My husband and I decided if we were not afraid, our 6 and 10 year old daughters wouldn’t be afraid either. We were careful to package scary news to make it as easy to hear as possible. For example, when I told them I’d be having surgery (in one week), I had already arranged a sleepover invitation for each of my girls with a good friend.
My oldest watched us to see how upset we were about the surgery. When we seemed okay, she relaxed and prepared to enjoy herself. When the surgery was postponed, she was nonchalant.
Not so my little one. The promised sleepover made my surgery an exciting event, and she couldn’t wait. When surgery was postponed, she was crushed. We decided to have the sleepover anyway, with the promise of a second sleepover for the actual surgery. After each chemo (8 treatments over 4 months), my little one kept asking me “How long until surgery?” I’m proud and grateful we were able to maintain a happy home during my valley of cancer, but I would sometimes wonder if we overdid it.