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Our Mom Has Cancer
By Abigail Ackermann, Adrienne Ackermann
American Cancer SocietyCopyright © 2001 American Cancer Society
All rights reserved.
Abby, Abby, look, there's our car! And Abby, there's Mom and Dad," Adrienne squealed with excitement.
We both got off the bus. We had just gotten home from a great week at summer camp! We chattered all the way home with our news.
When we got home, Mom said to get ready for the luau at the pool. Our brother and sister had already gone on ahead. "We want to talk to you about something," Mom said. From the look on Mom's face, it appeared that we were going to get bad news. Daddo then told us that they had had a hard week at home.
"Mom went to the doctor on Tuesday and found out she has breast cancer," Daddo explained.
Both of our mouths dropped open. Adrienne started to cry. All Abby could do was say "No"
under her breath, but then she was crying too.
"Are you going to die?" Adrienne asked.
"Well, we're not planning on that, but I'll probably be sick for awhile," Mom said.
"How long?" asked Abby.
"Probably until Easter."
We cried for awhile and hugged Mom and Daddo. Then we went to the luau. We were glad to do something fun!
The time came for Mom's operation. Only Daddo went with her to the hospital.
We got to do something fun! We went to our cousin's house for a couple of days. We played games, watched movies, told stories, and had fun!
When we came home we rushed to greet Mom.
"Hold on," Mom said. "Hug me gently." She smiled.
For awhile Mom wore a sling on her arm.
In the evenings we all did exercises with Mom, like stretching. Mom thought they were hard; we thought they were easy.
Usually in the summertime, lots of friends came to our house. Our mom would sometimes babysit them.
But this summer was different. Since our mom was feeling sick and she slept a lot, we visited lots and lots of friends instead. We had mixed feelings about that, but overall we had a LOT of fun!
At the end of the summer Mom started chemotherapy. It was bad.
The minute she came home after a day at the hospital with Daddo she went straight to bed. She couldn't eat with our family because the smell of the food would make her throw up. Adrienne would cry.
Mom would stay in bed for several days, laying very still. Instead of her coming to our room to say good night to us, we came to her bed to say good night to her. If she wasn't feeling too bad, she would still read to us.
After a few days Mom would start to feel better again and life seemed normal ... except we were expecting her to lose her hair. Chemo does that.
One day we were sitting at the bus stop before school. Mom reached up to touch her hair and it came right out. If you put a piece of tape on it, the hair came right off! Pretty soon there were bald spots.
It was terrible! Really terrible!
Our aunt had a great idea. She threw a hat party for our mom! It was right after her hair was really falling out. Lots of friends came and everyone brought a hat!
We wrote a song and sang it. This is how it went ...
There is dark hair and there's light
And there's hair that's out of sight
There is short hair and then there's long
But when all that hair falls out
Don't cry or weep or pout
'Cause a hat will cover up your scalp.
She had beautiful hair, beautiful hair
Hair that used to be there
But now her head is bare
But she had beautiful hair
And in the future she'll have beautiful hair!
Excerpted from Our Mom Has Cancer by Abigail Ackermann, Adrienne Ackermann. Copyright © 2001 American Cancer Society. Excerpted by permission of American Cancer Society.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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