Friday, March 23, 2007

Time goes by so quickly. It’s busy at our house. I’ve been writing – just not Blogging. I had a group of neighbor kids over and they were my Focus Group for some of the activities I’ve incorporated into my school program curriculum. My teenagers videotaped the event and the kids were so wonderful and well behaved that I couldn’t help but think anyone watching would think it was staged. But…then one child announced that her entire family was crazy and another agreed and told us that her friend’s Daddy put crayons up his nose.

My little focus group ranged from pre-K to 4th Grade. We read my children’s book, played games, discussed cancer, and talked about how it affected families. I didn’t have to define cancer to a single child because they knew what it was and several had experienced it first hand because a family member had been diagnosed with cancer.

Yesterday, in the midst of planning Nutcracker Publishing’s 2nd Annual Easter Egg, Hunt for a Cure, I stopped to watch Democratic presidential contender, John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth’s press conference regarding her recurrence of breast cancer.

It’s been 13 years since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I still feel queasy when I step into any doctor’s office for a routine breast exam or blood work.

Elizabeth Edwards was candid, gracious, and handling her recurrence of breast cancer with what I know to be a Cancer-tankerous Mommy’s attitude. She’s not going to be waiting to die, but instead is hitting the rode for her husband, and campaigning with cancer.

She’s not wallowing in pity either and I know cancer survivors everywhere sighed with relief when she announced her plans to continue to campaign.

Her honesty and candor about her breast cancer has helped so many families. Like the families of the children in my focus group.

A couple of years ago, it would have been unimaginable for me to invite the neighbor kids over for a school program party with a focus on cancer, much less enter a public school and talk to elementary students about cancer. Back when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, talking about it to my own young children was not exactly encouraged, and most well meaning adults tiptoed around the issue.

Next year I'll officially introduce Crack Open a Book©, Nutcracker Publishing’s Character Education School Program and I’ll be talking to elementary students about CANCER.

Thanks to the courage of women like Elizabeth Edwards the only tiptoeing around the issue I’ll do is a Cancer-tankerous inspired game called, Tiptoe to Mama.