During my journey in 2004 my daughter was only 2.5 years old, so I looked for books to help me explain it to her. Unfortunately, there simply were not many resources available at that time. However, since then there have been several books published which may help to explain this journey more clearly for the children and young people in your life. Unfortunately, they will hear things which may be unsettling to them about the big 'c', so making sure to communicate openly with them is very important. Take time to sit down and talk with them, answer their questions and read with them. This will help them understand and cope with this new 'visitor or intruder, the one called cancer' in their lives. Furthermore, it may be helpful to connect the children in your life with a counselor (private practice or school guidance), minister (or youth pastor), or a trusted family friend who is aware of the situation. This way you are providing available resources to help mentor your children as well. Remember, as scarey as a cancer diagnosis can be for the patient, this time can be equally worriesome for children. I hope you find the books listed here to be useful. Best wishes to you in the journey. Heidi
Punk Wig by Lori Ries
"Mom is on her way to the hospital to get "alien blobs" zapped with medicine. The alien blobs are cancer. The treatment helps, but it also makes Mom lose her hair. One day she says, "Today is wig day," and she and her son head down to Hariett's Hair, where they find wigs of all styles and sizes: big hair, short hair, spiky hair, and curly hair. Finally, Mom finds the wig she's been looking for - and it looks perfect with her jeans and leather jacket. Lori Ries's loving story of a mother whose son gives her constant support during chemotherapy is illustrated with warmth and humor by Erin Eitter Kono."
When Someone You Love Has Cancer by Aleric Lewis
"Few things affect a family’s everyday life like the presence of an illness like cancer. Whether it’s a grandparent, another family member, a teacher or neighbor or friend, children especially experience confusion, fear and misunderstanding. This book will help kids cope with the presence of cancer in their lives. Book includes 14 wonderful, full-color, full-page illustrations, and some 40 helpful pointers written expressly for children 4-12. A rare and excellent resource!"
Our Mom Has Cancer by Alicia Ackermann
"A humorous, honest, and hopeful account of the year that Abigail and Adrienne's mother underwent treatment for breast cancer. Two sisters, ages eleven and thirteen, describe what it was like for them when their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy."
Is Cancer Contageous (Answers to This and Other Questions Kids Ask about Cancer) by Vern Kousky
"Cancer is a disease we hear a lot about these days. Many of us know someone who has battled cancer. Some of us even have friends or family members who are right now! Fighting this disease. But what is cancer? And where does it come from? Is Cancer Contagious? brings the story of cancer alive with clear language and illustrations that are both informative and interesting."
"Always know in your heart
- it is what you believe -
not what you "know"
that will pull us through"
Penned in 2005,
by my sister, my friend
and my inspiration
Gail Metzger (R.I.P.)