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Children February 21, 2014

Posted by Judy in parenting.
Tags: , ,

Every parent thinks that their progeny are amazing, adorable, beautiful and smart. And really, that is how it should be. We should support and uplift our children and help them feel confident. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t think you have the cutest or smartest or most amazing children, it doesn’t really matter. We keep believing in our kids and instilling confidence in them.

Sometimes, things will happen that make you realize that, “Wow, my child is more intelligent than I gave them credit for.” Over the past 3 months, DH and I have seen this scenario play out several times with the kids. Within half an hour of getting the diagnosis phone call, we sat the babes down and explained what was going on. (For reference, they are 6, 5, 3 and 1.) We explained things in relatively simple terms: “There is something growing in my body that isn’t supposed to be there and it can cause alot of problems and it could make me very sick.” The older two asked lots of questions and we explained that yes, this could end in death. After about 20 minutes, their attention spans we exhausted and they ran off to do what children do. I figured they probably had a basic understanding but wasn’t really sure.

A few days later, I was talking to the 5 year old, trying to figure out what she understood.
Me: Do you know what I have?
R: Yes, you have breast cancer.
Me: Do you know what that means?
R: It means you could die from it.

I was so floored, that the conversation ended right there. She gave ma a quick squeeze, flashed her million dollar smile and ran off to play.

The 3 year old has a more simplistic understanding, but he is constantly surprising me with his ability to correctly use cancer lingo.
D: Mommy, when you have the lumpectomy, that means they are going to remove the cancer, right?
Me: Right
D: And then chemo will get any small cells that were missed, right?
Me: Uh, yes, that’s correct.

Floored, again.

Another time, we were talking about chemo, and the 6 year old was asking questions for which I did not have answers. (How long will you be on chemo? How many cycles will you have?) The 5 year old pipes up with:
R: Mommy, will you lose your hair with chemo?
Me: Yes.
R: Well, we have a scarf downstairs that you could use to wrap around your head. We’ll make sure it’s clean and ready for you to use.

Her empathy and ability to think ahead and create solutions floored me.

Just yesterday, I was sitting at the kitchen table, working on a table to help me weigh the different surgical options. (Stay tuned for another post with those deets and with an explanation of the chart.) Children are naturally curious, and they asked what I was doing. Immediately, the 6 year old came over and wanted to see. He was asking about the recurrence rate and what that meant.
N: So breast conservation gives you a 15% chance and a double mastectomy gives you a 5% chance.
Me: Correct.
N: Seems like the double mastectomy is better then.
Me: Probably true.
N: But then, of course, you wouldn’t have any breasts.

I don’t know why I was so surprised. He has proven time and again that his critical thinking skills are pretty intense. But, I was once again, floored.

The 5 year old wanted to get in on the conversation and give her opinion.
R: I think a single mastectomy would be better, because then you’d only have one fake boob.

That comment just made me laugh.

So I guess at this point, I should stop being so floored by the babes. It would appear that they have a very good understanding of what is happening and they seem to be processing it quite well.

I can’t tell you what a huge relief that is.


1. Nathan - February 22, 2014

Your kids are wonderful! I’m sure you and hubby are grateful to God for such precious gifts.

2. r - February 22, 2014

It’s so great that you’re able to talk to the kids intelligently about what’s going on. Good for you!

3. rlape85 - February 22, 2014

Definitely you have very intelligent children.May God be with you during this difficult time. Love you. Nibaw typed message. I love you mommy.

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