Monday, March 14, 2011


You never know what might trigger it. Meagan has done such a fantastic job being positive, energetic, optimistic and hopeful - that when it comes - it's always a bit of a surprise and a conundrum. And a time for cabana boy to leap into action.

Instinctively the best thing to do is just hug and hold her and reassure. Depending on what the trigger is though, what you say matters. We've had some meltdowns based on general information or news, i.e., someone we are acquainted with dying of cancer. In other cases it's been based on reading or hearing some specific piece of news or discovery that might be related directly to her cancer. So it's a pretty stressful time. An understatement.

I usually try to reassure her with information, reminding her about the course of her particular type of cancer, the advances being made in places like the National Cancer Institute, and how the discovery of her particular mutation may lead to more productive treatment. Then I remind her of her mantras: she's a warrior ninja princess, and she's young, strong, healthy (except for the cancer). Then it's on to using the metaphor developed for her about putting the fear, "the bully", back in the box, padlocking it, and putting it away.

Then we try to focus on what is good about life, enjoying each and every day, taking it one step at a time and not looking down the road at "what-ifs". Reminding her to breathe and then trying to lighten things up (last night it was my imitation of the character in the movie "Hook" trying to get Peter Pan (Robin Williams) to "think happy thoughts Peter...".

She has to do the heavy lifting and regain her balance and she always does. She's a remarkable woman.

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