how kids cope

My three children dealt with my cancer in different ways. We all thought you might like to know how it affected them, and how they dealt with it.

Merlyn

Merlyn, 19

I had people around to talk to but found myself talking to no one about it. Mum told us they had caught it early and everything would be fine. And, because she was having chemo at home, I could see for myself that she was okay. So, I tried to get on with life as normal, after all mum was going to work everyday, so I acted as if everything was normal too. I feel in hindsight that perhaps I could have been more involved, but I didn’t really know how to deal with the situation.

Jenny

Jenny, 15

Like most children, I didn’t want to burden mum with my concerns, so I talked to my friends at school and it helped me cope. I did have days when I’d constantly be worrying that she would suddenly die though. Luckily mum always reassured me by telling me she was feeling better and how positive the doctors were feeling about her progress. She obviously felt it important to keep me in the loop, and probably didn’t realise how much she was helping me.

Richard

Richard, 13

I hated it when mum lost her hair. She wouldn’t wear her wig in the house, but she looked normal with a wig on. If someone knocked at the door, I’d run at her with the wig, begging her to put it on. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn’t. I thought people would make fun of her, and then I’d have to fight them to make them stop. I feel a bit stupid that I was so sensitive about mum’s hair, when there were more important things to worry about, but what can I say, I was eight?