Telling the Boys
One of the questions I have been getting the most is, "How did you tell the boys?"
The three of us had a "family meeting.” I spoke with the boys to let them know about my diagnosis and the PET scan I needed to have last week, which would leave me unable to touch them for almost 24 hours.
(If you don't know already, we are a snuggly bunch so there would be no getting around this without telling them).
In true Special Education teacher fashion, it went sort of like a social story... I'm paraphrasing, but it was something like this:
You know how you both just went to the Drs to get your yearly check-ups? I also to the doctors and get routine check-ups. It's good to go to the doctors to make sure that we are healthy and help us when we are sick.
Sometimes when we are sick, it's something you can see and feel (like when you have a snotty cold or are throwing up and feel all achy). Sometimes when someone is sick, it can be invisible. When I went to the doctors this time, they found something invisible to me. The doctors discovered that I have something called breast cancer.
I know that may sound not good, but there are actually a lot of good things.
It's good that it's very treatable.
It's good that I go to the doctors every year so that they found it early.
It is good that we live in San Diego, where we have one of the best hospitals in the entire world for breast cancer.
I don't want you to be worried because I am going to be fine.
The process of getting fine, though, can be challenging. There will be days where I will be tired. There may even be days that I might throw up. I might even lose my hair.
(At this point, both Seeger and Greer yelled "Ewww!" and "Gross!" and then it devolved into a conversation about the funniest wig I could wear to which they declared would be a blue mohawk....ummmm, nope).
All of that is actually a part of getting better. The Drs. need to kill the cancer, and to do that, it will look like I am sicker than I am now.
You don't need to be worried. I have a great team of doctors, friends, and family. Everyone is going to help out during this time.
In fact, I am getting a special test done today. This test will help the Drs know how to treat me and what medicine to give me to make the cancer go away. The best part is that they put special fluid into my blood, and I become radioactive like Spider-Man. The worst part is I can't hug you for an entire day.
(Side note: At this point, there were lots of questions about what my actual Spiderman abilities would be and if they did touch me, would they be able to climb on walls......and it also may or may not have involved a dance party/sing-along to "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons..... oh yeah, our house is fun and weird like that).
I am going to learn more every day about how we are going to treat this. As I know more, then I will share more with you.
It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel angry or sad or confused or even feel happy and silly and forget about it! All feelings are okay. Feelings just happen to us. We can't control how we feel. We can control what we do with those feelings, though. It's good to talk about our feelings. So, if you feel like talking or asking questions (and there are no questions off-limits), you have lots of people in your life that love you and are here for you for anything that you need.