Hi. I call myself “mommydoctor” because when my middle child was three years old or so she said something about her pediatrician being a “DD.” When I looked confused, she pointed to the initials after my name on my white coat and explained, “Well, you are a ‘MD’ — MommyDoctor — and he is a DD — DaddyDoctor.”
The twin challenges of cancer survivorship and motherhood are nothing new to me. When I was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1990, my children were 1, 3 and 5 years old. I’ve been in and out of treatment ever since.
Right now my cancer is in remission, and my children are happy, healthy young adults.
None of it has been easy, but a lot of good has come out of an unwanted and unwelcome situation. I’ve learned a lot through my successes and many mistakes.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had a busy solo practice of internal medicine. Ongoing illness forced me to close my medical practice and then leave clinical medicine. So I’ve been writing and speaking about all aspects of survivorship, advocating for patients everywhere I go.
A topic most dear to my heart is rearing healthy children when a parent has cancer. I’ve written When a Parent has Cancer as well as two children’s books – Becky and the Worry Cup and The Hope Tree (co-authored with Laura Numeroff).
Underlying all of my blog posts, lectures, articles and books about parenting is one theme: The greatest gift we can give our children is not protection from the world, but the confidence and tools to cope and grow with all that life has to offer.
I hope to offer whatever insights or advice I can from the perspective of a mom who has been there and is now a happy empty-nester.
With hope, Wendy