I'm Joanna,38 and I am the daughter/carer of my dear elderly mum who has just been diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer. My mum lives in a granny flat at the back of our house, I have 2 kids, a 7 year old son and 17month old daughter, and my hubby. My son adores his grandma as she has always lived with us since he was born and now that mum has cancer and will be having a radical cystectomy and spending a few weeks in hospital, I don't know what to say to my son to make him understand about what is happening to his grandma. My mum can't walk without the aid of a frame and then only for a few metres, she goes everywhere in a wheelchair, she is 77 and we don't know if she can take the operation or not. I just don't know how to prepare my son for what might happen to my mum. If anyone has any idea's it would be greatly appreciated.
It is always hard explaing to kids what is happening to their family members. Our son is 3 1/2yo and fortunately we can just say "grandad is sick but the doctor is trying to fix him", sadly grandad passed away 2 years ago now so we still have to explain that he's not coming back.
I would speak to the school councellor about how to approach children of your sons age about matters like cancer and operations, I'll bet she/he has a whole lot of info ready to go and can suggest some books to read to help him understand whats happening.
I wish your mum all the best XX AManda
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.