The adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer movement advocates for the rights of AYAs, including their need for age-appropriate care, for their psychosocial needs to be met and as for all who access medical care, for the healthcare system to view them as whole people and not just medical conditions. Young adults living with cancer are not just cancer patients. They are writers, doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, police officers, day care workers and teachers. These young adults may also be someone's friend, partner, child and parent.
When a young adult gets diagnosed with cancer, it affects their support system, including family and friends. Researchers are investigating how cancer impacts the lives of people connected to AYAs (i.e., siblings, caregivers). However, there is still limited information on how the children of young adults living with cancer are affected.
This week I am happy to introduce eight-year-old Jordan Thibodeau as my guest blogger. When Jordan heard her mother, Sarah, talk about the need for there to be more information available for children whose parents are living with cancer, she decided to write her own story. She wanted her first-hand account of how she felt when her mother got sick to be shared with other children whose parents are also living with this disease so they know that they are not alone and that parents understand how their illness is seen through the eyes of a child.
To: All the cancer patients and friends!
By: Jordan Thibodeau
I did not feel happy when I herd that mommy got breast cancer.
You can not catch it from someone else, sometimes you just get it.
First she got something called chemotherapy. She felt very tired after that. I felt worried that mommy would not get better. Then she had to take a lot of needles. I was scared, but mommy said that it made her feel better. I was very nervous about the whole thing. Then my daddy, my little sister, my big sister and my big brother made me feel better. Every day on the school bus I still cried a bit but then my best friends Olivia and Kiana were there to guide me through the way.
I still feel a bit sad and it started 2 and a half years ago. We would go to some of her appointments.
Now she has chemotherapy but mommy does not go to the hospital to do it she has pills and it makes her tired. My mom and dad are having separate rooms so my mommy and daddy can sleep. That means me and my sister will share a room again. I am ok with it. I hope my mommy feels better soon! My school does the terry fox run for cancer. Last year I ran for 12 people!
That's how I felt when my mommy got sick.
Jordan's blog originally appeared on CancerFightClub.com