So I was just thinking of things this morning that I am grateful for and a sweet memory started walking across my mind.
About a week ago, just after we had told everyone I have cancer, I had 3 little boys sitting at my kitchen table. Marcus, Brody and my son, Charlie. All three are in third grade and all three really like M&M ice cream cookies. So, they were sitting there munching away and I decided it would be a good time to talk about breasts. And specifically cancer in breasts.
I have recently realized that talking about cancer makes people uncomfortable. And talking about breasts seems to make males in general uncomfortable. So I was about to hit them with a double whammy.
“So, I have breast cancer!” I announced in an upbeat tone.
The chewing slowed down and the boys all nodded. “I know” Brody answered. “My mom told me.”
“Charlie told me!” Marcus tattled, which was followed by a vehement, “I DID NOT!” by Charlie.
I went on to tell Charlie that it’s okay if he did. He is welcome to tell anyone he wants, and sometimes it makes us feel better to tell our friends what’s on our hearts.
Charlie’s friends sat at that table and in a 5 minute conversation asked me everything that I imagine Charlie wanted to ask me, but just couldn’t form into words: Does it hurt? (no) Are you going to die? (NO) Do you have to do that chemo thing? (not sure yet)
Then Brody went on to explain chemo better than I’ve ever heard it explained before. He said, “Is chemo where they give you medicine to take away the disease, but for a while it makes you feel like you always have the flu?” Yes.
Charlie didn’t say a word during the entire conversation, but I could tell he was soaking it all in and picking up his cues from his friends who seemed neither scared of the disease nor timid about asking questions.
It would have taken me hours to convey to Charlie what his friends were able to get across in a few short minutes: It’s all going to be okay, so let’s go play.