March 26, 2011


What's that, you may ask?  It's the result of an incredibly difficult conversation.  I seem to have a lot of these of late.  My wife and I have been very open about cancer with my son but he's never talked about it much.  Like any teenager, the answers to our questions tended to be monosyllabic in nature.  But one day our son started to open up about everything that's been going on.  A faucet had been turned on and so we let it flow.  Questions arose such as, "they can cure this, right?"  The hope and naivete was ripe in his voice.  I will not lie to my son and paint a picture that does not exist.  The first obligation I have to a patient is to be honest.  Surely my son deserves no less.  The conversation surely get no worse until he sprung another on me.  He asked me, "My papa has cancer.  My uncle has cancer.  What about me?  Am I going to get it?"  To the kids involved, the first casualty of cancer is innocence.  My son has full knowledge of what's occuring, to the extent that any of us can wrap our brains around it.  How can he not.  I'm gone a lot lately and under great strain.  But he's a perceptive kid and he must surely see more than that.  He sees how the outline of a skull under his uncle's skin is plain and insistent.  He sees his papa reduced from a man of labor to one who labors to merely walk.  So the picture above was my attempt with the aid of my wife to answer truthfully and honestly but still honor the emotional struggle and turmoil that it engages.

No comments: