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How do I tell my kids that Grandma has cancer?

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM
  • 9 Replies

I just found out that my mother-in-law has uterine cancer.  They can do a hysterectomy and hopefully get it all, but the problem is that they are not sure she will make it through the surgery because of her heart.  How do I tell my 10 year old and 6 year old about this?  I don't want them to be surprised as well as heartbroken if she doesn't make it.  I love her and I am hoping she makes it through this, but I have to be strong for my kids.  I really need advice.

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by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM
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Replies (1-9):
amyleigh80
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Have they had any experience with death before?

Arwyn724
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM

That is old enough to understand the truth, so you just need to sit them down and calmly explain the cancer.  You do not have to over-dramatize the surgery aspect, but let them know the possibilities.  

My grandmother was operated on for uterine cancer back in 1954, and she made it through spectacularly.  I hope the best for you, medicine has improved so much since then.

Nicollynne
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

No they haven't.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Have they had any experience with death before?


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jillbailey26
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:56 PM
1 mom liked this

Are they aware of death?  

I would say that Grandma is sick and she has to have surgery to try to get better.  Then explain that the surgery may not help and that they need to spend as much good time with Grandma, just in case.  

The 10 year old may have questions and I would answer them one on one, so you can give him/her answers that are more for their age.  The simple explanation would be more so the 6 year old can understand.


"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification"  Romans 14:19

amyleigh80
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Is your family religious?

Quoting Nicollynne:

No they haven't.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Have they had any experience with death before?



AF2011
by Gold Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I would say Grandma is sick but the nice doctors are going to try and make her all better (:

Nicollynne
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:22 PM

We are heavily Sioux Indian, so we believe in the Earth Mother.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Is your family religious?

Quoting Nicollynne:

No they haven't.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Have they had any experience with death before?




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mikesmom65270
by Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I concur.  Tell them the truth as appropriate for age but don't elaborate unless they ask specific questions, especially the older child.

Quoting jillbailey26:

Are they aware of death?  

I would say that Grandma is sick and she has to have surgery to try to get better.  Then explain that the surgery may not help and that they need to spend as much good time with Grandma, just in case.  

The 10 year old may have questions and I would answer them one on one, so you can give him/her answers that are more for their age.  The simple explanation would be more so the 6 year old can understand.


amyleigh80
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM

How beautiful.  I would sit them down and tell them that grandma is sick and that she may have to have surgery to try and make her feel better.  Tell them that her heart is very tired though and that she may go to sleep and not wake up but that it's ok because she will be free from her tired body and not sick anymore.

I am not sure where you believe that the spirit goes when you die but I would tell them that even though you won't be able to "see" grandma anymore that the love they share will never go away and she will always be a part of them,  You could explain that just like you can "feel" the wind you can't "see" it but that doesn't mean that it is not there.

Quoting Nicollynne:

We are heavily Sioux Indian, so we believe in the Earth Mother.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Is your family religious?

Quoting Nicollynne:

No they haven't.

Quoting amyleigh80:

Have they had any experience with death before?





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