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Parenting Through Breast Cancer

Helpful Words From Second to Nature

If parenting wasn’t already complicated enough, parenting through breast cancer often proves to be even more complex. Not only do you care for your children, but you need to keep a closer eye on yourself, as well.

Second to Nature in Roanoke, VA, understands the daily challenges of parenting through breast cancer. How do you explain your diagnosis? What emotions should you expect from your children? What about manage tasks each day? This month, we address some tough stuff that may come up as a parent after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

Open Up for Discussion When Parenting Through Breast Cancer

As difficult as it may be, it is important to be open with your children about your breast cancer diagnosis. Discuss current events, what comes next, and how things may change. Provide facts as opposed to speculations. Explain it to them in a way that feels best for you, but don’t make it a forbidden subject.

Even though it may be uncomfortable at times, talking about it will be helpful for them and yourself. Allowing open discussions will foster acceptance and understanding of breast cancer. Your children will feel comfortable enough to ask questions and you will be able to find answers together.

Some parents find different ways of discussing their breast cancer journey other than sitting and talking. Painting or drawing are often used as a method for children to express emotions that they struggle putting into words. Writing in a family journal will allow everyone to put their thoughts onto paper to share with one another.

Many parents find that books covering the topic of breast cancer are also helpful for kids of various ages. The Yale Cancer Center provides an excellent book list for ages four through adulthood to promote understanding of breast cancer.

Kids Are Emotional And Resilient

It’s common for children to have mixed emotions when a parent receives a breast cancer diagnosis. Feelings of sadness, fear, and anger are completely normal. Some children may even experience feelings of guilt. They may question what they may have said or done to cause the diagnosis to happen. Explain to them that your diagnosis isn’t anyone’s fault; it’s just something that happens. Demonstrate positivity and reassure them that you will get through this together. 

Many children struggle with the fact that a parent acquired breast cancer. Although it is an emotional time, kids are resilient beings. When they show moments of bravery in the face of adversity, praise them. Let them know what a great job they are doing while helping you on your journey.

Surround them with people who love and support them. Counseling is also an option if it seems beneficial to helping you guide them along and work through their emotions. No matter how you choose to support their emotions, as long as you believe in them, they will be okay.

Designate Uninterrupted Quality Time

Life often becomes hectic when a parent becomes diagnosed with breast cancer. Schedules tend to get thrown off track and new arrangements begin. Juggling what seems like everything in the world gets to be exhausting for everyone involved. Sometimes amongst the constant running, quality time gets pushed to the wayside. However, navigating through a breast cancer diagnosis is when quality time as a family is actually needed the most.

Make sure to designate uninterrupted quality time with your family. Notify other family and friends and kindly request that they respect your family’s space during those times. Take advantage of those moments to do things that you love together as a family. Whether it’s reading, spending time outdoors, or watching movies, quality time will help everyone experience well-deserved happiness and tranquility.

Parenting Tip: Remember, You Need Care, Too

Yes, you are their parent. Yes, they deserve all of the love and care that you can give. Without discounting any of those facts, here is another one: you need care, too. Just like caring for your children is an integral part of parenting, self-care is an integral part of breast cancer. A parent of an active family can easily get caught up in the daily comings and goings.

Although it’s great to continue doing things you normally would, you need to recognize when it’s time to slow down. Children are very observant and notice a lot more than many parents realize. Demonstrating positive practices can help children worry less. Practicing self-care also conveys the message that nurturing is a key component to healing when someone isn’t feeling their best.

Take time for yourself to rest and don’t push yourself past your limits. If some days feel too hectic, find ways to make it less stressful, physically and mentally. Enlist family and friends to help with running errands, like getting the kids from school or taking them to practice. Request that multiple people in the family help with preparing dinner instead of doing it all yourself. Any way that you can make life a little easier on yourself is worth trying. Don’t forget that you, and your health, are as equally important as everyone and everything else.

If you need a little help focusing on yourself, Second to Nature in Roanoke, VA, can help. Specializing in health, beauty, and image restoration, Second to Nature assists those parenting with breast cancer to feel their best.

Continue to Live, Laugh, and Love

A breast cancer diagnosis really throws a wrench in the workings of life. However, that does not mean that you should stop living. Keep in mind that there are things you can’t always control. Enjoy the moments that make you laugh and feel alive.

Always remember that love is one of the greatest gifts in life. Be sure that yourself and your children have an abundance of it and share it regularly, especially during difficult times. The road may get rough, but remember to stay positive and take life as it comes; one day at time.



Second to Nature is located in the Woodhaven Office Park, at 5450 Peters Creek Road. Call for an appointment at (540) 366-2711 or use our contact form. Follow us on Facebook for specials, breast cancer prevention news, and updates from Second to Nature. Contact us for education and support of those parenting through breast cancer.