The Goddess Speaks
A is for apple B is for baby C is for chemo
You know that scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Professor Lupin tells the kids to think of the thing they fear the most, and they learn how to make their fear appear ridiculous?
My fear is that my mom's cancer will come back. I haven't come up with anything that will make that appear ridiculous.
Last year, just before I turned 8, my mom told me she had cancer. I tell you this so that if some day your mom or dad tells you that they have cancer you'll know that it's not just you. You'll know that although cancer is horrible and will change your life, you can find a way to be OK.
No matter how hard your parents try to make you feel safe, you know that bad things do happen in this world. You know your mom could die. You've read enough books. You've seen enough movies. You know Cinderella is an orphan. You know that first her mother then her father dies. Yeah, she gets to be a princess at the end, but so what?
The important thing to understand is that while your mom does have cancer, that doesn't mean she is going to die soon of cancer. She may not even die of cancer at all.
Through this journey I've learned that many of the adults I know have moms who had cancer when these adults were kids and, yes, their moms are still alive -- I've seen some of them.
There are many stages you go through when your mom has cancer. At first, you'll feel like everything is going to be fine, that she's not going to get sick at all.
But soon the second stage begins and you can see that she is sick. She might be bald by now. But even at this point you still won't realize how bad it is going to get.
The third stage is when it hits you. This is when I got scared, and sad. Your mom may look like and act like she is going to die. The other adults in and around your family may act like she is going to die.
But just remember that is what chemotherapy does. It makes people look and feel like they are going to die.
Finally you'll get to stage four when it is all over and you are just looking back on it. That's where I am now, just looking back on it. It's been a year and a half since my mom was diagnosed with cancer and things are getting better.
Of course things are not the same as they were before. But then things would have changed even if she hadn't had cancer. Things are always changing. I'm in third grade now; I used to be in second ... you know what I mean.
I hope that for you things will get better. For me things did get better.
Brianne Johnson, a student at ASSETS School, also writes poety. Her mother, Lisa, is a computer teacher at Kapalama Elementary School.
The Goddess Speaks
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