When do you tell them?

(7 Posts)
numberonedad Tue 12-Jan-16 11:10:32

My mother has been diagnosed with cancer - we don't know the full extent or the prognosis - though there is a chance it has spread to her liver - we are awaiting further tests.

My daughter is in her last year at school working to get the grades for university. Mum doesn't want us tell her yet, she doesn't want our daughter to be distracted.

When and how do you break such news to sons and daughters? Does what's going on at school influence that choice?

vladthedisorganised Thu 14-Jan-16 16:50:08

Hi numberonedad, and I'm sorry to hear your news.

My DD was a lot younger when my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer, and I told her as soon as I found out myself: mainly so that she would understand why her grandma couldn't play with her in the same way or why her mum was often upset. I didn't really think about how what was going on at pre-school might affect things.

I would be tempted to tell your DD when you can see her face to face and let her talk it through: my uncle became seriously ill when I was doing my A-levels and it helped me more to know about it rather than wonder what was going on.

You know your daughter, however - how do you think she will deal with the news?

gillybeandramaqueen Thu 14-Jan-16 16:57:43

Hi numberonedad - I too am really sorry to hear your news. I see not many have replied to your post so I wanted to contribute.

I don't have any experience of this. BUT I was 30 when I lost my own Dad... I was childless at the time. Although 30, both my parents told me right away about his diagnosis completely out of the blue and were truthful about the prognoses - which was dire.

HOWEVER for your situation with your daughter and the stage she is at... I would say perhaps tell her the basic minimum and keep it factual without speculation about could or might or might not happen... I think if something happened to your mum and your daughter hadn't been aware that your mum was sick... it might be more of a shock than if she had known before hand.

If there is any way you could keep it from her in the short term for the sake of her grades then that's one thing... but it might not be so easy to do that if you are talking about months before your daughter finished her studies before Uni.

As I suggested, perhaps don't discuss in detail about the ins and out of what might or might not be... but rather about how your mum has been diagnosed and is having further tests and keep it at that.

I now have only my Mum but now have a 2 year old boy and 3 month old boy.... my eldest has an amazingly close bond with his Granny and I dread the idea of something happening to her and how it would affect him - let alone me...

I wish you and your family the very best xx

WelliesTheyAreWonderful Thu 14-Jan-16 22:44:59

Hi, I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this. My Mum was diagnosed with cancer just before my final exams at University and I'm so glad she told me what was going on. She didn't have any choice really as there was such a visible deterioration in her, she couldn't really pretend everything was ok. But even if she could I would've wanted to know. I agree with gilly that it's quite a while until her exams and that it would be better for her to know in advance rather than suddenly should anything happen. I wish you the very best whatever you decide and hope your Mum is ok.

cornishglos Fri 15-Jan-16 14:43:29

Same as wellies. I was abut to take my A Level exams when my mum was diagnosed. She told me straight away. I would have been hurt and angry if she'd kept it from me. My exams went fine in the end.

Lilydreams Fri 15-Jan-16 22:47:31

I would tell them asap and be honest.

After having skin cancer and a lymphoma my mum died from a cancerous brain tumour when I was 14. It was diagnosed in the April and I was told but that she would be having chemo etc. I continued to go out with friends every weekend and not spend much time with my 'uncool' mum as I thought at the time. In the summer I went on holiday with a friend and her family for 2 weeks and when I got back my parents sat me down and told me that it was terminal. She died not long after I went back to school in the September and I was devastated that I had wasted so much time with my friends/ on holiday and not spent it with her.

I don't think I've ever quite forgiven my dad for not telling me straight away- they'd wanted me to have a 'normal' summer without the pain of knowing but I still regret now 14 years later not spending every second of those last few months with her.

Mermaid36 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:54:57

My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour when I was 15. My mum was completely honest with my (younger) sister and I about treatment/operations etc, and sge was up front and told us when the prognosis was terminal.

My dad died a year after first being diagnosed, about 4 weeks before my GCSE exams started.

By that point, I'd been able to come to terms with both the illness of the past year and my dad's death. I did perfectly fine in my exams, and was pleased that there was some semblance of normality to hold on to (school, routine, exams etc)

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