There are no words that can describe your feelings when the doctor tells you that you are dying. A diagnosis of mesothelioma means just that. Mesothelioma life expectancy is not encouraging. It is difficult enough if you are alone or married, but when you are a new mother, it is especially difficult. How can you share such a thing with young children?
If children are very young, they will feel the difference. They will instinctively respond to a mother’s stress even though they cannot understand it. So how does a new mother face the challenge?
One of the best things a victim of mesothelioma can do is find a way to handle the fear and discomfort associated with the harsh medical treatments for this devastating disease. One of the sweetest ways to do this is spend every possible moment with your baby, the one and only thing you could talk about for days on end. There is a great comfort in the soft skin, sweet smell, and gentle movements of your baby. It is good for both of you. If your child is an infant, talk softly about the way you feel. Cooing the feelings can disarm them. The gentleness you share will soothe both of you. Your baby will comfort you by responding to your love. It will bring the peace and tranquility you both need.
If your children are toddlers, they can understand some of what is going on. Be extremely careful about the things you say. Young children understand more than you think but, often, less than they need to. You should spend time with them and share some of your feelings. They can’t handle all of the things you feel, but they need to understand the problem at their level. Let them know they are helping you just because you love them. That will comfort both of you. Spend time with your young children, and let them know they are precious to you. Remember that every moment is a gift.
If your children are old enough to express their feelings, make sure you listen to them. They need to be able to express their fears and share their feelings with you. They need reassurance. Let them know you love them. Let them love you, and let them know they comfort you when they do. It will give them something positive in their lives.
Spend all the time you can help your children establish healthy relationships with the people around them. These are the people who will help comfort and raise them. Let them know how much it means to you to know your children will be safe and nurtured. These are the people who will help you and your family face your final days together.
By: Jackie Clark