Survivorship: Family/Co-Survivors Cont.

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A breast cancer diagnosis can be confusing, overwhelming and scary. Make sure that you build and search for a support community to support you in your journey. The support of others who care about you and your well-being can give you the strength to cope and retain a sense of control during this challenging time.

Talking to Your Children About Your Diagnosis

Each child and each family is unique, and helping children cope with a loved one’s diagnosis can present many challenges.

However you decide to tell your children, be as open and honest as possible no matter how hard it may seem. You decide how much you want to say. Remember that children, just like adults, will fill in wherever you leave gaps. And because children may not know as much as adults, it is more likely that what they fill the gaps with will be wrong.

Encourage your children to talk to you and to ask questions. Giving honest, realistic answers to their questions will help lessen their fears. If you are going to be gone for a few days, if you are getting sick from the treatment or if you are losing your hair or a breast, let your children know why this is happening. Explain anything that changes their daily routine.

It is a good idea to let your children’s teachers know what you are going through — especially for younger children. The teachers may be able to help the children cope if they spend most of the day at school.

Finally, just as your children depend on you, you can depend on them too. They can be, and probably want to be, a source of support for you. They will want to listen to you, hug you, kiss you and spend time with you. Let them.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FriendsampFamily.html