I am six years old and my mommy has cancer. One day she started to go to many doctor appointments. Then she cut her hair short. I think she is sick but getting better now. She goes to chemotherapy. May be it hurts, she says it doesn’t. She shared her numbing lotion with me and it helps her not feel the pain. She looks like a man now, she has no hair. Sometimes she wears a wig, she then looks pretty. When I was going to Montessori she used to drive me there. She doesn’t drive me places now, mostly daddy does. She sometimes doesn’t let me have a play date because she says the house is messy, I don’t know why the house is messy. I wake up around 7, before when I woke up she used to be in the kitchen but now she wakes up later than all of us. She goes to hospital every week now. She has only one breast, before she had two. She has told me that the other one will grow back in summer like her hair. I see some hair on her head. May be she is right. Sometimes she cries, then daddy hugs her. Sometimes she yells at me when I wake her up from her nap but then gives me a hug and tells me its OK. She lets me play on the iPad more than before. I get to watch more movies than before. I read in a book that Steve Jobs died of cancer but mommy says he didn’t go for treatment. Mommy goes for treatment. I don’t think she is dying, she doesn’t look like she is dying. She and I will run a race this summer, she likes to run but doesn’t run now, it is really cold outside. Daddy and I and my sister went to see “Frozen”, she didn’t go. She has marks on her and a round thing in her chest.
Sometimes I feel sad, I want my old mommy back, the one that has hair just like my friend’s mom. But they will grow back. I can see it. She sometimes comes to the school bus stop and when she does , we talk about a lot of stuff. But then the crossing guard starts to talk to her, I don’t like that. I like when I come back from school and she is waiting for me. She doesn’t come there all the time. It is cold outside. We don’t go to really busy places these days because daddy says she can get infection. I had an infection last year, it didn’t feel good.
I love my mommy.She always knows when I am tired and when she says that, I end up yawning. Then I get angry and say,”I am not tired”. I like when she gives me “tubbies”. I like it when she helps me with my homework and I love the chicken she makes. Daddy cooks but mostly vegetables, I like chicken better. I like sleeping next to her when she will let me but sometimes when she is really tired , she doesn’t let me.She came to my Halloween party at school, I told my friend she was wearing a wig. She was mad at me for doing that. But friends share secrets.
I love my mommy…a lot.
The hardest thing about being a parent with cancer is not knowing what your kids are thinking. Every thing you do, everything that you go through affects them now and later. How can I not appreciate this as a mother and as a psychiatrist. I try to imagine what he thinks, I try to imagine what he might feel. I don’t know, so I just have to keep trying, to get better and better and keeping loving him, in his reality as he is imagining it.