Together we will beat cancer


I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

25 Jan 2023 20:06

I feel numb 

I posted a week ago about having a biopsy after the clinic  found two tumours not just the one I felt. I was asking a question as I wanted to know if they call you if it's bad news and I had some lovely replies so thank you. Weirdly the next day I got a call from the consultant and had an abnormal biopsy and to go in for emergency biopsy the next day to check again. I had an appointment today for my results. It wasn't great news. The lump I found is 2cm and is benign, the other one I didn't know about and they found and is 5cm and has cancer cells so I have breast cancer. The consultant was lovely and explained everything to me, very matter of fact that it didn't really hit me until I got back to the car that I have cancer. I am being booked for a pre op then in for surgery in the next 3 weeks to have it removed and that should be it. He's going to remove both and said I'll have long term numbness above my nipple and my nipple may have a dip in it. It's been found early so it has not spread, I don't have to have chemo or radiotherapy but I just feel numb, I didn't expect that news today. All along I've been telling myself it's just cysts. I'm 33 with young children, I am lucky I do have a very loving supportive partner, family and friends. My mum popped round and I asked my mum to tell the children mummy has breast cancer because I just couldn't bare the thought of seeing their little faces when I told them. They seem very quiet tonight, I'm trying to keep everything normal, one isn't talking to me and all over his dad. I don't know whether to talk to their primary school and tell their teachers this news incase they seem off or upset tomorrow? What would you do? X

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

25 Jan 2023 20:40 in response to Sparkle2525

As a teacher, definitely tell their schools. I see no reason at all not to and there are many benefits to doing so, from knowing what is going on if they are upset to being careful about subject matter (this may not matter so much if they are very little, as issues like cancer are unlikely to arise with 5 or 6 year olds, but if they are more like 10 or 11, teachers would want to know that it might not be a good idea to read a novel with a character in it who has cancer). 

And it's not just about tomorrow. There are many ways in which your children could react. They might handle it really well and need minimal support, but they could act out, find it impossible to concentrate in class due to being worried, fight with another kid who said something insensitive, etc and if any of those things happen, well, you really don't want them getting in trouble for not being able to concentrate or for not having homework done or something.

It will also mean your kids will have additional people to support them through this - their teachers and other members of staff - and if they do struggle at any point, the school will probably be able to give you advice about how to give them additional support.

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

26 Jan 2023 09:40 in response to Sparkle2525

I would definitely make sure that their class teachers are aware of the situation as it adds to the support in place for your children. I would also talk to your children yourself - tell them in simple terms what is going on, that you are poorly and feeling a little scared but that you will be ok, answer their questions. I know its not an easy conversation but you and your partner are their most trusted adults and it is better for them to get information from you than false information from elsewhere. My best friend had breast cancer when her kids were 4 and 6 , with surgery and chemo and her children were just fine. They had a couple of instances of other children making upsetting comments but their school knew the situation and were part of the support network

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

26 Jan 2023 18:58 in response to Leni56

Hi Sparkle

I'm sorry that you have joined this club, but so pleased to hear that it's been caught early and can be treated with surgery only. I agree with the advice you have been given. I think it would be less scary for your children if they can be reassured by you that the doctors are going to fix you and they don't need to be worried, but that if they do have any worries or questions they can talk to you or your partner.

I would just add that Macmillan have a booklet about talking to children when an adult has cancer that you may find useful.

I wish you well for your surgery. I've just finished 7 rounds of chemo and will have surgery next, then radiotherapy.

Amy x

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

26 Jan 2023 19:29 in response to Sparkle2525

I'm sorry for what you're going through. It must be very scary for you. 


Although I don't think I'd have told the children. Especially since they're in primary school. They're so young and you're going to have an operation which will sort it. It hasn't spread anywhere, which is great, 

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

26 Jan 2023 19:50 in response to Goth327

We live in a very small community. I have told my close friends my news who have been supporting me. Their children go to the same school as my children. Can you imagine if my children found from other children at school if they heard their parents talking? Or some other kind of way? 

It took a lot for me to write the above post, I was sat in my car in the middle of nowhere trying to get my head together after finding out my news, I asked for advice on speaking to my children's school, I didn't ask advice on whether to tell my children or not. We are a very open and honest family and I'm glad I understand every family is different. I'm not sure how you typed this thinking it would be helpful? 

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

26 Jan 2023 20:23 in response to Sparkle2525

Sparkle, you have absolutely done the right thing. I am waiting for results and will be having an honest conversation with my children if I have to. Children pick up on things and not knowing would create fear. You keep your chin up and trust your own judgement. 

