How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by mommywhatis on Tue Apr 13, 2010 08:33 PM
My name is Nikki Aksamit, and I am an author from Chandler, Arizona. I have self published a series of illustrated children's books called "Mommy, What is...?", and the latest book in the series is "Mommy, What is Cancer?". The administrators of this site have kindly allowed me to tell you about it. I truly believe this is a great resource for children who have a loved one battling cancer or who are fighting cancer themselves, and I think I could reach a much greater audience with the help of websites such as this one. "Mommy, What is Cancer?" (copyright March 2010) explains what cancer cells are, who can get cancer and how they can get it. It describes the treatments that are used to help fight cancer, but also tells kids that not all cancer cells can be killed. By letting young children know that there are people all around the world looking for ways to beat every type of cancer, “Mommy, What is Cancer?” sends out a message of hope.
I lost a dear friend to a brain tumor when I was just eighteen. Both my mother and mother in law have battled breast cancer (and won!), my best friend lost her dad ten years ago to stomach cancer and we lost my husband's aunt to breast cancer in February. I wrote this book to explain cancer to my own children, and if can help give clarity to even one more child, this labor of love has been worth it.
To try and stay within website guidelines, I will not publish my website address here, but you can contact me at my personal email address email@example.com if you would like more information.
God bless all of you during your difficult time.
by rm1971 on Mon May 02, 2011 08:45 PM
Hi mommywhatis (Nikki)
I have a problem, I have a 2 young children (6 and 3) who know that daddy is unwell/has a bad back. I really think they are too young for the "C" word ... So we (I) describe daddys problems as bugs ... bugs pinching/biting that sort of thing (daddy has secondary mets to the spine - and they do pinch!).
I can't (yet) buy a book that mentions the word as I
a. don't think my eldest should go into school and start telling everyone daddys got cancer! (the school know but her 6 year old classmates do not).
b. have no idea if anyone in school has had a (granny/granddad or other family member die from cancer) - leading to extreme fear of this happening.
So, my question really, is how simplistic is the book?
by lucky2havemyboo on Mon May 02, 2011 11:19 PM
When my mom was diagnosed w/stage 4 pancreatic cancer about 4-5 years ago, our kids were about 9 and 10. We didnt know how long the chemo treatment would work, so rather than use the C word initially, we simply said that she was sick from a disease, and it was serious, but they could treat it for now and keep it from getting worse. We left it at that. Once we knew the chemo had run its course, at that point we acknowledged it was cancer, and that the medicines/drugs didn't work any more, so she wouldn't have a lot of time left with us, but she would have some - she wasn't gone yet, and we could still have time with her. It's still roiugh on the grandchildren, but this way I think they had as much info as they could process readily at the time, and were kept in the loop.
My husband fighting colon cancer now, we waited to tell the kids until we knew how bad it was, so we could answer their questions. They know it's serious, but prospects fairly good for recovery, and so we're keeping focused on that. So are they.
It sounds like so far, you're taking the right aproach - good luck and God bless!
by Yaziza on Mon May 02, 2011 11:36 PM
I told my kids that it was cancer - they didn't seem to know the seriousness of it 4 years ago. I didn't know either. I was surprised to see that the current treatments on cancer haven't changed much since the 70's. My kid were 6 and 12 at the time.
by mommywhatis on Thu May 05, 2011 04:28 PM
Hi rm1971. "Mommy,What is Cancer?" was written with 2-8 year olds in mind, so it is very simplistic. It is also very clinical, explaining the facts of cancer without the emotion. It was written for my own kids, to explain to them what had happened to one of our dogs as well as what both of their grandmothers had gone through. My seven year old just told one of his friend's parents recently "I didn't know what cancer was until I read mom's book", which means it did it's job I guess. If you go on my websitehttp://mommywhatis.com, the entire book and it's content are there for you to read. I wish you well during this difficult time. Please don't hesitate to contact me through the website if there's anything I can do to help.
by EstherMSKCC on Thu May 05, 2011 08:35 PM
You might be interested in reading the following pages from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, which offer advice on how to talk to your children about your diagnosis and how to provide security and stability for them during this difficult time.http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/ChildrenandCancer/HelpingChi
I hope this information is useful and wish you the best of luck finding the support you and your children need to get through this difficult time.
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