Cancer day 2: telling the kid

20 April 2017

Telling our children when big moments arise is difficult, and there is no right way of doing it. This is the story of how Rachel told her child that she had cancer.

First of all, my Kid is awesome. Almost 7 years old, softest heart in the world. How am I going to tell him I have cancer? And when? And will he crack in half? Will it ruin his little confidence in God for life?

So he crawled into bed with me this morning, like every morning. He knew my abdomen had been sore, so, like every morning, he asked, ‘Are you feeling better today?’

And the moment arrived.

‘It is feeling a little better, but yesterday the doctor told me something very important.’ He gasped a bit. Maaaaaaaaaaaan, I thought. No bail point now. I gulped and continued, ‘They checked, and you know what? My uterus isn’t working right. It’s actually become a bit poisonous. So they need to cut me open and take it out. Then we can see if any poison got anywhere else in my body.’

He stared at me with his mouth open. ‘Can Daddy God fix it?’

‘Absolutely. He can fix it in a snap. And we will be asking him to do that a lot. In the meantime, we are going to let the doctors work on their fixing of me and Daddy God will be guiding them, too. Most important, Daddy God is right here, helping our hearts be calm and not worried and he is going to teach us awesome stuff on the journey. If he heals me like a snap? Great. If he heals me with science? Great. If it doesn’t go away, then we’ll still do every day with each other and Daddy God like normal and look for the adventures he has for us then too.’

His face scrunched up. ‘What is the uterus?’

‘It’s the place where you lived inside me.’

Wow. Total mistake. Should have found a different way to say that because Kid burst into tears. With massive heaving sobs. ‘But I loved that place. I loved living there. It is my favourite place. I’m so saaaaaaad.’

The sobs continued for a while as I reassured him, ‘It is sad, buddy, but it’s not working well.’

I wiped his tears as he grabbed my hand. ‘Can I keep it after they take it out? Like a cuddly toy, I’ll keep it on my bed to remember my favourite hoooooooooome.’ The sobs came again.

And this is when I’ll admit our weird genetic thing. I wanted to keep it too. I actually asked the surgeon if I could have it in a jar. (No.) I managed to get him to agree to a picture though. So I told Kid about the picture, and he now wants to frame it and keep it in his room forever. Fine. We will do that. He also then asked if we could have a goodbye party for it. I agreed.

So this is your official invitation to our Goodbye Uterus Party. This is a real thing and will happen sometime before the hysterectomy. There will be decorations. And themed food. It’s going to be awesome. Because my uterus has served me and Kid well, and it deserves a proper send off.

I’ll post a save-the-date soon. We are going to have as much fun as possible on this cancer journey!

To read more about Rachel’s journey of cancer, you can read the full journey at

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