I’m often asked how the kids are taking all this. I first broke the news to them a couple of months ago. Since then they seem to have been dealing with it pretty well; and by that I mean, life goes on as normally as possible. I’m walking around the house completely bald – I sometimes startle myself when I catch a look in a mirror – and the kids don’t even blink; they’ve gotten used to it faster that I have.
Even before all this happened, Paige has been interested in my body, which makes sense for an eight-year-old girl to be interested in a grown woman’s body. She’s definitely been paying close attention to the changes cancer has brought to my body. I haven’t changed my behavior or tried to hide anything; I’ve tried to acknowledge the changes, agree that “yeah, it’s kind of ugly and lopsided,” but otherwise not make too much of a big deal of it. I think they’ve both found this reassuring, especially Paige. And of course I remind them that eventually it’ll all be mostly fixed; I won’t look like this forever.
But I know they are paying attention. The other day we had back-to-school night at the kids’ school. Tad went to Lane’s classroom, and I went to Paige’s. As I was listening to the teacher describe the curriculum, I started poking around in Paige’s desk. In her vocabulary workbook, she needed to use the word “absent” in a sentence. Here is what she wrote: