This August, my kids and I were among the millions of people watching the solar eclipse with awe. At the apex, in that moment of relative cold and darkness, I tried to lighten the mood with a bad mom joke: “It must be hard for the sun to feel so powerless today, huh?”
But rather than laugh or roll his eyes, my 10-year-old son replied with innocent wisdom.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” he said. “It will pass. All shadows do.”
He’s right. One thing I’ve learned from working with families facing childhood and adolescent cancer is that the shadow of cancer – that loss of control, that fear, that stress – does eventually lift. In fact, the history of human experience includes a myriad of examples of overcoming adversity. Think of the wars, natural disasters and other serious illnesses humans constantly encounter. In general, we recover, and ultimately learn from the experiences.
How do we do it? The answer is “resilience” and it is what I study. Allow me to share some of what I have learned through my conversations with patients and families. Read full post »