Saturday, July 3, 2010

The kids

Yesterday we told the kids that Mike has cancer. The more we talk to each other and our support system, the more often the word comes up. Cal & Zoey needed to hear it from us before they heard it someplace else.
Neither of them seemed familiar with the word, cancer. This spring a kindergartner at Cal's school died from cancer. We wanted the kids to understand that Daddy's cancer is different and that we are hopeful that the surgery will get rid of it. We also told them about
Grandma "Moose" (Mike's mom) and how she overcame cancer the year I was pregnant with Cal. We wanted to warn them that they might see people acting upset about Daddy and that we don't want them to be afraid of that. Both kids seem to understand it is serious, but they don't seem to be too horribly disturbed by it. For that, too, I am grateful.
When Mike and I first talked about having kids we joked about passing on acne and crooked teeth. Now we talk about the reality of also passing on a risk of colon cancer & depression (I was diagnosed & have been on anti-depressants since the fall of 2006). Not quite so easy to joke about. Fortunately, we will be educated and can do as much as possible to limit the risks of both. Obviously, as in Mike's case, that doesn't mean it can't happen. But, would we have decided to not have kids had we known I would have depression & Mike would have colon cancer and that we could potentially pass those diseases on to our children? We can't protect our kids from everything, as much as we wish we could. None of this is our fault or the fault of our parents.
It just is.

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