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To let them know, or not.

(124 Posts)
Kiwibird Tue 06-Jun-17 03:02:02

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated as I'm 'dithering' over the question.

My adult sons (fathers with their own children) live in different countries to me so our contact, although fairly regular, is done by whatsapp nowadays which is a terrific way of instant communication and it keeps our closeness alive.

Earlier last year I was admitted to hospital with a suspected minor stroke (TIA) following a fall. After a couple of days as an inpatient I was discharged and all was well. At the time I decided not to tell my sons in that they both have stressful, busy jobs etc and I figured I was fine with no after-effects, so what would be the point of worrying them. However, I can't remember how, but later in the year they came to know about it and one son was somewhat 'annoyed' for want of a better word. He said, which of course I knew and understood, that he and his brother weren't young boys anymore who had to be shielded from the more unpleasant happenings in life and I was not to with-hold any similar thing from them again. I felt a bit chastised but had only had their interests at heart.

Well now I have to have a colonoscopy for a bowel condition I've been suffering from since last December. The specialist has said it could be something relatively simple, it could be an irritable bowel condition or colitis or it could be colon cancer. Doctors don't 'beat around the bush' these days when it comes to telling how it is, or how it might be. I'm on a semi-urgent waiting list of up to six weeks so that isn't too long to wait but it's on this forum that I'd like to ask what you would do.

My plan is, or was, is to just have the colonoscopy and if it turns out to be something simple that can be fixed with a change of diet or medication, then I will just get on with it and not mention it to my sons. If though it showed a cancer then of course I would let them know straight away. On the other hand, remembering the slight 'telling off' I got from my eldest son the last time I had a medical 'mishap' I'm wondering if maybe I should let them know that this is before me and until the result is through we won't know if we need to be concerned or not. What would you do? None of us like to add extra stress to our kids' lives but .............. Incidentally I've just had a thought that if one of my family was waiting to have a procedure to see if there was anything very wrong I would want to know. Maybe I've answered my own question? My apologies for the length of this. Your thoughts?

ninathenana Tue 06-Jun-17 06:07:03

Personally I would wait on the results before saying anything to them. As I wouldn't want them to worry unnecessarily. Or I'd say "I'm having some tests as they think I might have colitis" I wouldn't mention cancer if it was me. Colitis whilst very unpleasant, is far less worrying.

I sincerly hope it isn't anything serious.

fiorentina51 Tue 06-Jun-17 06:09:27

I think you have answered your own question, Kiwibird.
Many of us forget our kids are adults at times!

Just tell them what is going on so that if, hopefully, all is well, you can celebrate it. If it turns out to be cancer, at least they have been prepared.
Hope all goes well for you. 🌹

harrigran Tue 06-Jun-17 08:38:49

I was in your position and had to have a colonoscopy, I did not tell DC that I was having the procedure but did tell them when I got the diagnosis. My thoughts are that they have enough day to day worries without having us in the equation, DH is the same and will not tell them them that he is ill.

jusnoneed Tue 06-Jun-17 08:47:32

Personally I would wait until the tests were done and I knew what the problem was, I see no point in worrying anyone else. We are a family who go and sort our own problems out, but I know some families like to share all problems and concerns over everything. It's really down to what makes you feel comfortable to share.
Hope the results show nothing too serious.

Greyduster Tue 06-Jun-17 09:13:11

I would wait. There is a saying "Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you"! I had a colonoscopy last year but I didn't tell my children. My son, particularly, would have had it on his mind like a great weight and I wanted to spare him that until I found out whether there was anything to worry about. As it was, there was nothing to worry about. Had it not been the case, I would have told them then. I too hope you get a good outcome.

shysal Tue 06-Jun-17 09:19:39

I would wait for the results, as I did when I was called back after breast screening.
I hope the colonoscopy turns out to show nothing serious. Don't worry about the procedure, it is not as bad as it sounds!

hildajenniJ Tue 06-Jun-17 09:40:03

I would wait until I had the results of the colonoscopy. There's no need to worry the boys over something that might turn out to be entirely manageable. I was in a similar position a couple of years ago with a breast cancer scare. I didn't tell either of my children until I had the all clear. It was a cyst, not a tumour. Good luck with your procedure, I hope all turns out well.

br0adwater Tue 06-Jun-17 10:14:26

I would tell them now.

inishowen Tue 06-Jun-17 10:17:12

Having had a colonoscopy recently I would advise taking the sedation if they offer it. I was out for the count during the procedure. I can't really advise whether you should tell your family or not, but all my family knew i was having mine.

luluaugust Tue 06-Jun-17 10:18:41

As you got the reaction you did last time I think I would tell them you have to have a colonoscopy but not mention anything about cancer, err towards the irritable bowel side of things. I can see part of your problem is you are not face to face, I find I usually have to tell then as apparently my face says it all. Good luck.

