When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was on a Friday and my husband, Paul, and I were traveling to my daughter’s house to celebrate my granddaughter’s second birthday. I’ll never forget that moment when the cell phone rang. I knew it was my doctor calling with the results of the test I had taken the day before.
I wish I had known how to talk to my son about my diagnosis. Perhaps that’s something you never know how to do. How do you tell your child(ren) about your ovarian cancer diagnosis? How do I explain to my son, my son who shouldn’t have to carry this burden, that his mother is dying?
I am true GRITS—Girl Raised In The South. I was surrounded by GRITS my whole life. My roots run deep in the great state of Texas. But my roots also run deep in cancer. My earliest memory as a toddler was my paternal grandmother battling breast cancer. She won that battle, and then the cancer came back.
Telling my children, who were 17, 14, and 8, that their mother had cancer was one of the most difficult things I have had to do as a parent. It was so difficult for me that I did not tell them right away—a decision I still regret to this day. Honesty really is the best policy. But I had to give myself time to come to grips with my diagnosis and my new reality that now included cancer.