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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    'Honey, Mommy has cancer'

    ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Not every mother would allow her hair to be cut by her 4-year-old daughter, but Cindy Hurst thought it was a perfect idea.



    Hurst, a 42-year old single mother from Phoenix, Arizona, has breast cancer and was going to lose her hair anyway during chemotherapy.

    Not only was Hurst worried about her own prognosis, but she was afraid of her daughter Ellie's reaction to the news. "I'm the center of her universe," Hurst said. "I started thinking about how I would tell her."

    Hurst is among hundreds of thousands of parents in the United States with the same dilemma, the American Cancer Society says. They are faced with the terrifying task of telling their children that Mommy or Daddy has cancer.

    The cancer society recommends parents not keep their illness a secret and suggests they find a way to talk about it with their children. The group offers age-by-age advice on its Web site.

    Two weeks after her diagnosis last October, Hurst broke the news to Ellie. She tried using vague terms and age-appropriate information. "I was expecting her to ask questions, but she would change the subject, so I didn't know if I was getting through to her."

    Hurst thought it might help if she involved Ellie in the haircut. "She was so excited," Hurst recalls. "She got her little kid scissors and I said, 'Go for it! Cut it short everywhere!' "

    An adult friend shaved the rest of Hurst's head. Young Ellie was intrigued by the change. "She was calm afterwards and she kept rubbing my head," Hurst said.

    The hair-cutting session helped, but Hurst said Ellie didn't open up until she bought a doll aimed at helping children understand cancer, from a group called Kimmie Cares. "I noticed a turning point," Hurst recalled. "She finally understood."

    The Kimmie doll comes with removable hair and a bandanna, similar to the kind worn by many cancer patients who lose their hair during chemotherapy.

    The doll was the brainchild of Kim Goebel, who died of breast cancer nearly four years ago. Her sister, Kris Kalnow of Cincinnati, Ohio, has taken over the project.

    "Kim never had children of her own," Kalnow said. "But she would see other women going through treatment, and many of them wondered how they would explain what they were going through to their children."

    Kalnow points out that her sister was able to see the first doll completed two days before she died. "Kim's dream came true," Kalnow said. "It makes me look up to heaven and say, 'You did it.' "

    The Kimmie doll is among a growing number of efforts to help children cope with the fear and uncertainty when a parent has cancer. For example, Gilda's Club, a national support organization for cancer patients and their families, has "Noogieland," whose programs serve children specifically.

    The Children's Treehouse Foundation serves a similar purpose. The counseling program was started seven years ago in Denver, Colorado, and is now available at 21 cancer centers around the United States.

    Through art therapy sessions and hospital tours, the Treehouse program helps the children of cancer patients deal with feelings of sadness, anxiety and anger.Health Minute: Watch more on the Treehouse program.

    During a recent session at the Erlanger Cancer Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about a dozen children ages six to 12 toured the chemotherapy infusion and radiation rooms.

    Guided by oncology nurse Janet Kramer-Mai, herself a breast cancer survivor, the group learned firsthand how tough having cancer can be.

    "Cancer impacts the entire family," Kramer-Mai said. "We give kids the tools they need to cope with whatever's going on with Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa."

    That's what Chris Johnson of Trenton, Georgia, was looking for when he enrolled his two young sons in the program.

    Johnson's wife, Stacey, learned she had breast cancer four years ago. He says the kids' support group has taken a lot of pressure off his wife. "The biggest benefit for the kids is just that it's a safe place to ask questions that are emotional to them."

    Hayden Johnson, 11, gets something else from the sessions. "I like to know that I'm not the only one going through this," he said. "You can talk about it and nobody will go out and tell and make fun of you."

    Chris Johnson admits he needs all the help and support he can get in reassuring his children. "You walk a fine line. You don't want to throw all the medical terms at them and be cold and clinical, but you don't want to shelter them either from the fact that this is a disease that kills people."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption lal5150's Avatar
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    06.16.12 @ 03:16 PM
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    i would hate to explain that to a kid......
    they hate if your the same , and they hate you if your different- evh

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by lal5150 View Post
    i would hate to explain that to a kid......
    Easy.
    You just say "Honey, mommy has cancer because you're a bad little girl!!!



    (Okay, okay, before you shoot I want to mention that I just got off the phone with my sister who just finished her first round of chemo. I hope you don't object if I whistle past the graveyard a little.)







    Don't read this.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:23 PM
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    I was surprised to read the line near the end from the 11-year old where he says the support groups are great because they can talk about it but no one will make fun of them.

    Jesus Christ. Kids make fun of other kids whose parents have cancer? That's pretty disgusting. I'd kick a kid in the face if I heard that--then when his front teeth were knocked out, I'd make fun of him for looking stupid.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    07.19.17 @ 06:30 AM
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    What an incredible amount of compassion this woman must have had, while dealing with her disease, she saw the need in others and did everything she could to help.. wow.

    http://www.kimmiecares.com/

    Whoever said "you can't keep a good woman down", must have been talking about Kim Goebel. Kim fully embraced life with a passion that was contagious. Even after a diagnosis of cancer in 1999 at the age of 43, her vitality never wavered. In fact, she applied the same tireless dedication and perseverance for her family and work to her fight for life. Doctors and nurses knew her as the woman who always had a smile on her face, no matter what the obstacle. Kim Goebel was full of joy and overflowing with compassion. She was loved by everyone who knew her.

    Although her disposition was naturally jubilant, most days after treatments Kim heard stories from women that brought her to tears.They gave tragic accounts of how cancer had caused so much suffering in their lives. Some women had husbands who had lost patience and left them suddenly alone with no emotional or financial support either for themselves or their children. Others told stories of terrible poverty the cancer had caused, having no insurance to pay for their treatments. Some couldn't even afford a taxi or bus fare to get to the hospital.

    She heard so many different heartbreaking stories from each woman. Even as she fought for her own life Kim was inspired to help fellow cancer victims. While receiving treatment, Kim became acutely aware that many women with cancer found it difficult to explain to their children what was happening to them. The effects of the disease and its treatment, particularly the dramatic hair loss, was very disturbing to them.

    Although she never had children of her own, Kim's compassion led her to create a doll and a book that would help parents explain these startling changes in their lives. She envisioned the Kimmie Cares doll as a way to help ease the pain of cancer in a family by bringing both parents and children closer together. It was her way of reducing some of the anguish children go through as they see their mothers suffer from the effects of this disease.

    With the help of her older sister, Kris, and with support from her family and friends, both the Kimmie Cares doll and Partners for a Cure Foundation were born.

    Kim Goebel is deeply missed by all, but her legacy lives on. She inspired the creation of the Kimmie Cares doll and established the Partners for a Cure Foundation, whose mission is to help enrich the lives of those affected by cancer.
    Don't drink the Jim Jones punch. They're called theToxic Twins for a reason...

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    07.11.08 @ 12:04 AM
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    man... that sucks
    "MY FAVORTITE THING ABOUT MY RIG IS MY PEDALBOARD. MAN, I WENT TO HOME DEPOT, BOUGHT A FEW METAL STRAPS AND BOLTED THOSE MOTHER F**KIN' STOMPBOXES DOWN! SCREW THAT WIMPY VELCRO! YOU NEED METAL!"-Zakk Wylde

 

 

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