So, we told the kids tonight.
I know they had been sensing something was going on since last week and I didn’t want to keep it from them any longer.
It was hard to find the right time to tell them. We had planned to tell them Friday, but when we got home they were so darn happy and carefree…we chickened out and decided to give them one more night.
Following the advice of friends and a great therapist, we kept the conversation very simple. We let them lead most of it with their questions.
I stayed very upbeat. They thought the part about me losing my boobs and getting new ones was hysterically funny. And when they asked what kind of cancer and I said “breast”, that got some giggles as well.
We talked about people we know that have survived cancer, and seem perfectly fine now. I think that helped. I also used an analogy from a friend…just like there are many different kinds of fruit (how different is a banana from a grape), there are many wildly different kinds of cancer.
One of the books I read said to assure them that cancer isn’t contagious. “I was wondering about that”, my youngest said.
I know they are worried, but an hour or two later everything seemed pretty much back to normal. We told them they could choose any restaurant for dinner, and they happily picked The Melting Pot. So between bites of chocolate fondue I got comments like “Mom, if you have to lose your hair, DON’T go out in public without a wig.” and “Does your boob, like, hurt right now?” The hardest question came from my middle schooler…
“But how did you get cancer, where did it come from?”
If only we could answer that one.
As much as I want their world to be perfect and without pain, I am glad we told them. No secrets. We will face this thing together, as a family.