My story began in February 2013, when I was walking my daughter in her stroller, and I noticed a sharp, shooting pain in my lower back. I called my doctor to have it checked out, thinking it would turn out to be nothing serious.
Fast forward through ultrasounds and a laparoscopic surgery to remove what was thought to be an ovarian cyst: I was sitting in an oncologist’s office discussing a complete hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). After the surgery, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 30. My entire life flashed before my eyes.
I knew I was far too young to leave my daughter and husband, so I wanted to fight as hard as needed so I would be there for them. My daughter was 2 and didn’t know the meaning of the word “cancer.” She did, however, understand that mommy wasn’t herself.
After my surgery, I underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy, which also took my hair.
Looking at Cancer Through My Daughter’s Eyes
I kept looking for child-friendly materials to read to her about what was going on, but I didn’t find much. I had been searching for a way to give back to others who are going through this and, finally, one night it occurred to me that I should write a children’s book on cancer.
I have always wanted to write a book, and as a teacher I have a keen love of books. This experience gave me the inspiration necessary to write a book on an underrepresented perspective related to cancer.
The book is based on my journey of cancer through my daughter’s eyes. The characters in the book represent my daughter and me, and it takes part in activities that we do together, such as painting, reading, playing outside, and baking.
The book follows my character being taken care of in the hospital, losing hair, and fighting to remain the same mommy my daughter has always known.
I was inspired by my daughter’s compassion and fearlessness through the process, as she continued to give me kisses, knowing when mommy just needed some quiet time.
My hope for this book is that it can be a bridge for other mothers dealing with cancer, to diminish any misunderstanding their children may have.
Mommy Is Still the Same
The book describes the possible physical side effects of cancer, and the underlying message is that no matter what mommy goes through, she is still the same mommy, strong and fierce!
Cancer can be a catastrophic experience in anyone’s life, and can sometimes make us feel like we lose a part of our identity, but I hope that moms realize that no matter how crummy they feel, or how challenging their days may be, their children and other loved ones are going to be the ones who pull them through.
You cannot fight this battle alone and even though you may think your kids are too small to understand, chances are they know more than you think.
This book can be purchased at www.mascotbooks.com.