I have terminal cancer – how do I tell my two sons this Christmas will be my last?

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I have terminal cancer – how do I tell my two sons this Christmas will be my last?

DEAR DEIDRE: HOW do I tell my two sons I’m dying? It’s a conversation I’d hoped I’d never have. When I was diagnosed with stage-three bowel canc

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DEAR DEIDRE: HOW do I tell my two sons I’m dying? It’s a conversation I’d hoped I’d never have.

When I was diagnosed with stage-three bowel cancer in 2012, the doctor was positive I could survive it.

How do I tell my boys I won’t be around to see them buy a house, get married or have kids of their own?

But the cancer proved very aggressive.

We don’t know exactly how long I have left but the doctor has said this Christmas is likely to be my last.

I’m 64. My sons are 22 and 19.

They know I have cancer but not that it is terminal.

They are good boys and visit every Saturday.

They live with my ex-wife and although I have a good relationship with them now, they felt I let them down when I walked out ten years ago.

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So how do I tell them I won’t be around to see them buy a house, get married or have kids of their own?

I feel like I’m letting them down all over again.


DEIDRE SAYS: I am so sorry about your diagnosis.

You are not abandoning your children. You have no choice when it comes to your terminal diagnosis.

Your sons may already have guessed the situation. But you are right to want to tell them.

This way, you will all be able to make the most of the time you have left together.

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It will be a difficult conversation but give them time to ask questions and do not be afraid of silence. They may need time to process what you say.

For more advice and guidance, contact the Macmillan Cancer Support line (0808 808 0000).

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