Deeana1 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:18:50

I agree with not telling them about the colonoscopy. It's a simple routine which I've had twice, and usually reveals nothing sinister, so to prevent worrying them I would say nothing unless you get a diagnosis of something more serious..

Good luck I hope whatever is causing your discomfort is easily remedied

paddyann Tue 06-Jun-17 10:20:53

I had one for colitis a few years ago ,didn't say anything until the result confirmed the colitis ,though they knew something was wrong as I practically lived in the loo,mine is under control now and I'm much better and to be honest we mostly forget I have it .So dont say anything until you have a result for them

Tessa101 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:21:05

I'm on the side of letting them know, my DD lives in Australia and we always confide in each other along with my eldest DD of any hospital apps or procedures. It's not about worrying them it's about preparing them rather than just saying oh I went to hospital and unfortunately I have this.I feel you have to remember as we get older things start to go wrong and they will be aware of that. I would be very sad if my DDs didn't inform me of these things. Stop holding back as one day you may need there support and they may not be prepared especially as you live in different countries.Wish you well with the procedure.

annodomini Tue 06-Jun-17 10:21:07

I had a colonoscopy last year (with a gastroscopy for good measure), after only two weeks of waiting time as there was a suspicion of cancer. I did tell my sons what was going on. I was quite upset when I found that DS2 had, the previous year, had investigations for suspected lymphoma and hadn't wanted to worry me. Fortunately in both our cases, the investigations showed nothing amiss.

annodomini Tue 06-Jun-17 10:25:11

Incidentally, I had a printout of the results of the procedure before I left the hospital.

vickymeldrew Tue 06-Jun-17 10:25:46

Well Kiwibird, If your DSs lived locally, would you mention it to them? I think you have to remove the fact that you live in different countries and behave exactly as you would if you saw them more frequently. A colonoscopy is a pretty common procedure and your instinct not to mention it is probably correct.

Theoddbird Tue 06-Jun-17 10:26:35

Tell them...simples. You know that is the answer anyway smile

LouP Tue 06-Jun-17 10:26:42

You MUST,MUST,MUST tell them. Don't tell them the worst case scenario at the moment, just that you need to have this operation then if it is bad news you can tell them then. They need never know that you knew the worst case.

Jalima1108 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:29:52

Kiwibird I have had exactly the same reaction from the DD but I still am not sure which is the best way to proceed - whether you should mention the test in a matter-of-fact way or not to say anything until you know the results.

Sorry not to be much help but I know my DD were very upset not to have been told from the beginning and so I told them all when DH had to go for a colonoscopy (results were fine btw).

Jalima1108 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:30:44

and I hope all goes well with you test and the results are fine.

grove1234 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:35:00

Went thru same investigations .Didnt tell anyone still haven't .Their concerns and worries would have only added to my stress .Nothing dire found .
So my advice wait .

fluttERBY123 Tue 06-Jun-17 10:37:07

I would say something along the lines of

"Thought I had better let you know I am going for a (whatever it is, whenever it is). It's probably IBS - will keep you informed, don't want to get told off again!"

They will be as aware as you are it could be something else so will be prepared for any end result.

nipsmum Tue 06-Jun-17 10:37:36

Oh come on. They are big boys and should be told the facts as they are now and the results in the future. It's a bit insulting to keep. news like that from your adult children. You are treating then like children, they are not , they are grown men.

chrissyh Tue 06-Jun-17 10:37:55

If it was me having a colonoscopy I would wait until after the procedure. However, in your instance, as they were upset that you didn't tell them about your previous problem, I would tell them that you are going to have a colonoscopy without mentioning cancer.