by Megan Pomputius
How Do I Tell My Kids That Mommy Has Cancer?
There were many questions that raced through my mind when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One of the biggest questions, was how I was going to tell my 2-year-old daughter who was at my bedside in the hospital after my surgery. She didn’t even know what the word “cancer” meant. She saw that mommy had a big boo-boo and wanted to kiss it and make it better. Then as the doctors took care of me and she watched, she would practice on her baby dolls. Then as I lost my hair, she watched as I finally shaved all of it off. She knew something was different. I looked for other resources to help guide her through this, but never found anything I liked. As a mom diagnosed with cancer, you are faced with so many different decisions and choices that trying to find a good book for your child(ren) shouldn’t have to be one of them. After my diagnosis, a feeling in my heart just kept wanting to produce something to help other women going through this diagnosis in their lives. I finally decided that writing a children’s book was what I was meant to do. I wrote the story Still My Mommy that demonstrates the relationship between a mother and daughter before, during, and after the diagnosis to help moms explain that changes may happen but we are still the same amazing moms. It features beautiful illustrations by Andrea Alemanno who resides in Italy and was contracted through Mascot Books.
The story begins featuring the relationship between mom and daughter and all of the fun things that they do together; baking, playing outside, reading books. Then it shows mom going to the hospital and getting a boo-boo and how the little girl takes care of her dolls just like the nurses did. It features them shopping for wigs together, mommy being tired some days, but at the end of the story, (still bald), she is still the same amazing mommy, no matter what the outcome of the disease.
After Scarlett (age 4) read the story with her mommy, it brought up a lot of questions as she asked, “what’s a wig”, ‘why doesn’t her mommy have any hair?” I want this to be a story that can create dialog for parents to speak with their kids about what this disease can do to people. Joz (age 5) asked her mom to read the story, ‘three more times’ after reading it for the first time. My daughter (age 4) loves reading this story, but always tells me, ‘mommy, don’t make your hair like that again’. Even though she doesn’t know the word ‘CANCER’ she still understands that it was a time in all our lives that we don’t want to relive.
The book was published by Mascot Books and is for sale at their website www.mascotbooks.com. Books can also be purchased and autographed at Megan’s blog www.stillmymommy.weebly.com and is listed for $14.95.
About the author: Megan Pomputius lives in Pennsylvania and teaches 4th grade. Her daughter will be going into Kindergarten this year. Megan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June of 2013 and has been in remission following surgery and chemotherapy treatments.