I have moments where I just want to scream “kid with cancer coming through”! It is so bizzare. Why would I want to yell this out? But I do! We were at Devil’s Lake on Saturday having a lovely family hike – well, I don’t think our dog Elwood enjoyed himself much on the stone-steps-straight-up path. Anyhoo. Back to the yelling in my head. So we are hiking and there are tons of people there because it is a gorgeous fall day, and I have to fight to not yell out “kid with cancer coming through”. Ridiculous.
I go back and forth with wanting everyone to know and at the same time wanting to protect Wes, and dad and I, from being treated differently.
Lucky (????) for us, Wes is so young that one thing we haven’t had to contemplate yet is how to tell him about his cancer. I know other parents have gone through this (and boy does it suck that other people have gone through this), so I am sure there is advice out there.
In fact, one parent created this great stuffed animal called Chemo Duck that is given to all kids diagnosed with cancer at American Family Children’s Hospital. It is a 10″ stuffed duck that wears a red and white striped bandana on his head, has a Hickman central line, a blood pressure cuff, and a little blue doctor’s coat. He also comes with a red and white bandana for the child to wear as well. The idea is Chemo Duck will help kids understand all the things the doctors are doing to them and have a little friend that has a central line just like them so they don’t feel so alone. It is a fantastic idea.
There are also Hero Beads, given out by Badger Childhood Cancer Network. There is a bead for every milestone, test, procedure, surgery, lab draw, and more that a child goes through on their cancer journey. Wes already has about 20 beads. And later this week he will get about 10 more, including the one for hair loss. His hair is pretty much all gone now, less a few wispy spots. It happened so fast. He could care less, but it is a constant reminder to me that he has cancer. Oh who am I kidding, I think about it 24/7 without any reminders.