Worried about young children's fears?

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Question from FJB: I worry about my young children. I want to show them how strong I am and that I am still the same old mom they know, but I tire easily, and they are very fearful that I won't be here for them. How can I get them through this?
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. This is a very common problem for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and more difficult for women with young children and many responsibilities. After breast cancer, most women want to put on a brave front, resume their activities, and assume that nothing has changed in their life when, in fact, they may have a change in their physical stamina and new emotional issues. It is important to reassure your children that you are there for them, but you may also need to let them know that your energy level hasn't recovered so that they will understand when you are tired and can't do what they want. This can be frustrating for children, but it is better to be realistic about what you can or cannot do.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. If you are tired and pale as a result of the treatment, don't let your family know this. They may assume the worst and think that your lack of energy and power are due to active cancer. Keeping the communication going will make things much easier for you. Not communicating regularly can make you and the people you care about feel isolated from each other.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Quality of Life featured Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer can affect physical, emotional, social, and sexual aspects of your life.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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