Friday, 29 July 2011

Talking to Children

On Wednesday we lay down on our bed with I&S and told them that H's bad back is caused by cancer, and that the doctors can't make it better but are giving H medicine to try to stop it getting worse.

We answered all their questions but they didn't ask about death, so we didn't say anything.  S said that she'd seen a television programme where they could cure cancer, so we told her that not all cancer is the same but mummy is a cancer doctor herself and will get the best possible treatment.  IA* said shouldn't we tell the other boys, so we told them we already had.

They realised it was serious, if only from our tone, and they both know already that people can die of cancer, but we had lots of hugs and they seem to have taken it very well.

About an hour later IA remarked on the lump on H's scalp, which he's not noticed before.  So the conversation seems to have been well-timed.

Yesterday we took S to meet her best friend, who lives 20 miles away so they don't meet very often, in a park halfway between us (next to S's former school).  Within minutes the friend came up to me and asked whether H has got cancer.  Which she has.

*using initials to identify a grammatical subject goes wrong when the initial is 'I'.  Hence 'IA'.

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