This precious eight-year-old is the one person that I live my life for. She is the one I try to make laugh when she’s down. The one I try to teach right from wrong and what is important in life. The one reason I am so active in fundraising for cancer research. She’s the reason I strive to be the best I can be.
When I was diagnosed, my husband and I had to take Emma into consideration. How much do we tell her? What information will we leave out? What will we need to do to help her understand and support her? With all of those questions, we decided to do what we knew was right with her. We told her the truth. We allowed her to ask questions; nothing went unanswered. We allowed her to be emotional when she needed to be. We allowed her to guide us in how we can help her best.
Having children while seeking cancer treatments is difficult, to say the least. When it is time for you to be concerned about yourself, you rarely have that luxury to just focus on you. Your significant other, family, and friends may step in to assist, but at times, there is nothing better than a mother’s love for her children. Emma often needed hugs, cuddles, and small pep talks. The only one she wanted it from was me. Most of the time I was happy to oblige, but there were those times when I needed to take an extra five-minutes to myself before I could focus on her.
Emma had her emotional times with my diagnosis. While I was away for a week in Seattle, she felt it would be best to keep my side of the bed warm at night. Once I came home, the only place she wanted to sleep was near me, often asking if she could sleep on the couch next to my recliner. Slowly, we would see her spirits lifting as my recovery neared its end.
It truly is hard seeing your daughter concerned for not only your health, but now for her future. When her auntie, my sister, was diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma’s concerns became more warranted. She now knows that there is definitely a family history and it could easily be passed on to her and her cousins. How many eight-year-olds do you know that are concerned for their future breast health? I know two of them.
Emma is a bright girl full of love, generosity, and kindness. She’s an active participant in fundraising for cancer research because of her own convictions; hoping that they’ll find something to help all the ones she loves. She’s a lover of nature, animals, and learning. She’s a dress-wearing girly girl, yet a tomboy who will climb trees, collect bugs, and play in the mud. She is in her own right, a cancer survivor – one who has survived her mother’s cancer and now her aunt’s cancer.
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