For Neel and I, it is funny how cancer comes up in conversation as often and as casual as the weather or how the Huskers are doing.

But last night, it made me think that we need to be careful what we say in front of the kids.

At dinner last night, Neel and I were discussing how much money to put in our Flex account next year.  We are trying to forecast what our medical needs will be (seriously a pain, right?).  Neel said, “Well, you’re probably going to have surgery…” and right then, Helen got tears in her eyes and shouted, “No!  No surgery!.”

I didn’t even realize she was paying to attention to what we were saying, and didn’t think she would know what surgery meant or that we were talking about surgery and her mommy.

I said, “Helen, don’t worry.  Do you know what surgery is?”

Helen says, “Yes, surgery is cancer.”

I didn’t know what to say.  My innocent little daughter is already worrying about cancer and knows that it’s bad.  I went with the first thought I had…which meant I lied.. “I’m not going to have surgery, Helen. It’s okay, don’t worry.”

She settled down.  And now I hope that I wasn’t lying and that I don’t need surgery!  It made me think that Helen is getting older that I should probably have some better explanations about what is going on.  The “owie on my neck” and “the doctor is just checking my neck” is only going to work for so much longer.

I often ask for prayers for me (which I still need!), but also remember my family.  Who in so many ways carry the brunt of this load and need peace and comfort, too.

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