Suggestions for kids that are worried sick?


Question from Fairguest: I am a 19-year-old male and my sister and I have a mom who has cancer, and we feel like we are now going to lose her. I have nightmares and my sister is now throwing up a lot. Any suggestions?
Answers - Joan Hermann It would be good if you could tell your mom or your dad what you're worried about. And check out whether this is a realistic worry. What is it that makes you think you're going to lose your mom? If you and your mom haven't been able to discuss this openly, you might ask for another relative's help to start the conversation going, but the important thing is that your mom needs to know how you're feeling, and talking about it isn't going to make it happen. If you were to say to your mom, "I'm really scared about what's going to happen in the future," that doesn't mean your mom is going to die. If you can't talk to your mom or another relative, you might want to say to your mom that you want to talk to the hospital social worker about a support group you could join.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Your sister's anxiety, leading to her vomiting, needs to be addressed. She needs to be assisted by a nurturing, capable, and supportive person in her life.
Joan Hermann It might be good to start with the family doctor, and that may need to be addressed in terms of what's physically going on, too. The son could say to their mom, "I'm really worried about my sister's throwing up. Is there somebody at the hospital she could talk to about what she's feeling?"

On Wednesday, August 16, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Kids and Mom's Breast Cancer. Joan Hermann, L.S.W. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about talking to your kids about breast cancer.

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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