Long term, I worry about a recurrence, about dying, about leaving my husband with 2 boys to raise on his own. I hope though, that this was just another experience among many in their childhoods. It will, no doubt, impact them. I don’t want it to dominate them though.
I’m divorced but asked my ex to be there to tell the kids. That was a big support mechanism in the sense of “we’re fighting this as a family.” Humor works really well with my kids. It opens them up. Eg, at dinner, daughter asks, “Dad, can I have another chicken breast?” shortly after my surgery. Then she turned to me and said, “Sorry, mom.” And I said, “That’s ok. I’ll have two!” Laughter all around.
Have faith, take care of yourself, allow others to help you. Let go of the idea of the perfect house and perfect parenting. You can only be a parent if you are alive to do it…so take care of your health. Find people you trust, whether through churches or schools whom you trust to help you take care of your children when you aren’t well enough. Be honest with your children, but try not to burden them with adult worries.