Why I involved my kids in oral cancer recovery

When I was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, a type of oral cancer, my husband and I tried to be as open and honest with our two children as possible. At the time, Jeremy was 8 and Violet was 5, but we felt like they had a right to know. Besides, we couldn’t have hidden the fact that I was totally incapacitated, bald and tongueless even if we’d wanted to. So we gave them the facts in simple terms. We didn’t sugarcoat or share excessive details. And as my treatment progressed, we kept them informed and even included them in my care. It was a big deal for them, and they still talk about it a lot. I’m convinced the way we handled it is what helped them stay so well-adjusted. How we involved the children in my oral cancer treatment Kids can handle a lot more than you think. What scares them is Mommy and Daddy whispering and sneaking around hiding things. Their imaginations and fears are usually much worse than reality. So we did our best never to leave them in the dark. The kids were old enough when I was diagnosed to understand how serious it was, but still young enough to be scared and confused. The kid kit MD Anderson gave us helped a lot. It included a DVD that explains cancer, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy from a child’s perspective. It was by kids and for kids, and was really cute and informative. It also helped that I was in Houston for the really gruesome parts of my treatment...