How are your little ones doing through your cancer journey?

I went to my GP last year to get my little girl checked. After everything we went through during my cancer journey, I wasn’t sure she has got over mummy loosing her hair (she still askes me when my hair is going to grow long again) and mummy not being well. Valentina was 4 when I was diagnosed with Stage III Bowel Cancer, she is now 5. We read her books and explained that mummy was going to get “strong medicine” called chemo to make mummy better. We were open about my treatment and kept everything at her level of maturity so she could understand everything that was going on. We would always ask her if she had any questions. She drew pictures of me and her at daycare during my treatment every single day. I was sick in the pictures and she was right by my side. I was always happy though. She played with her stuffy toys and pretended they were sick too.

She is a very inquisitive girl and 8-9 months post treatment, she began asking my husband lots of questions about death (when are you and mummy going to die? Where are you going to go when you die? I don’t like that I don’t know when you and mummy are going to die) so I thought maybe we should take her to see a psychologist.

We took her to the psychologist and she told the psychologist straight up that she wanted mummy to grow her hair long, that she was worried about what it would happen to her and to her brother in case mummy and daddy died. This is why she couldn’t get to sleep at night easily.

By the way I wasn’t in the room when she spoke to the psychologist. I spent sometime speaking to the psychologist before her then Valentina had her turn by herself. When the psychologist got me back into the room and told me exactly what Valentina had told her. I held up my tears…I couldn’t believe she was worried about what it would happen to her and her brother? She was only 5…

So the psychologist talked to us both and clarify to both of us what Valentina had just said and asked Valentine to correct her if she was wrong. The psychologist reiterated and confirmed that mummy was growing her hair but normally it takes time. The psychologist also told Valentina that she shouldn’t worry about what would happen to her as this was something for mummy and daddy to worry about. The psychologist said that mummy and daddy would put something in place in the rare event that something was to happen with them but for now mummy and daddy are all good.

Valentina came out of the psychologist practice happier. It looked like she had lifted a weight off her shoulders. She went to sleep quickly that night and by herself. Since then, I took her back to the same psychologist…but Valentina talked about other things and nothing to do with my sickness anymore.

I felt it was so worthy to take her to the psychologist as I didn’t even know and probably wouldn’t know that she was worrying about what would happen to her and her brother in case something happened to me and her dad?

So if you have a little one, maybe it is worthy getting them some help. Sometimes we feel we have been honest, open and clear with them but it takes someone from the outside to really get through their heads.

Kids are so resilient…they are incredible but they are human beings that have feelings, complex feelings sometimes and as hard as it is for us to absorb things, it will be hard for them too.

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