Monday, September 15, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest...

Over the weekend Sully asked me what a hysterectomy was. He said he has heard me talk about it so much and he didn't know what it was so he wanted to know.

In order to tell him this I had to give him a brief anatomy lesson.

I love how we have these amazing talks during our day to day activities. This all took place while we were walking through the neighborhood selling popcorn for Cub Scouts. I explained the purpose of the uterus and what ovaries and tubes are. I told him that we knew that the cancer I had grew because of my ovaries (I chose to not get into the whole hormone discussion about estrogen.) So by having this surgery I would be protecting myself. I asked if he had any other questions and then a short while later before he was completely wiped out from the door-to-door popcorn sales he asked me "when I grow up will I get cancer because you breast fed me?" I took a deep breath and said "I hope that you never get cancer. And I can say with certainty that my breast feeding you wouldn't give you cancer." I mentioned this conversation to a friend she said she always says none of us know these things.

While I think there is honesty and validity to this I also think this is not the answer Sully was looking for. I pray that he and Mike never get cancer. And while it is true that none of us know what will happen -- at the age of nine these are some of the conversations that we have. It is such a blessing that we can have them. That Sully is able to articulate his thoughts and fears and feels close enough and comfortable enough that we can talk openly.

Ancora Imparo


Anonymous said...

Your answer to Sully was absolutely perfect...his super-logical brain had made the link between nursing and breast cancer and his future exposure to CA, and he was clearly concerned about this possibility. There are enough hard things for a 9 year old to worry about in this world without adding another one. Besides, I think you were absoluely accurate in your DO hope he never gets cancer, and you ARE certain that nursing him didn't expose him to any cancer risk. Replying that "we don't know these things" may seem like the most honest answer possible, but to me, it is a cop-out statement...the thing you would say when you just don't want to think about an indepth response.

G-d bless you all.

Marilyn, Fred and Betty

joyce said...

You are blessed to have a son like Sully who thinks deeply and thoutfully about life and all its wonders. You are blessed as well to be able to communicate so honestly with your 9 year old. He is still trying to navigate his way through this whole thing. You and Mike are the greatest source of love and comfort for him and your comunication with each other is key to this whole healing process. You are one hell of a family!!!! Hugs, Joyce

Aaron said...

Hardly an original thought, but it always amazes me how people tend to seriously underestimate how much kids understand about the world around them. It doesn't surprise me that he'd ask about it (after all, its obviously a major topic of conversation around the house), but his composure, thoughtfulness and ability to express himself are really impressive.

I also commend you and Mike for engaging in an honest, ongoing dialogue with him. I can vividly recall that when I was a kid and my mother was hospitalized, there was a virtual cone of silence about what was going on, and when any information was shared with us, it tended to be done on what was, shall we say a post-graduate level. Fear and befuddlement are not a great combination, especially for a kid!

I think that even the worst situations in life can present us with opportunities, and in this case Sully is getting a powerful lesson on facing adversity with composure, honesty, openness and love.

Take care and all my best to you and "the boys".


Juls said...

You're such a great Mom and you and Mike (like everyone has said) deserve so much credit for raising an extremely bright and curious boy. And for being honest with him every step of the way. Clearly, he's got fears (don't we all?) but you've got such an amazing relationship that he's not afraid to ask and you're not dancing around an honest answer.

Oy, the thought of breastfeeding being a precursor to cancer in 40 years is frightening but thankfully, we know that is not the case. But quite powerful that Sully even connected the two to potentially see the cause and effect.

You are ALL so amazing. That's why I love you all so much! said...

hi guys....we thought we'd pop in to catch up on everything....and momma mia...what a ride you've been on!!...our hearts and soul are with you and when mom and i do our yoga in the morning, we will
say a special healing pray for you okay?
don't forget how much you are loved...
marge jarvis and sheri malvestuto
(and ernie and bob)