Understanding Kids When You Have Cancer, Episode 2

Hello Beautiful! This is the second episode of a three part blog series about how to grow closer as a family and support your kids when you have cancer.

In this edition, I talk about the healing benefits of journaling that we discovered together, as a family.

My twins Macie and Griffin loved seeing how happy journaling made me feel.

Before I started to journal I cried a lot.  

Journaling my thoughts gave me a focus and purpose. Each day I would write about a quote I had read or about something that upset me that day. I used my favorite book at that time called, You Can’t Ruin My Day to help me survive ... no joke, this book saved my life.

It taught me how to not react in certain situations. It taught me that I had a choice in my feelings and in my reactions. This was a new concept for me.

I had given my power away most of my adult life and this is something I never want my kids to emulate. If I was going to die, THAT was the one and only lesson I wanted to teach my kids. You have the power to make choices! Do not let others negatively influence you or ruin your day!

I asked my twins Griffin and Macie (both 9 years old): “How afraid were you when you found out your mom had cancer? Describe it to me.”

To follow is what they said. I did not edit or change anything. There is so much power in the words and pictures that my son Griffin wrote. This was it. This was the only time he journaled with me. I tried to get him to do it again, but I think that one time was enough for him for awhile. He GOT OUT his feelings and anger, and I swear he has been a different kid since. Even he would admit that. I asked him last year, “Why do you think you stopped being so angry, bud?”

He said, “I just woke up one day and decided to not be angry anymore.” I was driving in my car and I had wished I had a recorder because those simple words brought me to TEARS. He actually LISTENED to me. He HEARD the lesson I was trying to teach him. For the first time in my life, I felt like a good mom. For the first time in my life I felt like my kids respected me.

This is only one of the short stories that I will write about in my book Cancer Saved My Life, but really, THIS is exactly why I tell people cancer saved my life. Cancer brought me closer to my children. Cancer opened my eyes to love, true authentic love. Cancer taught me to teach my kids to love themselves and to respect and have compassion for others, no matter what.

Living with cancer taught me to forgive myself and others, NO MATTER WHAT, and this is something I want to pass on to my kids. These are big lessons for my little kids to learn.

Cancer hasn’t been fun for me or my kids, but I do believe that cancer has changed all of us in some way.

Here is Griffin’s story. He labeled it, “Griffin’s end of the story” It brings me to tears (happy tears) reading this because It takes me back to this day. This story is precious and I cherish it with all of my heart.

Griffin's end of the story.

I thought when my mom had cancer I felt bad for her because cancer is hard to fight especially the cancer they said she had. Also I did not get to see her that much because she was in the hospital all the time trying to fight the cancer. I knew what cancer was at that time when she was in the process of getting the cancer. I think cancer is just a waste of time and cancer has no point. It does nothing except hurt people or kill people.

When I knew my mom had cancer I was worried because I heard that cancer can kill people. I was angry and sad because she had cancer when she was younger, near the age 4 and that was sad even though I was not alive. I still felt really bad for her.

When I saw my mom with no hair, I was like, “What happened to you?” I did not know that chemotherapy kills your hair. The medicine kills you. Or you can say, it is poison, but that is what kills cancer. Also when I saw my mom sick I did not know what had happened to her because she did not know either. When I saw my mom in the hospital I thought that must be painful because it just looked painful. Even though I was not in her situation, I could see her pain. That made me sad.

When My mom had cancer she acted tired and she could not move that well so that is why I cook dinner for her because she was tired and stressed from all the medicine.

The hardest thing when my mom had cancer for me was when she had all the tubes in her. She had nose tubes, and tubes where she would pee. She had a colon bag on her stomach. She could not walk or drive. She could not do anything active, but when she got older or more done from cancer she could teach her friends and have more fun than the boring things that she had to do.

What I learned from having my mom have cancer was to be careful and not get too mad and stressed and wash your hands so they stay clean.

I said to my mom, “But I don't wash my hands. I don’t get sick and she responded and said then you must be doing something right or you are just healthy and I said, “probably.”

If I had to give advice to other kids if their mom or dad have cancer, I  would tell them to help their parents carry stuff and say I love you a lot  because you never know what could happen to your parents.  I told my mom that I loved her a lot, and she loved what I said to her.  Also, tell your parents Never Give Up!

I am going to tell you how my mom found out she had cancer. My mom found out when her stomach Started to hurt for a while and she had no clue what it was.  She went to the doctor and they took x-rays of her stomach. They told her she had a tumor in her and that meant that she had cancer. That tumor grew and that is called stages and it grew until it got to the worst stage.  She had the worst tumor that you can have and her cancer name was Ovarian Cancer. It is one of the worst you can get and has no cure and she survived.

Also she is living now and she is cancer free which is good. She has been having a great life and I am so proud of her for surviving that hard year of cancer. I am Thankful for having you as a mom, I love you mom.

I want to end on that sweet note because it makes me smile big and beam with JOY! Next week, you’ll hear more about my kids’ feelings, observations and lessons from my time with ovarian cancer.

I hope this episode inspired you to LOVE and EMPOWER yourself and your kids (loved ones, if you don’t have kids) even more!

Until next week!

Do you find journaling to be healing too? And, have you ever journaled with your kids?

If you found inspiration to journal your way to more joy after reading this post, and know someone who could use a pick-me-up, please share this with them.