Sunday, October 23, 2011

4th Graders Rule

I soooo wish i had taken a picture! i need to be more diligent with my camera

On Friday I spoke to my son's 4th Grade class about my experience with breast cancer as part of awareness month. The do an amazing job at that school with it - spearheaded by a male 4th grade teacher there. The kids were all wearing pink and/or had little pink ribbon stickers on their shirts, some funky chickens were wearing the stickers on their  foreheads.

The focus, or how my kid's teacher was tying it all in was about the importance and advancements of modern medicine.

I totally offered to do this but then was so nervous. Not sure how much is appropriate, how much they know, worried about scaring them, or introducing heavy concepts....I'm so open with my own kids about the nitty gritty, but that's because they live it and live with me.

my son was a little worried about it - but when i got there and was up front, he looked very happy and proud, that's a huge part of why i do this stuff

I was relieved to hear that they had prepared questions....
So i pretty much let them open it up and wow, those are some intelligent thoughtful kids! They asked great questions. I noticed that the majority of question were about emotions and feelings "was it stressfull?" "were you scared?", "what were you most scared of?", "how did you feel when you first found out" - amazing

I think an important message i conveyed was that i was scared when i first found out, and that what i was scared of was the unknown - and the truly once i learned more, and had a plan, and trusted my fab doctors, much of the fear was gone. The teacher related that concept to the children by talking about new math concepts being scary until you understand them :)

I also explained a little about why chemo makes your hair fall out, that question was asked, i touched on the physical limitations during treatments, and we talked about how early detection is important and how with that and new medicines i am healthy now.

I was really glad they didn't ask if i was scared of getting cancer again, or if that was even a son already knows the realities of cancer including that one, and i just couldn't bear to introduce that lack of truly knowing to the whole group - it's a fine line....

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