can get the priviledge of helping you fight the battle. Prayer is so very important and God understands your anger, He loves you and knows your needs better than you do.

Andrea - posted on 08/26/2009

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I am sorry that u are going through this at this time of your life. I would encourage you to find out all the information you can and be prepared to share it with the family when you tell them. God will give you the strength to overcome this. Be Encourage and hold on

Pamela - posted on 08/26/2009

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you start with mom and dad and husband. and just tell themm you are going to need a suport team right now as you go through this health matter and I'm sure that they will be there for you.

Marianne - posted on 08/26/2009

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I agree with Maria. She made some excellent suggestions!! I too will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers! This is a time when you need your family more than you could ever know! Keep a positive out look! You are not alone!!

Birdina - posted on 08/26/2009

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Hi Michelle,
My name is Birdina,I am 44yrs.old a 6yr survivor of ovarian cancer. About a year ago I was
diagnosed with reacurring ovarian cancer. I have 3 three kids and the first time they were much younger.Get information first,make sure you have a someone for support.Telling the kids is hard but you will know how and when to tell them.

Thelma - posted on 08/25/2009

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GIRL, VENT AS MUCH AS YOU NEED. THIS IS NOT EASY STUFF YOU ARE DEALING WITH.YOU ARE NOT BLOCKING YOUR BLESSINGS, KEEP IT REAL WITH GOD LET HIM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL/HE KNOWS YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ANYWAY, HE JUST NEEDS YOU TO TELL HIM SO YOU ARE THEN REAL WITH YOURSELF ALSO.HOLDIN IT IN DOES NOT HELP. HERE FOR YOU, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A LISTENING EAR...THELMA

Yvette - posted on 08/25/2009

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I am sorry that you have cancer. When I was told I had cancer, I was alone in my house and I asked my doctor to tell me over the phone. That was on Dec. 24,2007 and I had surgery 2 weeks later on Jan. 9,2008. I am not sure what kind of cancer you have but everyone is different. We have so much technology for fighting cancer today. I have five kids and in 2007 their ages ranged from 28 to 18. Have Hope, Talk with your spose see what he thinks, then both of you speak with the adult children 23,20 & 18. You need to let the older kids know first,you might want to include the 14 year old (since they might need to help) before the younger child because the younger children look up to the older siblings. Especially if you have a open relationship with them. A lot of emotions are going in different directions, take it 1 step at a time. But don't keep them out of the loop. Of course look through all your options and make a choice because this is your life. God Bless You during this time.
Yvette NYC

Tammye - posted on 08/25/2009

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I faced exactly the same thing not long ago. But I went on ahead and told my family, the ones who needed to know at first. To start building the support group that i needed and relied so much on. I also became very active in LIVEstrong. They have a wealth of info and support to help you through this rough time. LIVEstrong is even on facebook it was started by a Man here in Texas to help simplify things for cancer victims, survivors and their families. But personally as far as telling your family goes, I chose to tell my hubby and a couple of close friends at first to help me deal with what I was facing. I did not fill anyone else in on things until my first appointment with my oncologist and had a lot of questions answered. I am now a 7 month cancer survivor with an 85 to 95% chance of never seeing it again. You can beat it!!!!

Karen - posted on 08/25/2009

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Hi Michelle, I have been living with cancer for nearly 3 yrs. now.. Get over the unbelievable feeling as much as you can, that helps and prepare what you're going to say, write it down, rehearse it... I found out I had cancer 3 days before my grandson was to be born. I sat on my news for a week before telling anyone other than my sister who was with me when the diagnosis.. It was difficult but by that time I had the right words... Good luck... Laugh much! Love, love, love!!!!

Jill - posted on 08/25/2009

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Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”


Never stop believing because you are never truely alone! My prayers will be with you!

Cyndi-Ann - posted on 08/25/2009

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There is no good way to hear or tell that news. But tell them soon. You need the support and they need to know. There is no great speech needed. Let them be there for you. Many cancers respond well to treatment. Tell your husband first, then have him go with you to tell the other adults in your family. Leave each parent to explain it to their children as it is their decision what to let their children know, and how much information they want to give their child. Good luck you will be in our prayers

Danielle - posted on 08/25/2009

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Michelle, I just lost both of my parents (Mom in Aug. 2008, Dad in April, 2009) to cancer. There is no easy way to tell your family what you have just learned. My advice is sit down with your husband alone and tell him first. Explain to him that you don't quite know how to handle the news, much less tell the family. Tell him you need is help and his support. Together, you will be able to find the right words and the courage to get through it all. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You!



Danielle

Melandie - posted on 08/25/2009

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Michelle I will be praying for you. I think I know how you feel (my brother went through the same). Please look at GOD for guidance and stay positive ...I know it is not easy !!!!. Put your trust in God He will see you through this. If you need to chat please feel free to contact me ...

Chris - posted on 08/25/2009

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I am a 53 year old Mom and Grandma. I have 2 birth children 32 & 33. We have now finished our lst adoption of a sibiling group of 3 and in Oct. we adopted a sibiling group of 2. Now I am a Mom of a 32, 33, 11, 10, 8, 7, & 5 year old. My little one just started kindergarten and it sure is hard letting go of that last one. I have 7 grandchildren. This is who I am. I put my faith totally in God and he has sure blessed our family because of my faith.

Chris - posted on 08/25/2009

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I will pray for you too! God is in control so hand over all the anger and confusion to him, he works wonderful miracles so keep believing that :)

Dori - posted on 08/25/2009

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Michelle, I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am to hear you are going through such a difficult time! My cousin learned she had breast cancer some years ago; gratefully she has been cancer free for more than 7 yrs now. Her bravery was inspiring! She owned a daycare at the time and sat her children down and told them she was sick and allowed them to ask her anything they wanted during her illness and she answered each question was an honest response, but in a way that would limit their fear by showing her optimism for a full recovery. The one thing she didn't have was enough people to help her during the treatment period. So DON'T be afraid to let others help and do let them come be with you during your treatment sessions! Sometimes they NEED to help in order to get through this as well. No one family member will react the same; everyone deals with (or doesn't) in their own way (including you). If its possible to have a counselor available to them to speak to that specializes in this area I would take advantage of that. Perhaps you should do the same! God bless & be with you and your family. I pray He provides you all with strength, courage, and an abundance of healing!

Michelle - posted on 08/24/2009

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thank you heaps. I am praying but Feel my fear is blocking the answers as much as I try to fight the fear and anger it consumes me. I have only been married for 3 months and now we are having our life turned upside down at a time we should be the happiest. Im sorry to vent like this but I cant do it at home.

Thelma - posted on 08/24/2009

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MICHELLE,my prayers are with you. A support person with whom you feel safe to open up with your fears and just to talk and pray with is a must. A support group is also helpful maybe there is a group near you for people who's life has been touched by cancer.Pray for guidance and keep your spirit up. When you feel sad find a funny movie to watch. Laughter is good medicine. Believe that. Trust God He will see you through this most trying time. I am here for you...Thelma

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