I didn't sleep well last night and was tossing and turning about how to approach this with her because I knew she would notice soon. I had decided I was just going to be real with her. Tell her about cancer and how we are making sure she stays healthy for a long time to come. We really haven't used the word "cancer" with her since her diagnosis last October. It's always been about her " broken eye" and how we were trying to first fix it. Then we couldn't fix it so we had to remove the " broken eye." Now that the eye is gone we are left with trying to explain a very complex situation to a very young girl. Why not just call it like it is with her? It's cancer. She may be young but she is a very intelligent girl. It's cancer honey, and we need to make sure it's all gone so you can be well again.
Back to this morning, she saw me brushing the bits of her golden hair off her shoulders and back. She said she had some in her mouth. I picked off a tuft and she asked what it was. I told her it was her hair falling out due to the medicines the doctors were using when we have to go to the hospital. That it was just part of what needed to happen to make sure she would be all better soon. She looked sad and whimpered a bit so I asked if she needed a hug. She said yes and we sat together on the kitchen floor hugging for a good 5-10 minutes. Not saying much other than how much I loved her and her family and friends loved her.
It was a simple but life impacting explanation we shared. The truth was unveiled to my dear child. I can't even imagine what that makes an almost 4 year old think. I WISH her life was all about enjoying little simple stories like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. It's not. Instead it's a story where a little girl with golden hair loses her locks and an eye to a monster called cancer. Sure, she will eventually win but I can't help but fear for her. I will just keep trying as hard as I can to show her I love her and to be strong- even when I ask her to do things she hates to do- like take her medicine or get her "pinches."
Keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she sees this transformation happening. Grant her understanding and hope that in the future that most of the hard times of discomfort, anger and fear are forgotten. This is happening. Do not look at her and feel sorry for her. That only frightens her. Look at her for who she is- just Ania. Comfort her if she asks for it and give her space if she needs a moment. There is a lot going on behind this smile- and it's a very heavy weight to carry for such a dainty, yet still mighty girl!