Sunday, March 16, 2008

The C Word

Henry's been asking a lot of questions lately. Up till now he's asked very little, just kind of gone with the program. I'm not sure if he's just had time to process, or if it's just because he's older.

"Why did I get sick?"

"When will I get my tubies out?" (his Hickman)

"How does the medicine get from my tubies to my head?"

"Why will germs hurt me?"

"Why do I have to go to the hospital again?"

Some have been tough to answer. I'm reminded of the joke of a kid who asks his mom where he came from, and she gives him the whole birds and the bees, to which he replies, "Mom, Jimmy says he's from Cleveland. Where did I come from?" I'm not always sure what he's asking, but so far he seems satisfied with my answers.

It's been over 5 months since he was diagnosed. In all this time, I've never used the word cancer with him. Of course, he doesn't know what it is anyway, so it isn't the concept that's bothered me. But I couldn't bear to hear that word come out of his little lips.

I've been realizing lately that describing his cancer as "being sick" is a little misrepresentative, and might cause undue anxiety with subsequent colds or minor illnesses. So I took a big gulp and used the C word. He used it back, just once. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.


SOCKS said...

You are so sensitive, sensible, courageous. Just take Henry's lead - he is so sensitive, sensible and courageous.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Smak, Henry couldn't ask for a better Mom to answer his questions.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes these things just time themselves. You are a wise mother for waiting until that happened. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Smack, Henry is really lucky to have a mom like you. I hope everything turns out for the best. My best wishes.