The Smart Choice!
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We will share WLBZ's Buddy to Buddy videos, articles and posts to help encourage you to do your monthly self exams and to encourage your family members and those you care about to perform them as well.
BUCKSPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When something threatens your life, your family is also threatened. Your first instinct is to protect your family, especially your kids. You want to shield them from hearing bad news and cancer is not an easy subject to talk about.
At 36-years-old, Shannon Connor was diagnosed with breast cancer and her fear and uncertainty consumed her. Shannon's mother battled breast cancer previously, but in 2006 her 11-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter were now going to watch their mother go through this battle. Shannon believed it was important to have an open and honest conversation with her children.
"He came in to talk with me and I said, 'yes, I have breast cancer' and we are going to have to wait and see what happens. The first thing he asked me, 'are you going to be bald like grandma?' and I said I don't think so, I don't think I'm going to lose my hair,'" said Shannon.
Clinical Health Psychologist at EMMC Robert Ferguson said it's important to be open with your kids by providing them with realistic answers to their questions to help lessen their fears, while keeping in mind their age and saying things in simple terms.
"It's okay to say mom is sick. And the doctors are working with mom to have some treatment done and sometimes the treatment will make mom tired. Explain very specifically what the symptoms will be, what the side effects are and how that can interrupt the day."
Shannon explained breast cancer to her daughter, Haley, at the time, through a demonstration that she would be able to understand.
"I kinda said a story about moldy cheese. Like if there is a little piece of mold on it then we will just cut it off and everything will be fine.
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