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How to tell a 2 year old that her beloved Grandma has cancer

(3 Posts)
festivalwidow Wed 26-Sep-12 15:20:30

.. that's about it, really. I'm an only child and had it confirmed last week that my lively, irrepressable mum has lung cancer. She has been incredibly close to DD and up to recently has been part of DD's childcare as well as seeing her on a regular basis - we live fairly nearby. We know that the cancer isn't curable but I have no idea how long we will have with her. It's beyond devastating: two months ago she was, to all intents and purposes, fit and well, and now we're having to face up to this awful illness.

Now DD is in nursery for the day that my mum would have looked after her as she will not be able to manage in future with a lively toddler - plus the chemotherapy will mean she won't have the time any more. On individual weeks I've explained that 'no, today won't be at Grandma's house but you'll have a day with your friends'. (I should explain that Mum also wants to be able to take her out of nursery for a day if she feels up to it, which is fine by me)

DD has always been really close to Mum, more so than with anyone else (including me) at times: they're so near in personality. So far DD knows that Grandma isn't well so can't run or pick her up like she used to, but I have no idea how to explain things to her beyond that until I know more myself.

I really want to be honest with DD and not 'hide things' from her, but it's just about all I can get my head round, never mind for a two year old. Am I doing the right thing to explain concrete things and avoid the abstract?

madwomanintheattic Wed 26-Sep-12 15:24:02

You do exactly what you are doing already. No more. A 2 yo has all the info they need with that.

So sorry for you all - hope the chemo does the job.

Portofino Wed 26-Sep-12 15:25:22

For a 2 yo I would just say Granny is poorly and gets tired more easily. Nothing else is necessary. She is far too young to understand the intricacies of this. Sorry about your mum sad

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