When a parent has cancer, it’s hard on the children no matter what their ages. I understand this truth from both sides of the cancer fence. I’ve been the “child”. I’ve been the parent. The view from both vantage points is pretty darn lousy.
However, if you are the parent of young children or teenagers and have been diagnosed with cancer, obviously the circumstances and issues are a whole lot different than when the children are adults.
If you are a teen whose parent has been diagnosed with cancer, the new book, My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-life Teens by Maya Silver and Marc Silver, can help.
If you are the parent with the diagnosis, or the partner/caregiver of that parent, this book can help you as well.
Teenagers are old enough to more fully understand the implications and ramifications of a parent’s cancer diagnosis, but at the same time, they may also feel especially vulnerable and perhaps hesitant as well to discuss their worries and concerns. It might be hard for them to formulate questions or know who to ask or where to turn for reliable information.
The authors of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks understand.
Marc Silver’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 (today she is in good health). At the time, his daughter and co-author, Maya, was 15 years old. They’ve both been there. That experience led to Marc’s first book, Breast Cancer Husband. Now it’s Maya’s turn to share some of what she learned as the daughter of a mom diagnosed with breast cancer.
When you hear the words, you have cancer, your entire life is turned up-side-down. Your family’s life is too.
Suddenly everything is different. No kidding!
As stated in chapter one:
“Before cancer: You were a typical teenager. After the cancer news: Everything seems different.”
My Parent Has Cancer And It Really Sucks honestly and openly tackles the questions, fears and emotions that many teenagers face after learning a parent has cancer. It offers sound and practical advice on how to keep communicating, handle stress, face friends, seek support, carry on as normally as possible at school and figure out cancer lingo, to name a few. There are tips and words of wisdom offered throughout the book, not only from Maya, but also from other teens who have been there as well; teens who have also had a parent diagnosed with cancer.
One of my favorite basic messages in the book (no surprise) is that everyone is entitled to their own way of coping. I love the two rules clearly stated in the intro:
Rule #1: Teens don’t feel guilty.You have your own way of coping, and you don’t have to behave like any other teen in this book.
Love that rule!
I’m pretty sure most teens will too.
As I mentioned, this book is also a great resource for parents. If you are the one with the cancer, or if you are the other parent, there are tips in here for you as well.
And Rule #2 is for you: Parents do not use this book to make your teen talk if he or she doesn’t want to talk.
This means no pressuring!
Good communication is not forced, but rather is encouraged and allowed to happen.
One tip the authors suggest (one of my favorites), is that sometimes the car is the best place to open up frank dialogue.
I often found it a bit easier to talk about certain things with my kids while driving around in the car – of course, during serious talks, the parent should be the one behind the wheel.
My Parent Has Cancer And It Really Sucks is full of many more tips and words of wisdom to help teenagers, and those who care about them, make their way through the maze that is cancer.
So if you are a teen, a parent with a cancer diagnosis, know a teen whose parent has been diagnosed with cancer or just simply care about all teens, check out this fabulous new book.
No matter who you are, sign up for a chance to win a free copy of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks to add to your personal library, to give away or to donate to a hospital or cancer facility of your choosing. All you need to do is leave a comment below stating so by 5 pm CT on Tuesday, April 2nd and you’re in!
So sign up today!
Learn more about My Parent Has Cancer And It Really Sucks and the authors here.
NOTE: The winner of the giveaway was KATE!
Thank you to all you entered!