Sometimes, children will say what they need to do to persevere. It may not be the way the parents cope; it may make them nervous. But, it is the child or teens way to make peace with the day-to-day reality of diagnosis and treatment.
Early one summer morning, 12-year-old Preston and I left the hospital after a week-long stay for his high-dose methotrexate infusion. He had been heavily sedated, and was groggy and shaky on his feet. My husband and daughter were getting ready to go on a boat trip, and I felt Preston was too sick to go. We sadly saw them off, then returned to the car. Preston said, "Mom, I really need to go fishing. I know you don't understand, but I really need to do this."
It made me very uncomfortable, but we went home to get his equipment. We then drove up to the mountains to a very deserted spot on the river, and Preston said that he needed to be out of my sight. So I watched him put on his waders, walk into the swift river, and disappear around a bend upstream. I went out into the river and sat on a rock. I waited for two hours before Preston came back. He said, "That's what I needed; I feel much better now."
There is a fine line between providing adequate protection for our children or teens and becoming overly controlling because of worry about the disease. You might ask yourself, "If she didn't have cancer, would I let her do this?"
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