Sunday, September 11, 2011

Telling People - Part 2

One of my challenges going through this has been figuring how and what to tell my daughters about all this, particularly the older one.  She's 13 and I can imagine that this could be something very scary and/or confusing.   She was away at her Dad's for most of the summer, so I didn't want to drop all this info on right away when she got home, but I wanted to give her enough advance notice that the event wouldn't seem shocking and last minute.

The four of us went to lunch yesterday (we got Subway and took it to the park).  After eating, my older daughter and I left in one car and went to get some icecream.  In my head I had planned to tell her while we ate icecream, but then as I was sitting there eating my icecream, watching her eat her icecream, I realized this wasn't the best idea.  I had alot of talking to do and my icecream was melting quickly.  So I waited until we were back in the car, just started talking.  I'm glad I had some practice in advance. 

I told her that we found out I had a "condition" which made me very likely to get breast cancer.  I explained the increased risk.  Her eyes widened when I told her 84%.   I explained that I was going to have surgery to reduce the risk, and I explained what the surgery would be.  She seemed to understand.  She didn't seem overwhelmed by it, and I let her know that if she has any questions at all to feel free to ask.  She mentioned that her Aunt (her Dad's step sister) had breast cancer, and had lost her hair. and I said, "so you can understand why I would want to prevent that right?" and she said, yes, she didn't want anyone else in her family to have to have cancer.

I explained a little more about the surgery and that I would be in the hospital for a few days, and out of work for about 6 weeks, and that I wouldn't be able to do much at all for the first couple weeks.  I told her that I might have drains that might look really weird.  I told her I was telling her all of this so that she wouldn't be suprised when I got back.  She indicated she's seen grosser things in movies and didn't think she'd be too bothered by the drains.

I also told her about what our plan was to tell our younger daughter, and that her help would be appreciated in helping this not seem scary.

I feel like this was "the big one" as far as people I have to tell for now.  And of course this is only part of it.  The rest will come years from now, when I have to tell each of my daughters as adults.

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