In a Breast Cancer conference I attended in Orlando early this year, I joined a session called: The ABC's of Talking To Your Child about Breast Cancer. The rest of the conference had us all generally upbeat with yoga classes, chit chat sessions, and good news on the breakthroughs and trends in cancer. This session had us passing around the Kleenex box quite a bit. It is true. Tough as we are and as mighty as we think we can be when we brave these storms, we all turn weak in the knees and marshmallowy-soft when it comes to our children.
Our speaker was a top-notch surgeon who, after years of dealing with her own patients who in turn deal with their own children, discovered she had cancer. With roles reversed all of a sudden she was forced to talk to her own children about her cancer diagnosis. She has since gone on to write several children's books for children that help them understand and cope with the issues that come part and parcel with being a child of a survivor. At the end of the lecture, when it was time for the usual Q&A I asked something I had not thought about initially and then suddenly been thinking about for sometime.
"I am a twelve-year breast cancer survivor. I have five-year old twins. Apart from my real job I work with other breast cancer survivors so my boys are exposed to this, to other survivors and know all about what we do as a foundation. Should I tell them at all I have had cancer myself and if I should when is the right time to do it?"
"To your five year olds? NOW. Now is the time. How would you present it to them? You would say, you know what these women have gone through because you have gone through it yourself. What are you telling your children? Something bad has happened to you but you made something good out of it. Now. "
Now. To think that was seven months ago and I never got around to it. Blame it on real life getting in the way again or conveniently just forgetting or me just being plain old chicken. So why - apart from the fact that the -BER months remind me that breast cancer awareness month is just around the corner and that I need to make that appointment for my annual mammmogram - is this suddenly back into my stream of consciousness?
Because the boys have discovered the wonderful world of GOOGLE.
Tato: Mama, I am only in Google. It's the list with my finishing time when we joined the race. I am not in Google Images. I want to be in Google Images.
It seems they have also discovered the dangerously spectacular world of Vanity Googling.
Ahh.. Vanity Googling. Verb: Searching for one's own name on a search engine to check out what the world wide web has on you. Synonym: egosurfing, egogoogling
And since it seems to be a trend in our own home, I decided to egosurf myself. No humiliating high school photos, thank god. Equally thankful Facebook and Twitter weren't around then to record the bad breakups and the equally bad hair dos. I did discover quite a number of articles and interviews I have done over the years about my own cancer journey.
Tick tock. I better get to it before Google beats me to the punch. And yet, just like vowing you will never ever sit through another excruciating episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians the next time you chance upon it, some things are easier said than done.