Today, I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my chest in my radiated field just at my clavicle. It’s small. It’s not a cancer that spreads or threatens life in any way. The day before my scheduled surgery, I was telling my Mom that I need to tell my children. They are both at college, cramming for tests. She told me, “It’s nothing. I’ve had several removed myself. Why bother them?”
I said that I have a few reasons why children should be told, no matter what age they are:
- If anything should happen to me, that less than 1%, my children would be angry at me that I didn’t tell them. I don’t want to be changed forever or even die with them angry at me.
- It’s a learning opportunity about what to do when someone goes through a scary event. I expected both to call me after the procedure to make sure I was OK, and they did. In fact, my daughter wrote to me before she went to class to wish me luck and to be sure I called her when I was done.
- If I include my children when I’m going through a tough time, they will do the same with me. We are family. We only have each other. We depend on each other. It’s important to go through things together, whether good or bad. It makes a person feel important to be informed and included. It makes children feel they are an integral part of my life, whether it’s about a vacation or a surgery.
- Lastly, when they hear/see my positive attitude, it influences how they will deal with a similar circumstance in their future.
My mother rescinded her comments and agreed with me wholeheartedly 🙂
I’d love your comments about this. Have you had a good or bad experience when sharing a ‘diagnosis’ with children?