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It’s Never Too Late to Have the Cancer Conversation

• Tell the children it is okay to feel scared or angry. Reassure the children that those feelings are normal, and that they can express their feelings without upsetting you.

• Explain that life might change, at least for a little while. It will help the children prepare for changes to their routine, school, responsibilities, activities, etc.

• Let them help. If you can involve the children in your care in an age-appropriate way, such as walk the dog, keep their mom company or help around the house. It will keep them from feeling helpless in the face of your illness.

• Encourage them to talk more. Tell the children it’s okay to keep asking questions about your cancer. Tell them it’s okay for them to be sharing their feelings with you or with another trusted adult. If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to say so. You can explore the question and wonder together. Remember that the children will probably need an adult to take the lead on initiating conversation.