A few years ago on holiday at our parents second home in Cyprus we discovered Dad had a persistent cough, he didn't want to worry Mum about it so didn't go to the Dr's. We were concerned so my hubby insisted it was checked out. Next steps were a whirlwind of activity...referral to the General Hospital, not good news, I flew back to UK alone to work, Hubby stopped work and stayed in Cyprus (we were contractors so it was possible to give notice and leave easily), 2 hour drive to a more equipped hospital for MRI/CT scan, not good news, after much discussion they decided to come back to their UK home (they pretty much spent 6m in Cy and 6m in UK split throughout the year). Next onto the NHS system, referral to specialist, referral to Royal Brompton, lung removal, chemo, chemo, chemo and with much determination to rid himself of the big C.
Throughout 2008 I was pregnant with Jasmine, I practiced Sophrology (positive thinking) with my midwife, I focused on my baby playing outside his/her grandparents house with Grandad - these strong images helped throughout my labour where I could almost feel the sunshine on us.
2009 Jasmine was born - Dad given all clear
2010 Izzy was born - Dad given all clear
2012 Maisy was born and unfortunately Dad had backache, scans on lung kept coming back clear. But backache was worse, eventually discovered the big C had somehow gotten into his lower back. Being the most brave man I know he has pushed for an op to remove some of his spine & get rid of it again. Now we are awaiting the pre-op test & op in January.
Being 3 and a half Jasmine is aware Grandad is poorly, this week it became more apparent as to her level of understanding. We were supposed to be going to their house on Saturday before we go back to France for Christmas. Unfortunately we have really bad colds with fevers again and as Dad is awaiting his pre-op, we can't afford to give him a virus so we can't go. Jasmine asked me why? I explained Grandad has backache and needs an operation "like Grandma's backache?" she replied (my mum has fibromyalgia) "No, a bit different. He has some naughty cells in his back, so the Dr has to do an operation & take them out". "Right, she replied - "Can we go to a cafe now?".
I don't really know how to explain it to her but I know I don't want her confusing Grandad's poorly back & need for an operation with an ongoing poorly back like Grandmas or Nanny's (arthritis) or Daddy's after too much lifting. She's an inquisitive child, she thinks about things a lot, I don't want her to worry too much, but how do you explain the big C to her? It's obvious that we are upset about it, though we try not to talk about it in front of her.
Anyone offer any advice please?