Being a parent with cancer

I think that the subject of being ill when you have small children is filled with such complex feelings of anxiety, guilt, fear, and joy, just to name a few. I was diagnosed when my son was less than a year old.  For some time I was sure I would not get to see him grow up. He is now 12 and has been an important part of my story all of this time.

When I was much sicker, he was often wonderfully oblivious, just being a kid. At times this was hard, like when he just couldn’t understand why I had no energy. At times it was just lovely, like when I came home with my hair all cut off in preparation for the chemo and he did not even notice.

As he gets older, his sense of empathy and humour as it relates to my illness is a delight and shows me what a wonderful man he is becoming. I have written several poems to and about him as I have processed many of the feelings I have experienced.

I’ve tried to find other writings about this topic, but so far without luck. There are many guides about how to talk to your children, but I have not found much in the way of  cancer patients or their families processing what it is like to go through that experience. If you know of any works that address this topic, why not pass them along?

Here’s one poem hearing it from a child’s point of view. I found this  poem by a kindergarten boy, who tells about losing his grandma to cancer at


4 thoughts on “Being a parent with cancer

  1. es says:

    Hi, Sam.
    Your post made me cry and smile. It is true and simple.
    I am so glad that you have such a wonderful supporter.

  2. Deborah says:

    Dear Sam, As someone who is relatively new to following your blog, I wanted you to know that I am thoroughly enjoying reading your daily posts; They-YOU are poignant and always written beautifully with an open-heart. Loving you, Cousin Deborah

    • Thanks Deborah! I appreciate the feedback. It is good to know that the work resonates.

      Even though it seems the blog is about me, I’m really just giving examples from my life that will hopefully invite others to explore different avenues in their own creative works about cancer. I look very much forward to hearing stories from others.


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