Being a Mother with Breast Cancer
We had to break the news to her that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was the hardest thing I've had to do in my whole life.

To a child with a mother diagnosed with breast cancer, it boils down to one question: Is my mother going to be okay?

Everyone I spoke to that did not have breast cancer said, Oh you can't use the word cancer. You can't tell your children that you have cancer. Tell them you're going to have surgery and you'll be okay. But every woman I spoke to that had breast cancer said, Tell them the truth, don't sugarcoat it. -- Lane P.

Children need reassurance, information on an age appropriate level, lots of love, consistency, and a sense of calm and normalcy. The conjuring of young imaginations can be far worse than the reality of the disease or treatment. Every child deserves a truthful, even if abridged, explanation of the diagnosis and anticipated treatment. A mother’s hair loss can be devastating to a child. Witnessing a mother’s physical incapacity, pain and sickness undermines the child’s perception that mothers are powerful and in control. Children can begin to question, “Will my family’s life ever be the same?” They need a safe forum to ask questions, voice their fears, and be reassured and calmed. They are, after all, the incentive to get up everyday and fight the fight.

Being a Mother With Breast Cancer
"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."
"It was really hard for my children to see because you think of your parents as invincible people."
"The hardest thing was telling the children. I knew I had to be strong for them to be strong."
I didn't want her to be scared that this was something I wasn't going to get over. She would tell people, 'Mommy has breast cancer.'
"They have friends whose mothers have died from breast cancer so I thought that is going to instill a lot of fear in them, but they handled it very well."
"I didn't know before telling them if cancer meant anything to them, if they had heard of it, or knew it could be something that people can die from."
"Everyday he would ask me 'How are you feeling today mom?' He was so worried about me."