THE TALK WITH THE TEENAGERS
I asked my boyfriend if we could sit his teenagers down and talk to them about the elephant in the room: breast cancer. I got the idea from the Brady Bunch episodes I watched as a child; Carol and Mike would sit their kids down in the living room to discuss family issues. I wanted to be part of the conversation, and not be talked about like the crutch in the house - have an open dialogue about what to expect. The four of us sat at the kitchen table and his 14 and 15 year old listened while I explained that I'll be starting chemo this week and its possible symptoms: I may be tired, nauseous, have body aches, headaches, my immune system will be compromised, I'll lose all of my hair, and I'll most likely be cranky from the poison pumping through my body. I admitted I'm afraid, and I certainly didn't want this to happen, but I have to go through this to save my life; the last thing I want is to lose my hair or have surgery. I reassured them this is only temporary - for four months - and I apologized in advance for any behavior that will be out of the ordinary. They nodded and understood, I could see the compassion in their eyes - no questions, agreeing to use hand sanitizer, stay healthy and keep commotions to a minimum. I felt glad to have taken control of the issue, starting to facing what's about to transpire.