Yesterday I had the conversation I have been thinking about and dreading for almost 10 months. Yesterday I told our precious sons, aged 6 and 8, that their Daddy wasn't going to get better. I sat them down beside me, reminded them how Greg and I had been to see the oncologist on Tuesday evening and that he had given us some news. I told them how I had been really hoping that Daddy was going to be feeling better after he had the radiation treatment but it looked like he wasn't going to after all. I spoke about how Daddy had had a couple of falls in the last few days and that he was likely to have more of them. I reminded them how Daddy had been confused just before, and when, he was in hospital and said that it was likely to happen again and more often. I told them that the Dr had said that there wasn't any kind of treatment he could give Daddy to try to stop the tumour. The medicine he has now will be to make him comfortable and stop him from having any pain. I explained how Silver Chain people had been coming to the house so that they can help us look after Daddy and that Daddy was seeing Dr Mark, our GP, every week so that he could 'keep an eye' on him and see if anything started to change. I told them that Daddy wasn't going to get better. I reminded them how we had been to see the counsellor on Saturday and that she was going to help us all with our feelings. I told them how much we love them and how sad it is that this is happening. I said it is OK to cry, it's good to cry (oddly, none of us did). When we saw the counsellor today, she had a play-therapy session with them both and then said to me that it was quite clear to her that they knew what was going to happen and it was also clear to her that they weren't ready to talk about it yet. I will need all the courage, strength and wisdom I can muster to help them through this. It is overwhelming.
16 Comments
Super Contributor
Hey Jill sending you hugssss ... Julie xo
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Regular Contributor
Hi Jill, If only there was a handbook. You have shared with us your constant courage, wisdom and patience particularly in relation to your sons. I'm sure that you will draw on this as it is needed more and more. Words seem so ineffective so please take a hug as well. S
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Frequent Contributor
I have had cause to think about that difficult conversation being had with my (older) children. I recall it clearly because you took me back there by the hand. I cannot think of anything better for my four to have experienced in those circumstances than what you have described. As the counsellor says, they will be having their own thoughts and feelings. You've created the environment for that beautifully. That leaves you. You need to take care of yourself here. For their benefit. For his benefit. Have a focus on that as well. We'll listen. H
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Contributor
Oh wow Jill. What a brave step to take and I'm sure this will help others out there who have no idea what to say or how to say it to their own children. Kids are terribly perceptive and seem to know more than we give them credit for and I am so glad that you have a wonderful counsellor there to help give you guidance with the boys and to reassure you! I was going to say that you should look after yourself but then, knowing where I'm at as a carer, looking after yourself is the last thing on your mind and if you're like me, you haven't the faintest in what that really means anyway. My idea of looking after myself is having a snooze in the afternoon! LOL Overwhelming as it is, you are doing a great job Jill. I admire your strength and I wish I had half the courage you do. Jo xxx
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New Contributor
Hi Jill I can't imagine what that was like for you.....the need to protect our children at any age is a powerful emotion and you have just had to take away a little bit of their innocence. I cannot talk about my prognosis or fears with my grown children ...you are such a sensible and strong person. Reading this made me cry....it must be so hard for you to deal with. I hope you are getting as much rest as you can. The support of the Silver Chain people must be a blessing. Take care ....my love to you, your children and Greg. Willow xo xo xo
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Contributor
Hi Jill, Thinking of you and sending strength. Sharon xxxxx
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Not applicable
Jill, my heart and strength goes out to you. You possess such a caring and strong spirit. Keep writing, say whatever you need to say. Someone will always be here to listen. Reindeer xxx
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Frequent Contributor
Hey Jill, Just to let you know that I am thinking of you, Greg and the boys. love Bev
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Contributor
Thanks everyone, Yesterday my Dad took Greg out for the day to give us a 'break' from each other. The boys and I had a playdate organized with 3 other families (not at our place thank God!). I was really looking forward to a day where I could feel like a 'normal' mum doing 'normal' stuff during the holidays. Most of the time we were there it was pretty good, but our youngest son CJ is extremely sensitive at the moment (as is to be expected) and he didn't cope well with even the slightest bump or minor issue resulted in him coming to 'dob' or getting upset. I really feel for him, I know this is part of his 'coping' mechanism, but he was starting to cop a bit from his friends, comments like 'what a sook' etc. I reminded his 'friend' that he wouldn't like it if someone said that about him, so he shouldn't say that about someone else and if he didn't have anything nice to say, he shouldn't say anything at all. Probably a bit rough for a 5 1/2 year old, but that was my 'protecting my son' kicking in! Our eldest son, JK was very 'loud' all day and didn't want any of the 'little' kids around, unfortunately there were 10 kids in total, 7 of which were younger than him!!! Between the two of them, it was a case of constant 'negotiation' and it was very draining. By today, the toll of the last few days has caught up with me and I just didn't have the energy to do much at all. Greg wanted me to do some errands for him and it took me till 3.00pm to leave home to do them. I had a little nanna nap just after 2pm as I felt so tired. I achieved 2 out of the 3 things he wanted done, so thats a 66% success rate! When I got home, it was 'that time of the day', "what am I going to do for dinner??"!! Fortunately, Dad phoned not long after I was home and said he and Mum were on their way out and would pick up fish and chips for dinner. Whoo hoo!! no cooking! Tomorrow we are going to a friend's place for the boys to have a swim, it has been ages since we have seen them and it should be reasonably relaxing, so I am looking forward to it. I really appreciate all your support and cyber hugs, it does lift me and give me strength knowing that I can share here. 'Talk' soon! Jill xx
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Occasional Contributor
Dear Jill, ur one amazing woman !My other boys r playing up at the moment and its just their way of letting off their feelings, PLEASE ,PLEASE remember to take a little time each day just for u,even if its 5 mins extra in the shower, huggs and thoughts go out to u Julie x
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Contributor
Hi Julie, You are right on the money with the extra 5 mins in the shower, sometimes that's all it can be! Will keep working on it.........! Jill x
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Contributor
Harker, Your words really touched me. Thank you. Jill.
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Super Contributor
Jill ... Make time and take it!! Carers have needs also! Julie xoxo
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Regular Contributor
It's amazing sometimes how parents can be perceptive enough to know that fish and chips were needed! My parents would often instinctively turn up when things were grim. Hope you enjoyed the swim. It can often be a good leveller for kids of a variety of ages. Take 10 minutes extra in the shower. Maybe a bath? Bugger any water restrictions. s
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Contributor
Hi Jill sorry i have not been on for a while. i just want to let you know that i am thinking of you and your family. please all take care Linda xx
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Contributor
Jill. You constantly amaze me just by being you. You are one of the inspirations that drive me to do what I do. Please look after you as well as everyone else. You are so important you know that. Hugs Alana xxx
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