Sarah likes to call her older brother “Bubba.” The nickname “Bubba” always brings to mind images of good ol boys from the south who like to fish, hunt, watch car races and wear camouflage clothing as a normal part of their daily wardrobe. Although our 12 year old son does like to fish and has an appreciation for the Dayton 500, I can assure you the similarities end there. Since Sarah is the only one in our family who was born in the Deep South, we figure it must be something that comes naturally for her to call him Bubba. When he is not driving her nuts, as big brothers do, she has been known to say “I love my Bubba.”
One of the more difficult things my husband and I have had to handle is deciding how to tell Sarah and her brother what is happening. Our kids are about 4 years apart in age so we felt that discussing it with them separately would be the best thing to do. After the initial biopsy had been done, and before we were at this point, we sat down with each one of them to talk. For Sarah we decided to break it down into simple terms explaining that all the tests and surgery will let us know what is causing the lumps so we can give her the right medicine and treatments. For Bubba we stepped it up just a notch and made a deliberate choice not to use the word cancer in an effort to avoid scaring him. Bubba is a smart kid and not much gets past him. One of the first questions he asked us was could it be cancer? We explained that it was one of the possibilities.
At this time, since things are inconclusive and we don’t have a plan of action as yet, we felt it would not be a good idea to get into any more details with the kids. Like most parents, we want to have all the answers for our children and right now we just don’t have them.