Telling your children you have GIST can be a stressful time. Here are 5 tips to help you tell your kids you have GIST. Unfortunately there is not a perfect way to tell your kids you have cancer, but there are some things you can say to help relieve their fears and communicate what this diagnosis means for everyone.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
- GIST Overview: Start the conversation by describing the facts about your cancer by giving your kids specific age-appropriate details. As you might expect there will be a lot of questions, so be patient. Share your treatment plans so that they can feel as though they are actively involved in the process. For detailed information about GIST, visit our Understanding GIST section.
- GIST is not Contagious: Young children may think of GIST as a cold or a flu that can be passed from person-to-person. Explain that GIST is not something that can be passed from person-to-person.
- Is it my Fault?: GIST is obviously no ones fault, but your kids may think that they somehow caused you to be sick. Reassure them that there was nothing they did to cause you to get GIST.
- Not Alone: Facing GIST alone is never a good idea and is even worse for kids. Insure them that they are not alone, and that the family will work together as a team to fight GIST. Keep communication open at all times and remind them that there is no such thing as a bad question. For a support group near you, visit our GIST support group database.
- Spread the Love: Tell your kids you love them, and say it often. This will be a stressful time for everyone in the family. Never underestimate the power of saying “I love you!” or that of a hug.
This list was adapted from an article from the American Cancer Society. Stay involved in the conversation below and on Facebook and Twitter.