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Pa's got cancer

(5 Posts)
Marylouburns Mon 26-Oct-09 12:54:30

My dad has had cancer for a while now. My DD is 3 and has only ever really known my dad as ill.

Lately it has become apparent how ill he is. He is confined to bed and looks terrible.

I think my DD is frightened of him which is devistating as she has always adores her Pa.

She is also playing up more than usual. I don't want to be softer than usual and let her fall into bad habits.

We have been saying that Pa is poorly but she has taken it to mean that he has cold.

Has anyone been through simular and have any advice?

MonsterousNasalPustule Mon 26-Oct-09 15:46:59

Have you seen this

maybebaby23 Mon 26-Oct-09 21:31:14

I have been there, my dad became ill with pancreatic cancer when DD was 6 months old. He was "ok" for 18 months so DD didn't really know that he was ill. She was 2 when he started to look ill, and DD was very wary around him. It was heartbreaking as she was reluctant to cuddle him and he wasn't the papa he had always been (to her) Poor thing didn't understand but knew something wasn't right. She started playing up too. Dad died when DD was 2.5 and telling her was the hardest thing I talked about heaven with her, and said how papa's body was broken and he has to live in heaven now etc. She asked a lot of questions (and she was only 2.5!!) and we answered what we could. No idea if this is right or wrong but it worked for us.

DD is now 3.5 and still talks about her papa, still asks if he will come back (i think she knows he won't but tests me to see if i will say something different!) We have photos all round the house of him and she remembers certain things like when we took him to watch my brother play football 10 days before he died, or when she saw him in hospital for the last time. It is so hard to see your dad so poorly and your baby afraid of him. I don't really have any advice tbh, i didn't know what to do either i suppose i just went with it in the last few weeks, took DD to see my dad but didn't force her to be in the room or anything. Answered her questions as honestly as i could and just kept on telling her how much her papa loves her. Still do now. This helped her i think.

My DD was 2.5 when my dad died so a bit younger than yours. It has been a year now and I make sure i am always up for a chat about papa and a cuddle, will gladly get the photo albums out and have a laugh at the photos of her and my dad together. I think this has really helped her accept the fact that he has gone and won't come back. She misses him and doesn't seem to remember being afraid of him...

Oh, when DD assumed my dad had a cold or something i made sure she knew it was different, his body wasn't working properley just incase she started worrying when she caught a cold!

Hope this helps a little, you are not alone. It is awful, i hope you are ok.

Marylouburns Fri 30-Oct-09 23:37:22

Thanks guys. Not replied as Dad has been in hospital for a few days. Thought we were going to loose for a bit then, but he's pulled through this time so we've got a bit more time.

Both replies V helpful. I'm trying to be as honest as I think she needs me to be and have started to use the word cancer but try to make sure its not scary for her.

Its hard but as she is 3 I know she probably won't be scarred for life.

Thanks for the kind words.

maybebaby23 Sat 31-Oct-09 23:01:21

Im glad your dad pulled through, cherish your time together. I miss my dad so much.

It is best to be honest imo. My DD doesn't seem scarred by it in any way.

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