Talking to Children about Cancer

This book is meant to be a tool to assist you in talking to children about cancer.  It is not meant to make things more difficult or complicated for you as you are dealing with cancer.  By providing you with a choice of pages and topics, we hope that you can use exactly what feels right to you in helping your children understand and cope with cancer in the family.  Please do not stress about which pages to choose, or how many pages to utilize.  After using the book once or twice, your children’s responses will guide you to the next choice of pages and topics.

Remember, this is a book for ongoing use, not just for one time.  If your child doesn’t like a particular page, or a page makes him or her feel worried, you can remove it together.  If you would like to create a page of your own, use the back of one of the printed pages and draw it with dry-erase markers.

It is also important to think of this book as a guide for you to use in telling a story to your children, rather than needing to follow the words on each page verbatim.  The captions on the pages are very short, and you should feel free to add personal comments or expand upon the meaning of the pages as it applies to your family.  If one page becomes important to your child, you can take it out of the book and leave it by your child’s bed, or put it on his or her bulletin board.  The pages are pretty sturdy, and will probably not be torn by little hands!

Speaking of special pages, we would very much like to know how you used this book, and whether there are other pages or topics you would like us to address in future editions of Someone I Love is Sick.  Please click on the link for “Tell us how this book helped you.” That way you can email us your feedback. All comments and suggestions are appreciated.  Teaching kids about cancer is not easy, so we hope we helped you in some small way.


All of the articles on the pages in this section are written by the author of Someone I Love is SickKathleen McCue.

Publisher’s Note – The Gathering Place Press (TGPP) neither represents nor guarantees that the practices described herein will, if followed, ensure safe and effective patient care.  The recommendations contained in this book reflect TGPP’s judgement regarding the state of general knowledge and practice in the field as of the date of publication.  The recommendations may not be appropriate for use in all circumstances. The author and publisher cannot be held responsible for any liability incurred as a consequence of the use or application of any of the contents of this book.