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Telling your mom

Telling your mom

Posted by Natalieca on Jul 22, 2020 11:37 am

I just found out via phone call yesterday that I have stage 2 uterine cancer. My mom has been away for a week and comes home tomorrow. I have two older brothers but they each have their own families and mom is mainly my concern. Anyway, I lost my dad to liver cancer in 2003 and my mom never got over it, never dated again (even now 17 years later)... I’m very worried about telling her.. I’m not all she has but Im pretty much am her world (And I’m only 37!).. I’m scared she will worry herself into sickness.. I haven’t told my best friends either, only my fiancé knows because he was on the call with me.. how did you guys tell your mom?? 

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jul 22, 2020 2:11 pm

Welcome to the community. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I saw this post and it hit so close to home I had to reply.

I was diagnosed almost 10 years ago with breast cancer. I had had a mammogram ultrasound and biopsy but only told my boyfriend because my 10 year old niece was in hospital at the time an not doing well at all. I didn't want to worry the rest of the family. At the biopsy I was told they were pretty sure it was cancer. The following week I went to the dr and told my mom leading up to that point it could be. Like your family, my mom had been a widow of 17 years at that point after losing my dad to cancer. I was really worried about how she would take it. In the end, cancer was confirmed at that appt and I ending up calling mom ( she was waiting to hear ) to let her know. What really worried me is she then got in the car to meet me at our place. We hugged, we cried, she brought me flowers and in the end she was a great support from the get go.
It won;t be easy for either of you ( will she be quarantining when she comes back? )  In my opinion, better to tell her as soon as you are able on her return - in person if you can, but on the phone if she is quarantining. She  likely won't want to find out you didn't tell her at first chance.
4 years after my diagnosis, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer too. It was so hard to hear that she was going to have to go through it too. 

I wish you well with this task. Come back and let us know how it goes..
I am guessing you don't have a treatment plan yet? What are your next steps.

Thinking of you

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Hazewind on Jul 22, 2020 2:15 pm

I never told my parents anything that would worry them.  Being an adult, I handle my own problems without making extra worries for my elderly parents. If my situation becomes worse than I would consider mentioning only needed issues. Such as if I were going in for surgery, going in for a repair on my body, leave it at that if they ask. Play it down.  I wouldn't want to even volunteer anything to them. Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies. 
If I survive the surgery, and cancer removal and all treatments are successful, then I might tell them what I have gone through as they can see that I'm fine and don't have to worry. Seeing is usually believing. The impact on them will be less worrisome to them. 
Just my opinion. 
Wishing you the best!

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Yuliya on Jul 22, 2020 3:13 pm

Natalieca‍  I was asking myself the same question when I was waiting for my biopsy results. Nothing is more devastating for parents as knowing that their child is ill. I am the only child and my mom live on the different continent.  Also she is very emotional and health anxious. When I was diagnosed with uterine fibroid she was very worried insisting me to do ultrasound every three months and supplying me with all kinds of herbal remedies. So I know she will be sick worry if anything happens to me. You know your mom. My advice to tell her about your diagnosis when you will have a treatment plan. At least she will know that you will be in active treatment and on your way to be cancer free.

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Essjay on Jul 23, 2020 8:00 am

Natalieca‍ its so hard isn’t it, not wanting to cause hurt to the people we love, when we know some of what they’ve been through...

Ask yourself if you’d want to know if it was your Mom who had the cancer. Likely you would, wouldn’t you...

My Mom went through some trouble with her heart last year and decided not to tell us daughters she was sick and had to have an emergency pacemaker fitted. I found out because I was video chatting with her and I could tell she was in pain and I could see the bruise. I was upset she hadn’t told us, and I made her promise she wouldn’t withhold stuff from us.

I was very open about my cancer diagnosis. I knew I’d never remember who I’d told, and I’m lazy. The easy thing for me was to post little updates on Facebook, so I didn’t have to go through all the detail with multiple people who love and care for me (some still wanted to know more of course). My parents had both lost parents to cancer, but they know the facts ie that at least 1 in 3 of the population will experience Cancer. With 3 daughters that means one of us was expected to get it. They handled it very well. The hardest bit has been that 2020 I was supposed to go and spend some time with them in UK after recovering from my treatment. April we had a gathering planned with all the family - 3 generations, including cousins visiting from Australia for the first time in 5 years. Of course that hasn’t happened and my parents have hardly seen any family beyond video chats.

That’s my thoughts on the matter.

best wishes Essjay xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Kims1961 on Jul 24, 2020 7:52 am

Natalieca‍  Welcome and what a great question.  I see some excellent responses already,

My mom was notorious for not telling us when she was ill, or would downplay any health issues. She was trying to protect us, but i asked her from what?  Life is full of difficult situations and that by going through them together as a family, it helps to build resilience and also prepare us for what may lie ahead.  I also told her that it can give us the message that 
 we can't handle the truth ( sounds like a movie line....lol)

Would your mom provide you with good support? Maybe this is an opportunity for her to help you that will be empowering for her? 

How are you doing? Glad your fiancé was able to be on the call with you.  There are some great threads and info. On this site and at www.cancer.ca

Please let us know how you make out.  Glad you posted.  Kim

Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Telling your mom

Posted by Hezz on Jul 25, 2020 10:10 am

Hi Natalieca‍ ... I can tell your heart is in the right place.

I agree with Kims1961‍ that I would want to know if my mom had something this serious. I would 100%, definately, no-question-in-my-mind want to know if either of my mid-20's daughters had this. I would be angry and devastated to be left out.

I'm bald, bone-y, boob-less and halfway through 5 months of chemo...would I still want to know? Yes! Even during this hard battle would I want to know? Yes!!!

It has been incredible bonding for my mom and daughters to be in my cancer journey with me. Even my sisters and 96 year old grandma are in the loop.

Each of them have helped in their own unique way. My mom has knit me countless chemo caps, babysat me on bad days and gone to doctor appointments. My daughter who is in town is my chemo driver/partner. My daughter who lives out of province is my researcher, appointment-prepper and distraction.

My husband is my primary care and support, but he needs their help, encouragement and wisdom too. (And they always have lots of opinions for him to hear lol 🤣🤣🤣)

Just another perspective for you to mull over. You'll make the right choice for you. Wishing you all the best in your journey!!! Stay in touch.
Hezz :)