Lots of love xxxx

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 02:22 in response to Sparkle2525


Hi Sparkle,

I am so sorry to her that you find yourself in this unenvious position, but I'm glad to hear that it is being dealt with quickly. You have done the right thing in letting your children know. You will find that the more positive you can be about the outcome, the better your children will cope. It will also be helpful for them to be able to talk openly to you and your partner about this. You will find that this should become easier to do, as you start to move forward with surgery.

You have caught this early and there is no reason why you shouldn't make a good recovery. I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer in the past 13 years and I still lead a busy and fulfilling life.

It is essential that you let the children's teachers know your situation for the reasons that others have outlined above.

I wish you every success with your surgery.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. We are always here for you.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 13:54 in response to Sparkle2525

Have had to do the same myself and the emotions involved are like you say "heartbreaking".

However positive vibes are the way forward. If you are able to be cancer free after surgery alone then that's amazing. Focus on the positives as a healthy mindset is paramount.

Informing the school is sensible. How have your children taken the information? I trust you have some family support & a circle of friends that can spur you on also.

Here if you need extra encouragement x



I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 14:06 in response to shalaway

Thank you for all your lovely replies I really appreciate them, very kind of you all to take the time to reply. 

The school now know, they have been very supportive, asked how they can help, support our family. My youngest got in my bed last night and had a lovely chat with me as he said he was scared what to say to me bless him. We've talked it out now and my middle one and eldest understand and are ok. When I wrote that post I was all over the place, just found etc, it's now been 2 days and I feel I'm come to terms with the news and I'm still working, going out, life has not changed, I'm looking at it I have "temporary cancer" and I'm very lucky I'm not ill

Thank you again for your lovely kind comments xoxo

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 16:13 in response to Goth327

This subject, regarding children, is one of the most difficult obstacles you as a family face during the initial diagnosis. I know we struggled to come to a definitive decision. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer to be had.  The parents of the children know their kids the best, and there's no one size fits all answer. Such as "kids deal better when faced with the truth", because not all kids do and will. Only the actual parents or carers of those children can make an educated guess how things will go.

After being told by the breast nurses and Macmillan that it's usually best to be upfront with kids, did we proceed to tell our daughter. But i do think once you've told the kids, you have to be honest. If kids think they're being lied to, they tend to go into themselves. You also can't over embellish stuff either. Like telling them stuff like "I'm 100% gonna beat this" unless those exact words have left the mouth of the doctors treating the cancer. Not even the doctors ultimately know this. We were advised to keep to facts, but that doesn't mean telling them every single thing. Just the important stuff. Like you're probably gonna feel awful with the treatment, as a number of people do, that an op will ensue and so on.  No need to tell them, taking this drug or that drug may cause problems 15 years down the line and whatnot.

But should you tell a kid nothing negative can happen whatsoever, and something negative does happen, that's going to break the trust between the adults and kids, and they're going to have a hard time believing you in future.Then go into themselves. We told our daughter, we have been truthful with her and before this, she had massive panic attacks over health in general. She has a severe nut allergy and has taken 2 nasty reactions in her life. But she seems to be calm about the cancer because everything we told her panned out like we said it was, and there would be ups and downs. No embellishment or over promising needed. Just facts.

Even primary school kids aren't daft. They hear conversations, would notice the op because even lumpectomy etc you're in some sort of discomfort and can't do things for a few weeks. They'd notice.

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 19:42 in response to Sparkle2525

Hello just read your post there 

I just received the news today I have a small lump which I hit a biopsy done and it's measuring 7mm , very small but going for a op in the next few weeks , I have a very loving partner and give year old boy and lots support from friends and family , just turned 40 , just feeling very shocked today as didn't expect this news x

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

27 Jan 2023 20:17 in response to Sparkle2525

"it's now been 2 days and I feel I'm come to terms with the news and I'm still working, going out, life has not changed, I'm looking at it I have "temporary cancer" and I'm very lucky I'm not ill"

That's a great attitude to have. Best of luck with your treatment.

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

28 Jan 2023 00:52 in response to 1982

Hi 1982 

Completely understand how you feel, the day you find out you feel numb, shocked and your emotions are all over the place. I really hope you are ok and so glad you have lots of support around you. Keep us updated with your journey and I'm sending lots of love to you xx

I'm Heartbroken, just feel for my children

28 Jan 2023 01:04 in response to ProfBaw

Thank you x