Monday 27 January, 2020

How to tell your child about cancer?

Corrina, based in the US, a mother going through leukemia.

How to tell your child about cancer let alone how do I tell my special needs daughter that I have leukemia? Well, to be honest, there’s no easy or right way to do it.


How to tell your child about cancer

The past few days had been such a struggle for me, I’d been experiencing ever bad side effects you can imagine and a fever that didn’t want to go away. I felt at my weakest and I broke down. I also had a big burden on my shoulders because I still hadn’t sat down with my daughter. And told her about all those drastic changes that would be happening mentally, physically and emotionally.

In the beginning of this journey, I refrained from telling my daughter of what was really going on. All she knew was that mommy was sick and had to be in the hospital. Get better. How does a mom break this down to a child? Let alone a child with special needs and developmental delays. My daughter was 11 years old at the time, but mentally she comprehends at the same level as a 7-8 year old child. She is visually impaired (blind) and is also diagnosed with autism.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way on how to tell your child about cancer

I had to figure out a way to break it down in a way that would make sense to her. Because to be honest there is no “right” or “wrong” way on how to tell your child about cancer. On this day May 24th, was that day… she would visit me in the hospital everyday. But this just felt like the perfect time. However, it was just so much information. I just don’t think her brain was able to wrap her head around it. She knew momma wasn’t feeling well. But, I tried to put a smile on every time she visited. And I reassured her that I would be OK!

This photo is my reason for NOT GIVING UP! My everything, my daughter Vida. Every time she is near me I just get a sense of relief and I felt like this uplifting energy overcome me. I enjoy having her come see me in the hospital because even when I feel like complete crap or just overwhelmed with emotions.. seeing her face and knowing that she needs me makes me that much stronger.

Connect with me @corrina_santacruz in the War On Cancer app and let’s talk more about how to speak to our kids about cancer.

How to tell your child about cancer?
Read other War On Cancer articles here:

Dating after cancer

Why are we not talking about prostate cancer?

Coping with a cancer diagnosis 

Does sugar feed cancer?

Dealing with cancer 

Cancer from a loved one’s perspective 

Nutrition and cancer

Corona/Covid19 and cancer

Corrina, based in the US, a mother going through leukemia.

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