My daughter means the world to me, and seeing her distraught over breast cancer was painful to watch. Emma was a champ throughout my diagnosis, and even my sister’s. However, she still had her own moments and issues during my diagnosis. I sat down with Emma recently to gain a little extra perspective from her point-of-view. To all of the moms out there seeking treatment, this little Q & A session might help you know what your child may be thinking and feeling.
I was sad. I knew some people die from cancer since we do the Relay for Life and I really didn’t want to lose you.
What was the scariest thing about everything?
That you had more cancer than what they thought you did.
When Mommy left for her surgery, how’d you feel?
Sad. I didn’t want you to leave because I would miss you. Without you, I may have nightmares. I feel safe when I know you are home. I was scared too. I really wanted you to come back, but I had Daddy and Rosie (our dog) to keep me company.
What were the saddest and happiest moments?
Altogether, I would say you having breast cancer was the saddest. Knowing that there is such a big family history scares me. The happiest would be when you were done with recovering from your mastectomies and you were able to come home. I knew your cancer was gone then.
When I received the news that I’m cancer free, what did you think?
I loved it! You could come back home and you could do stuff with me other than sleep and watch movies.
What was it like going to the doctor’s with Mommy?
When I went to one of your (plastic surgery) appointments, watching that needle go into your boob was scary. I had a lot of fun though because we made a day out of it. Going to Pike’s Place Market in Seattle is always fun.
What was the best and worst thing about the whole experience?
The worst was finding out you had cancer and figuring out that I might get cancer when I’m older. I don’t know if there is a best thing about it. Knowing that we got your cancer out and that you are here is pretty good.
I cried when you had cancer too because you left me to have your mastectomies. I didn’t want anyone else in our family to have cancer. It made Great-Nana, Nana, you, and then Auntie; that’s too many people.
When you saw Auntie without her hair for the first time how’d that go?
It was kind of funny and sad. Funny because she was bald and had these teeny-tiny specs of hair coming out, like when I see my baby pictures. Sad because she had cancer and it was a way to show me she wasn’t healthy any more. I was afraid to give her a hug because I didn’t want to hurt her.
What would be your advice to another child whose parent is going through all of this?
Just stay calm. Pray that they’ll be better. Talk to others and know you don’t have to be scared by yourself. Give them a bunch of loves when they are feeling sad because it will help them feel better.
New posts every Monday and Wednesday.