Published on March 6, 2019
Conversations with family about cancer can be challenging, especially with children. How can parents explain their myeloma diagnosis to young kids? Meet multiple myeloma patient Tamara Mobley as she shares how she balances treatment while raising a family and how she communicates with her kids throughout her journey.
This town meeting is sponsored by Amgen, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Adaptive Biotechnologies. It is produced by Patient Power in partnership with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
Transcript | A Patient’s Perspective: How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Myeloma?
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Tamara, I have a question for you because I had to go through this, and some of the other diagnosed patients will often come up and ask me how I did it. How did you tell your children?
Well, my children were pretty young. They were about three and seven at the time, so the conversation had to be tailored for that age, and fortunately, and it may have been a blessing in disguise, is that I didn't really have to explain much. It happened fairly quickly. The only noticeable change that they saw immediately was Mommy losing her hair, but because they were so young it's—I've had this or I've been living with this disease for about half of their lives, and so they've grown up with it. They really don't know anything outside of that.
So I think the more difficult part was just being away from them for the two weeks while I was getting the stem cell transplant, just having to explain why I'm not in the house. But in terms of them understanding the disease they look at me and they say, well, mom, are you winning the fight because you look like you're winning. So as long as they think that I'm winning then those are the types of conversations that I'm having with them.
But, like I said, I think it was a blessing in disguise that they were so young. They really didn't have tons of questions to ask, and yet they've been able to grow up with this being my life at this point.