Breast cancer survivor: How I’m helping my child cope with my diagnosis

Last June, I found out I had breast cancer. For me, the worst thing about getting that diagnosis was having to break the news to my 9-year-old daughter, Evelyn. I knew she’d have a lot questions, so I wanted to wait until I had more information about my stage and treatment plan. When I called MD Anderson to set up an appointment, I found out about MD Anderson in Katy, which is just five minutes from my house. There, I learned my official diagnosis: stage IA triple-positive infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Dr. Sunil Patel explained that even though this type of breast cancer is aggressive, it’s easily treatable with chemotherapy and surgery. After that appointment, I knew it was time to share the news with Evelyn. Here’s how I’ve helped my daughter cope with my diagnosis. Seek professional advice and support Before I told Evelyn about my diagnosis, I sought the help of a social work counselor at MD Anderson in Katy. She gave me some tips and talking points to guide me through my conversation with Evelyn. As I learned from the information she gave me, children will change the topic once they can no longer process the information they’re given. Sure enough, after my husband and I finally told Evelyn about my diagnosis and assured her my prognosis looked good, she asked me a few follow-up questions and then asked if we could bake some blueberry muffins. Later, she came back to me with more questions. I tried to reassure her that Dr. Patel and the rest of my care team would treat my cancer, but she was...