I'm newly diagnosed and am waiting for my WLE / SLNB. At this point, I'm waiting to find out if my stage is 1B (based on Breslow .96 / mitotitic rate 2) or 3 based on results of the SLNB. I am in a reasonably good frame of mind, but am obviously suffering through the waiting like many of you have experienced.
I have three children, ages 11, 13, and 17. I haven't told them anything yet, but would like to be as honest as possible just before the surgery. I can't see any reason for them to have to suffer through this waiting period along with me, and right now, everything is "business as usual" at my house.
My plan is to basically present the situation as if it's definitely 1B. Meaning, "Mom will have surgery to remove some tissue. I'll have a recovery period. We'll all move on." My thought on this is they really don't need to know about the possibility of a stage 3 diagnosis until it's right on top of us. I will have a separate, private discussion with my 17 year old, who is very likely to search the internet.
This is a very difficult situation, because nobody wants to have to say the word "cancer" to their children.
I would be very open to hearing how any of you have handled this in the past with middle school / high school aged children. I believe in being honest in an age-appropriate way....but this is not something I have ever thought I would have to handle.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.