A father bird puts his wing over the shoulder of his small child

What Children See in a Sick Parent

When I was first diagnosed with hep c, shortly after my mom, my daughter was 10 years old at the time.  She was just learning of her grandma being diagnosed and now her mom.

Getting my kids tested

Being filled with worry myself after diagnosis about spreading this to my two kids,  I had them tested immediately.  My daughter, I will never forget her words to me, “Mom am I going to die?” Oh, poor girl.

I could only imagine what she was feeling during this hustle to get them tested. Her little soul was consumed with the unknown like any of us being first diagnosed; fear and uncertainty filled our thoughts.

After learning she and my son were negative, I was overjoyed.  I sat both of my kids down and shared the good news.

Although my son was only 4, he did not understand the impact our family had just been faced with.  A year later, we had my mother’s funeral, and my daughter came up to me at the service and held my hand so tight.

I leaned down, and she whispered, “Mom, are you going to die now?”  My heart sank.   It hit me then that now my fate was at the hands of this ugly disease as well.

The fear my children felt

My poor children just witnessed their grandma die from this and all the horrible side effects it brings with having it. Now their hearts were burdened with the fear of mom leaving too.

From the very first, I made a point, to be honest, and open about my liver health. Children are much more intelligent than we give them credit for. They understand what is happening, and having the proper tools I acquired while dealing with my mom’s health; I figured gave them some control over what was transpiring.

They were with me when I was cured

Together, the 3 of us (daughter, son, and myself) dealt with a non-responding treatment (interferon and riba), failed to get on two clinical trials, and then together, we landed the final trial that ended up CURING me of my hep c.

Together we rode the race and talked about each step. Staying positive helped me stay focused, and with them knowing how sick I was, allowed them to be nurses to their momma.

Today I am witnessing these two amazing strong, beautiful, compassionate adults begin their lives. I am so blessed to have lived to be here today writing my story.

I believe if we are honest with our kids, they too can be a part of your journey and support where you need to be supported. Hugs are the best medicine.

I ended up buying a king-size bed so the three of us could have endless sleepovers during my treatment. Each had a special duty in my health care.

My son was my clock to remind me to take my pills, and my daughter was my appointment reminder. I cherish those memories and thank God for these two humans who helped save me.

Together WE beat this and you WILL as well.

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