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explaining things to children.

12 years 8 months ago #7772 by cathy
Thankyou all so much for your answers, you have all been very helpful, I will try & keep things simple & answer there questions to the best of my ability.

Wendy, my husband's father died when he was 8 & he doesnt say much but is still angry at the way it was handled, I am sorry that they told you everything was ok, when it wasnt, I think this is why I prefure to be truthful,

Thanks once again,

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12 years 8 months ago #7770 by Mike
I have a granddaughter and grandson both 5 and they came and saw me up at the Univ of Penna. We just told them Poppy had surgery and he will have machines around him my nose hose was out by then. Just be honest, we told them I had surgery also and was not well and said nothing of the cancer I told the family there was no reason to get into all that because they never asked anyway. They both set on the bed and you could see they were nervous but were being ok then bam my grandson is a pistol he was asking all kinds of questions then started getting into this and that all boy. My granddaughter had a backpack was sitting there very quiet unusual for her then she took it off and took out a picture she had colored for me and said here Poppy I had to hold back the tears boys and girls what a difference I raised 3 sons so I really enjoy her. I think at that age they knew I was pretty sick and had a good idea of what to expect but there really was no reason to tell them I was there for cancer if they asked either of them I would of told them. Joe :)

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12 years 8 months ago #7765 by RAH
My two youngest are seven. Because their Aunt had died from cancer two months before my surgery, we hardly talked about the cancer to them (my idea is that I going to beat it anyway).

We talked pretty open about what I would look like out surgery. They knew about the tube down my nose to my stomach. They knew that there would be other tubes sticking out of me to drain fluids. They knew about the scar and staples. Because I was planning on having a neo bladder, we didn't tell them ahead of time about the urostomy bag that I ended up with.

When they visited me on day two from surgery. They wanted to see all of the things we talked about. They told me the tube from my nose was not huge like I told them. They wanted to see the scar. They thought with the staples it looked like a zipper (wich they still call my scar today). When I took my walks they had to switch off helping me push my IV stands.

We were open and honest before hand, so they excepted me to look how I actually looked.

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12 years 8 months ago #7762 by wsilberstein
Always tell children the truth, but tell it in a way they can understand and that answers their concerns.
Tell them grandpa is sick and he's going to have an operation to help him be OK. Give only as much medical detail as the boys ask for. Prepare them for anything they will see. They only need to know about bags, bladders, and tubes if they will be exposed to it. Too much information is confusing.
Tell them they can't get sick from Grandpa.
Tell them what they need to know about grandpa's recovery and how it will affect them - visiting, playing with him, doing things together, realistic answers about what he will be able to do and when.
Reassure them that you're not sick. You can't promise that you'll never be sick or even have the same thing that grandpa has, but as much as possible, the kids need to know what will be ok (for most kids that means what won't change) in their world.

TaG3 + CIS 12/2000. TURB + Mitomycin C (No BCG)
Urethral stricture, urethroplasty 10/2009
CIS 11/2010 treated with BCG. CIS 5/2012 treated with BCG/interferon
T1G3 1/2013. Radical Cystectomy 3/5/2013, No invasive cancer. CIS in right ureter.
Incontinent. AUS implant 2/2014. AUS explant...

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12 years 9 months ago #7748 by wendy
Hi Cathy,

I was 7 when my father became ill and died of cancer a year later. My family (probably my father's choice) chose to let me believe all was fine and he would be home any day. I'm a firm believer in being honest to children-after that experience which affected my life in a big way. I didn't know what cancer was-- back in '64 they did not speak the word out loud.

Here's a link for some good ideas on how to bring this over:

Cystectomy does not equal death! It's a treatment to make your father better. It's up to you whether you speak of cancer (these days kids have probably heard of it), or describe the surgery as necessary without using the word, with all its negative connotations.

Good luck and please let us know how things go.

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12 years 9 months ago #7747 by cathy
Hi, As some of you would have read (storyboard) my father will soon have his cystectomy. I have 2 young boys one has just turned 7 & the other is 4 today, I have always belived in being truthful with my kids, eg: if they are having a needle, Id say yah it is going to hurt but not for long etc. So I am not sure how to explain all this to them, the older one manly, although the younger one doesnt stop asking WHY to everything, They are very close to my mother & father, see them almost every day & they come out for tea usually once a week. The hospital were my dad is going is about 2 & a 1/2 to 3 hours from home. Does anyone have any ideas on what to say, how much to say etc? Thanks in advance.

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