Sam, my eldest, asks a lot of questions. It is what you do when you are 6. So when he asks, I try to answer as honestly as I can.
Why did it happen? Just a bit unlucky. These things happen, and can’t always be 100% explained.
Will it come back? It could come back. To make sure it has to really fight to come back, mummy is going to take a drug to make it really really hard for the cancer to come back.
Can you catch it? No, you can’t. Some cancers can run in family’s, but the Doctors have looked at Sid and he is not one that runs in family’s.
Should I be worried? It’s ok to be worried as long as you tell mummy when you are, so we can talk about it. However mummy is not worried, so you shouldn’t be either.
How do the drugs work? (Hmmmmmm ok this one I have made up somewhat!) They go into your blood and kill off any left over cancer.
What happens on the drugs? I will feel a bit poorly, and I will be tired. I need to be careful not to catch anything, like a cold, as your immune system is very low
What’s an immune system? (You can see how this honesty thing, when you are not 100% sure yourself, can get you into a very long conversation with a 6 year old) Well your blood is made up of red and white blood cells. Red carry oxygen round your body and white kill off bugs and illness and keep you healthy. Chemo kills cancer but also your white blood cells, so you can get sick a lot easier and when you do, your body can’t fight off the bug very easily, so you have to be careful.
At this point Sam goes ‘Can I watch TV now?’ (Thank god I think) Yes of course 🙂
3 days later, we are walking to school. Sam has obviously been processing the above conversation, and brings up chemo.
Sam: Mummy, you know those drugs you are on?
Sam: It’s like star wars. You see, you had the dark side in your body, Sid. He was like the Death Star. The doctors are the goodies and they killed the Death Star and now Sid is gone. But, mummy, the dark side has a big army, so when the Death Star was destroyed, not everyone was on it at the time, so some baddies were left around. So the doctors now need to use the force to find the baddies that are left and kill them all, keep you safe and win the war.
Me: Love you Sam x