Cancer info-booth outside the outpatient cancer department

As a curious soul I entered a luxuriously mahogany wooded booth with two functioning computers with all the favorites hit in for cancer patients. I asked the women behind and office looking inner room what was the meaning of all this anyway. You see I have a nanny who might want to know exactly what is happening to me, and a 3 year old who might need a bit of explanation now that she is asking questions, and acting as if she is dead and saying “I am dead”. I have been rather freaked out by her comment about death, so was I in the right place?

I got shuffled off to a summary in English that she gladly printed out for my Au-pair and said she would make further contact via e-mail as soon as possible, or whenever her colleague returned from the lunch break. She her self seemed quite flustered, maybe because I was her first “customer” with a demand.

I went back into the department where I get outpatient care, and explained that I did not want a book about kids with cancer, or a free backpack, but a book about why mommy has cancer. I dumb founded the nurse who was also new, and eager to help. I took the pamphlet anyway to make her feel better, but it really was not what I was after. ( In fact NO I don’t want to scare the living daylights out of my daughter, she is already empathizing with my pains and now itchy skin telling me she has it too.)

I don’t need to reinforce that she too could at this very moment have cancer by giving her a book meant for children with cancer. God help me if she has cancer too at such a young age it would destroy my psychological well being.

My child needs a picture book in cartoon form of her mommy getting medicine in a tube from a doctor. She does not need to understand what cancer cells are and what chemo does. Just a book about the process of what does Mommy do when she goes to the hospital for the day. Does she get time to talk to the doctor and nurses or do puzzles like she gets to do in the play area?

Gals, I think it is time to think of themes and I’ll get back to doing some sketching and making storyboards. I found a cheap ringed watercolor paper when I have finalized the ideas. If a book is not provided for me in the next 3 weeks, I will make my own, thank you very much. I have made other home made books about how the wedding for my brother was going to be, I can make one about a subject I am also very familiar with. Any takers on subjects or simple analogies for a 3 year old? Let’s hear them!

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5 Responses to Cancer info-booth outside the outpatient cancer department

  1. feener says:

    great site you guys have. i found you through svmoms. a good friend of mine’s mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and we are doing a walk a thon to rainse money and awareness. you are amazing ladies. the book idea sounds interesting = have you ever talked with a publisher about it all ?? i use to work at a big pub house and could try to contact you to someone ????

  2. Sara says:

    hey curious soul,
    have you checked these out?
    http://www.amazon.com/Our-Mom-Has-Cancer-HC/dp/094423531X
    or
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2080181_identify-childrens-books-breast-cancer.html
    (check the list at the bottom that says tips & warnings. it has a list of books for kids whose parents have cancer).

    maybe those will help. regardless of what you find, i support you writing your own!! only you know what will help your child most, and i’m sure you could give some insight that the other books might not have. also, you could take pictures of yourself at the hospital and show her pictures of you going through each step (this is mommy checking in, this is mommy’s nurse helping mommy…etc). maybe pictures of you would both be soothing (because they’re you!) and help her visualize. just an idea. good luck, and your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you who cares so much about helping her understand what’s happening.
    -sara

  3. I have been working on a book similar to what you are saying, using my lemon metaphor (www.lemonland.org). It would be great to know what moms like you think needs to be in a book like this. Drop me a line and let’s talk!

    The Mayor

    mayor *at* lemonland.org

  4. cancervisa says:

    I found one book written in Dutch “Mama heeft een knobbletje. — mommy found a lump.

    But it was meant for a girl who was already reading age and could skate. I am not sure my 3 year old can relate, I have a call into the phycologist for suggestions too!

    Paperback | 100 Pagina’s | Uitgeverij Podium B.V.
    ISBN10: 9057590581 | ISBN13: 9789057590580

  5. I’m all for writing your own book!

    One of the books I borrowed was :
    When a Parent Has Cancer, A Guide to CAring for Your Children, by Wendy Schlessel Harpham, MD. It included am illustrated children’s book: Becky and the Worry Cup, by the same author.

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