Thursday, 25 September 2008

It's not cancer

The theme this week at the girl's school is Terry Fox, in honour of his walk across Canada to raise awareness for cancer. Commendable, to be sure, but it has turned my children into hypochondriacs. They both know the story of how I cracked my skull open when I was a child. They're convinced it was because of cancer (which it wasn't). Lily asked me today if when I was a kid my head split open because the cancer grew to big for my skull. I explained to them, again, that it wasn't cancer. I was going down a slide, and another little girl was walking up a slide, and we knocked noggins. (Please people, slides are for going down. Be responsible!)

Lily: My head hurts. Do I have cancer?
Mommy: You don't have cancer. You have a headache because you have the flu.
Rachel: Mommy, I cut my finger. Am I gonna catch cancer?
M: Cancer is not contagious, Rachel. But clean it anyway.
L: Terry Fox had cancer and his leg fell off.
R: Yes, it fell right off.
M: His leg didn't fall off. It was removed. Because of the cancer.
R: Did he catch cancer from a cut? (still looking at her finger.)
M: Cancer is not contagious. So no.
L: But what if it was contagious?
R: Then would we get it from cuts?
L: My head still hurts.
M: Mine too.
L: Do you have cancer?
R: 'Cuz cancer would make your head hurt you know.
M: It's not cancer. And you're not a doctor.
L: But cancer hurts, right? Because my tummy hurts.
M: You don't have cancer. You have the flu.
R: I think I had cancer once.
M: You've never had cancer. Cancer is serious.
R: But I had a tummyache.
M: A tummyache could just mean you ate too much candy.
L: She did mama, I saw her.
R: No I didn't! When?
And thus it continued all day. All I could think about, the entire time, was that scene in Kindergarten cop where Shwartza-whatzizname said "It's not a tu-mah".

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