Receiving a positive breast cancer diagnosis can be immensely challenging. From weighing options like chemotherapy treatments or trying to decide if breast reconstruction surgery is right for you, these decisions can be overwhelming. This is as true for the loved ones of a diagnosed patient as it is for the patient herself. A mother is often the center of her family’s universe, so such a drastic, life-altering change can send shockwaves through an entire family. As a mother, it’s only natural to want to ease your children’s fears and anxieties in regards to your condition.
After your diagnosis, you may feel that your relationship with your kids has changed. Kids can respond to this kind of news in a variety of ways depending on their age and personality. This could mean young children become clingy or teenagers becoming more distant, or vice versa. There is also the added fear for a daughter’s risk of developing breast cancer, if there was not a previous family history of breast cancer. All of this makes it especially important to keep your kids in the loop in regards to your breast cancer and treatment. Communication can go a long way towards alleviating your kid’s concerns and making them feel helpful and involved.
To help you better understand how to better cope with breast cancer as a mother, we have invited some of our Pink Ribbon Story Foundation breast cancer ambassadors to share their first-hand experience of how their personal breast cancer battle affected their family life:
“I hope that this has been a beneficial experience for my daughter. I can remind her to make sure you go for your check-up.”
“There are good things about having cancer. That’s odd to say, but developing that deeper empathy. I think, I hope, this has been a beneficial experience for my daughter. Because like most young people she thinks she’s immortal and I can remind her to please make sure you go for your check-up.”
“Get information because children will have a lot of questions and they want answers and they want to know that they can get the honest answers from you.”
“I got some very good advice from a friend of mine who is a pediatrician before I spoke to my children, which I was glad I did. And she said, get information because children, particularly older children, will have a lot of questions and they want answers. And they want to know that they can get the honest answers from you.”
Try to stay positive during your treatment. Keep in mind that there will be a time when you are able to become more involved in normal day-to-day stuff again. Make a point to regularly talk with your kids about your breast cancer experience, even after your treatment has concluded. Kids are often more comfortable when they know what’s going on and what to expect. For more information on how to cope with your breast cancer diagnosis, please contact the Pink Ribbon Story Foundation today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for more breast cancer videos, news and updates.