People continue to ask me how the kids are doing with all of this. They are actually doing fine. Aside from the 5 year old attitude and drama we get from Amira and the typical Xander wackiness they are doing great. Better than us. Maybe we make it too easy on them but we’ve tried to keep everything as consistent as possible. There is no doubt they pick up on our stress and anxiety but so far they seem to handle it well. Amira loves kindergarten and has 24 new best friends. Xander is adjusting to the new level of homework expected for 4th grade and is doing quite well on his soccer team. We have explained what is going on to them on their level. Xander wanted more information and details than Amira so I gave him the literature from the doctor to read. He probably understands about as much as I do.
The difference with the kids is they are immediately accepting of my diagnosis. While I question the diagnosis and ask why and wrestle with the unknowns and go back and forth between hope and despair the children steadily believe that mom is sick and is getting medicine to make her better. They just accept that I am sick and sometimes can’t do things. There are no fears and there is no questioning of the unfairness of it all. Mom is sick and will someday be better. I don’t think I’ve sheltered them from the truth. I have a couple children’s books on cancer that they have read and Xander has read everything I have about the disease. They have experience with the ugliness of cancer from my mom and their great grandma. Xander understands more than Sister. When we were first telling them that I have cancer again he asked where it was and I told him it was cancer in my blood and bone marrow. He said, “Yeah, that’s bad because your blood goes everywhere”. But not once has either of them asked why does mommy have cancer or why does our mommy have to be sick and other mommies are healthy. They just accept.
I told Xander before school started that I was sorry that I was sick this summer again after last summer being ruined by breast cancer. He said, “That’s just how summers go”. And I think they had a great summer. While we didn’t get to go on summer vacation they had friends and relatives that took them places and they had a nanny at our house so Xander could have his days at home on the computer and Amira had someone to bake with her. I am letting go of my sadness of not spending the summer with them. They probably would have just annoyed the hell out of me anyway. I am also finding peace in their resilience and faith. They do not even know how strong this will make them.