Saturday, October 31, 2015

When a Child asks about Cancer, Do you answer Truthfully?

1. Breast Cancer
What is it? My mom had a full mastectomy more than 15 years ago, my daughter couldn't help but notice the scar. We had to explain what happened in the most basic way that would inform but not scare a child.

2. Awareness and Prevention
Information is vital, it saves lives. All my answers were replied with a 'Why?' Try to explain the possible causes and what are the precautionary measures, what are the risk in the family.
For older children, especially ladies, teach the self breast exam.
Go to a support group if needed. One group my mom is involved in is the Bosom Buddies, where activities, assistance and group discussions happen regularly.

3. Food Groups and Preparation
Discuss what comprises a balanced diet. Which vegetables are best for the body.
Cook and show different food preparation, best if baked or grilled not fried.

4. Family support and Faith
When my daughter was trying to understand what being sick means, I had to explain that each part of our body has a function. It's like a toy, when the mechanism breaks, we have to repair it, else it will not run or function well.

  It is the web of support that will hold you together and cushion each fall, until you are ready to spring back and be whole again.

5. Attend Seminars and Activities
For us parents, to be able to shed light to our little ones, we should be informed ourselves. Makati Med had a film showing, Decoding Annie Parker, (this is for mature audience).
It is about the life of a breast cancer survivor in the 70s and the medical development of BRCA gene mutation , stating that cancer can be in the genes, what a patient goes through, how different it was back then.

If you choose to fight cancer, your goal is winning, if you give up before the fight started, then the battle is lost. To friends, families and patients, take courage because this is a battle to be won.

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