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Post Treatment 6 months +

Take care with underage children

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Children do not have any idea what to expect. Like the adults in your life, they likely expect that everything will return to the way it was. 

If physical or emotional symptoms continue, tell them about your ongoing needs in an age appropriate manner. 

Watch for reactions - including those that seem overboard for the immediate cause. It may be a substitute for fear that you may die. 

If you err on either side, do it on the side of caring too much. Under age children do not need to know about your continuing concerns about the future, or what could happen. 

Adolescent children may appear to be indifferent. Self absorption during adolescent years is a normal development. Each child will deal with fears about your health in his or her own way. 

If your experience with breast cancer comes up, let your children know: 

  • You were scared too. Remind them you are fine now. You see the doctors to keep it that way. 
  • That you will always be honest with them. 

Tips for coping are the same as during treatment. For example: 
  • Spend one-on-one time with each child. 
  • Encourage each child to talk about how they felt during treatment and how they feel now. 
  • Ask teachers to watch for behavioral problems. 

Prepare to answer the question: "Are you cured mommy?" Be honest. For example, you can say something like: "I am okay now. I'm hopeful that I will stay that way."  
Children who were Preschool or were Adopted

Children who were of preschool age when you went through treatment may not remember, and adopted children will not know about, your breast cancer and treatments. 

Never mentioning it adds stress to your life and adds unnecessary negativity to the episode. The children will know one day. It is better for you to be open about it. 

Children take their emotional cues from the adults in their lives. If you are okay and talk calmly about it, they are likely to be okay as well. 

Make what you do to stay healthy part of your everyday life. Be matter of fact about your cancer history and how it has prompted you to do what you can to stay healthy. 


  • As you will see in the Planning Ahead section, have arrangements in place to take care of your children in case you become sick and unable to take of them or if you die. 
  • Consider writing an Ethical Will that passes on your life lessons and family history to your children. 
  • Some women create scrap books or a journal that capture moments in time with their children. It is always a nice memory to have around even if you live a very long life.

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