Every time I had a talk with doctors, they encourage me to tell Joey everything. They said from their experience, all the parents who decided not to tell regretted all their lives because they lose the trust. I really hesitated. Joey is such a positive boy with a “no big deal” attitude about something he can’t have or he loses. There are professional children’s counselors who can help parents tell the kid and explain what the chemo is and how it works. They lend me a doll with a port on it and workbook. They even use Lego to explain how cancer occurs.
When Joey stayed in Shands, he did notice a poster on the wall saying Kick the Butt of the Cancer. He asked daddy, “Why they put me in this floor? I don’t have cancer, do I?” Luke told him some of the kids in this floor have, but some don’t. “So how about me?” Daddy said no.
After discussing with Luke, we decided it time to tell him more about his tumor and cancer, probably not everything, but most of it.
“Joey, you know you have a tumor in the kidney, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Some tumors are fine, but some are cancer.”
“How about mine? Is it cancer?”
“We will find out. If it’s cancer, Daddy and mommy will find the best doctor in the country to cure you.”
Then he didn’t want to listen anymore and took off to play. I wanted to talk to him more, but he got impatient. The talk finished. I felt relieved. Then he never brought this up. He doesn’t think he is sick because he showed no symptoms at all.