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Parents with Terminal Illness: How to Prepare Children when Death is Imminent

Updated on July 4, 2013
She is celebrating her 6th birthday today, without any knowledge what's to come.
She is celebrating her 6th birthday today, without any knowledge what's to come.

The Other Side: Unexpected Turn

It is glorious to be able to spend time with the kids. Being there for your children 24 hours a day is quite a blessing not all mothers enjoy. I still maintain that this is the best situation for a mother to fully function as a mother. What do you need the money for, when you can give all the emotional things they need. Nobody can hug them as heartfelt as you do, no one can defend them as truthful as a mother can, and nobody can give them the unconditional affection only parents can provide. I am blessed to have this opportunity.

However, there are realizations that I wish to share to the public.

Months ago, I was diagnosed with a colon cancer. I don't want to delve deeper into the diagnoses, as it turned out well in the end as I fought the signs and symptoms harder and braver.

I had a solid mass inside that prevents me from excreting body waste. It was unexpected, as I never felt anything, no warning about the worst revelation of all time. It grew up to a size of a small ball, about 5.0 cm x 4.5 cm. Now that it grew big enough to block the digestive process to finish, it revealed itself with a shocking magnitude. However, with colonoscopy, it had been confirmed that it was far from being a cancer of the colon. Today, I still have few symptoms of that illness and is still praying that all is well.

I am very strong to face all this, and I vow to fight until the end. This is one fight I am aggressively carrying on, no matter what. I fought every odd before, just to be near my daughter all the time, and now this one can not take me away. No complicated thoughts, just a pledge to fight and fight.

However, there are few things that also bothered me at times. Having experienced all this, I wanna be honest with you that there are times I regret staying at home and not working. Now, I don’t have health insurance, no financial capacity to finance this battle. My freelance writing job has to temporarily stop, as I have to go to the hospital every now and then. My body becomes weak with the erratic bowel movement. Admittedly, this battle will be a little lighter, if I had money to back up any strategy for survival. So it’s a lesson everyone should learn, and it’s a lesson everyone should be prepared at when the time comes, if you still choose to stop working and be there for your children.

Secondly, being so close to my daughter, I find it hard to adjust being away from her for my medical treatment. On the same note, she too is having a hard time adjusting being far from me for the very first time. The stress of these two big hurdles is giving me more than one battle to fight. Looking at her, I have a sense of urgency to survive this all, and be back to being a 24-hour mother. But I guess, this will take a little longer or may take me away from my daughter successfully.

What is amazing here, I received no blame from my family, no one mentions about how unlucky the choices I made in life. It seemed that they have given up the dreams they weave for me in the past. I look at their eyes today and I only see pure love, pure support, and assurance that I will never be alone in this battle. This is most favorable for me, but I feel guilty. Thus, this becomes a lesson for me and perhaps an awakening for everyone of you.


How to Prepare Your Kids

In this world, nothing can really be claimed as the ultimate way of doing a thing, or accomplishing a role, or doing a responsibility. Everything has its hitches. The only thing that matter now is getting ready to accomplish a role. Although it is hard to accomplish parenthood when illness besets, there are still things that can be calculated and therefore easily managed.

Here are the things that I would recommend should the same thing happen to you.

  • Set aside an amount for your own health insurance. An insurance will take care of your kids after you're gone. All these calculated risks serve as a warning to save your family from future expenses.
  • Do not pour every attention to your child. Spare a little for yourself. Do not spoil your kid /kids with everything they'll be relying at for the rest of their life.
  • Maintain your fitness. Keep yourself healthy, and make sure to undergo an annual check up. This is not for you, but for your children.
  • Expose your child to other things that would redirect her attention to, something that she could seek refuge to when you could not do things normally.
  • Make sure to give her another life other than the life which is exclusive to having you around. Value her/their independence. You will be rewarded later on with peace of mind.
  • Even though you could not muster being away from your child, make her prepare for the eventualities in life. Separate her/them once in a while.
  • There are things that can happen unexpectedly, be emotionally ready to look fine, so your child and the people around you won’t panic with the worst situation at hand. It is different when they see you depressed, than when they see that you have accepted your fate.
  • Apply a scholarship that will soon take care of their education even without you around. Makes sure life goes on for them even after your death.
  • You can establish any income- generating businesses. No matter how small it is, it can still pay for your kid's expenses later on. You can put it up with someone you can trust, someone who can manage it fully for your kids later in life. Make them involved in its day to day operations so they'll know how it would run when they grow up.

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    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Even in a moment of severe crisis, you can't help being other-centered...caring for your daughter on one level and caring for your readers on a different level. Thank you so very much for sharing this bitter experience with us and for having the courage to write the wise counsel at the end. I will be praying for you and your daughter, beginning this very moment...God bless you.

    • go-barbara-go profile image
      Author

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      Thank you...I felt very responsible in informing my readers, especially I have awed them with the first hub about motherhood.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is so hard to think of leaving them early. So do not good lady. Think only how going through this with you will help her to form her own great life. I believe your list at the end is about as beautiful revelation of oneself as I have ever seen. You were meant to touch others and you have.

      Remember us survivors stick together, so keep us informed.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your honesty in this hub, and your recommendations are based on true life experience, which makes them valuable. Best wishes with the health issue; you have written a valuable hub here.

    • go-barbara-go profile image
      Author

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      @Eric,

      I am happy, I have your moral support in this battle. I am happy to hear from other survivors. They uplift mt spirit to bravely fight till the end.

      I will keep you informed.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You will be proud in your choice of love. Your child will know your choices and that shall make her stronger in hers. We celebrate kind and good spirits that forsake the material for the Love. You and me will rejoice no matter the outcome. And our children shall be better for it.

    • go-barbara-go profile image
      Author

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      @bill,

      Thank you. I know you have read my other hub about motherhood, so you know pretty much how regretful I am today, but I wont give up my thoughts about motherhood because of this situation.

    • go-barbara-go profile image
      Author

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      Hi Eric,

      I will always remember your kind words, as I go along step by step.

      Thanks for inspiring me.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Sorry to hear of your health battle. I applaud your efforts to face it with positive attitude, that is half the battle of winning. Also, your child is so important, but taking time for yourself will only help you to rest to that you can apply quality time later. Prayer and hugs sent your way.

    • go-barbara-go profile image
      Author

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      It is hard, really hard. But there are things that has to be done for her own good later. Thank you. It is too comforting to hear that somebody is praying for me. I really need it today.

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