KID’S CORNER

YOUR MOM NEEDS ALL THE SNUGGLING SHE CAN GET

Well, we sure wish you didn’t need this “corner,” but are so glad you found us. We KNOW it is very scary when your parent has been diagnosed with cancer. You probably have a lot of questions and concerns about her treatment, possible loss of hair from chemo, and the future.

Your big question likely is, “How is this going to affect ME?” That’s normal. Parents are “suppose” to be invincible (never tired, sad, or sick, and able to do all things). But they are not. They are people, just like you and me, and we get sick and sad and tired too.
One thing to remember is that although life may be different for a while, this is also a time to really be “a family” and to pull together to support each other. As your mom goes through her treatments to get better, you may have to put yourself second and put your mom (or dad – men can get breast cancer too, but not often) first. That’s not always easy or fun, but you will be so glad you did, and your mom will so appreciate your help and encouragement.

LOOK FOR THE BRIGHT SPOTS

Our moms WANT to “be there” for us, but during this time they may just not feel well enough to do what they used to do. The treatments for breast cancer – surgery, chemo, and radiation – can make your mom very tired, weak, and even sick to her stomach. That is when you can help her the most and show the most patience and love. This should not last forever. The treatments are to help her get better.

We encourage you to talk to your mom, dad, or another adult about YOUR feelings during this time. Cancer does really suck and can turn life upside down for a while. So feelings of anger, hurt, resentment, and fear are normal. The worst thing you can do is to keep those feelings bottled up inside. Get them out in the open and ask for help to cope with them. Feelings like that just grow bigger if you don’t talk about them and deal with them as soon as possible. And you are not the first kid to have those feelings in this situation.

To help you deal with your mom having cancer, we have listed two websites for kids below and some thoughts and tips from our own kids who went through this with us. We hope they help.

Kids Konnected
provides assistance to children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.
www.kidskonnected.org | 1.800.899.2866

Cancer Really Sucks
is a website designed by teens and for teens to help them cope with a parent’s cancer.
www.cancerreallysucks.org

THOUGHTS & TIPS FROM OUR KIDS

CANCER CAN HELP YOU REMEMBER WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT

When my mom first got breast cancer, she told almost all of her friends. I told no one. I didn’t want a pity party or a condolence session. But she didn’t tell her friends in order to get sympathy, she did it because she needed support. So give her support. Help her be strong. Face the challenge together. Tell her how much you love her. Make every single day count. Every Single Day.
Katie, 14 at mom’s diagnosis, now 17

Timmy, at the hairdresser to get his hair cut with his mom (who had lost all her hair and was wearing a wig), told the lady “ My mom doesn’t need one because her hair comes off.”
Timmy, almost 3

My mom told me she had breast cancer on November 12 2010. I was very sad at first but I didn’t feel any other emotions because I knew we would get through it. When she lost her hair i didn’t care. Some people are embarrassed to be with their mom when they have no hair. So that’s what I did to support her – I shaved all my hair off the night of her surgery. And everyone supported us, brought us meals, came over just to talk. Cancer will make sometimes harder than others. She might not feel good some days, and that means it’s just a little more work, but it’s worth it for your mom. Just the little things make her happy. Spend time with her, because she appreciates her Child’s support the most.
Cole (a boy), 11 at mom’s diagnosis, now 12