Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tiny Bad Guys

Last night, I laid down in bed while Ryan was brushing Katelyn's teeth. As any mother knows, it's extremely rare for the mom in a family to be the first in bed (Except in my case, during my ATRA rounds, I spend a lot of time in bed.). Katelyn (3 years old) came over to me with a concerned look on her face. The following conversation transpired:

Katelyn: Are you sick from your medicine?

Me: No, just tired.

Katelyn: Why do you take the medicine?

Me: Because some tiny bad guys got in my body when you were a baby, and I had to stay in the hospital while the doctors got rid of them. This medicine keeps the bad guys from coming back.

Katelyn: Are there bad guys in my body?

Me: No.

Katelyn: Are there bad guys in Daddy's body?

Me: No.

Katelyn: Why did the medicine make your hair fall out?

Me: It was so strong that it got rid of more than just the bad guys. It got rid of my hair too.

Ryan enters the room, and Katelyn flees down the hall to avoid being put to bed.

This conversation came two days after we watched the movie, UP, and I had to explain to her what had happened to Ellie, the old man's wife. The following exchange ensued:

Katelyn: Are you going to die, like the lady in UP?

Me: Some day, when I'm old, but not yet. I'll be an angel in heaven, like Grandma-With-the-Yellow-Hair

Katelyn: But you are old.

Me: Not too old. Ellie was a lot older.

Katelyn: I don't want you to die. I want you to stay with me forever.

Me: I will.


I'd hoped that her being so young when I was diagnosed would have spared us from the tough conversations. Hopefully I stay in remission so that as she continues to gain awareness, I can promise I'll be there for her. I fear letting her down more than I fear cancer itself.