We knew we had to tell Taylor about the cancer because she was obviously at the age where she would know that something was going on. She's also too smart for her own good and there would be no blowing this by her!!
I remember it being shortly after she did the Terry Fox run at school. She had also written a letter about him in school and had been telling us about it and how he died of his cancer. I thought to myself, GREAT!! How do I reassure her that I'M going to be fine when she has just learned about Terry Fox!! Talk about bad timing!!
So I tried to use it as more of a teaching tool since she had already had some kind of cancer background in her head. I remember being terrified to tell her anything and was worried about how it was going to come out. NO child should have to deal with something like this. It's tough enough going through life as it is but having to worry about a parent being sick is just not right!!
I told her that Mommy was going to be going back into the hospital after the baby was born so that the doctors could get some bad stuff out of her neck. I briefly explained that while I did have cancer (like Terry Fox), it was a very different kind of cancer and there were lots of things the doctors could do to help me.
She looked at me and said, OK....... WOW, I love kids! It may have taken a while to sink into her but for now she was just dealing with it in her own way. I then asked her if she had any questions and she said NO. Then I told her that if she ever had anything she needed to talk about she could talk to me no problem. OK Mommy....
I couldn't even imagine what her little mind was going through. I didn't even know how to process the whole thing and I am an adult...I would have loved to know EXACTLY what was happening in that little mind of hers.
So, time went on and of course there were moments of acting out on her part...and mine! Whether or not it had to do with the stress I was under, or the stress she was feeling, or a combination of both. Or maybe she was just being a kid going through regular tantrums and I was reading more into it who knows.
Maybe I expected her to be more devastated about it like I was, or maybe the lack of knowledge that kids have on subjects like this is indeed a blessing. Now I just need to keep things like GOOGLE away from her. HA!!
One day she did come up to me, looked at me and asked the one question that I had been dreading... Mommy, are you going to die?
OUCH!! What do you do with that?? I guess I could have said something like "Well honey, we are all going to die eventually", but that would have been a cop out and not what she was talking about and I knew it.
So, I did what any mother would do to protect her child from any more worry and hurt and told her in my most convincing voice, "No honey, Mommy is not going to die from this"...then gave her a huge hug, she smiled at me and I smiled at her, then I went upstairs and cried...because to tell you the truth, at the time I didn't even really believe what I had just said...
Children are amazing little creatures and I learn more and more about life through their eyes every single day. Their faith and trust is remarkable!!!