Paula explains if she feels she must remain composed during her ovarian cancer treatment.
Sometimes, when my son or my daughter call me and they ask how I am feeling, I will tell them. I mean, if I am not feeling well, I will tell them pretty much how I am feeling because I feel that they have to kind of get a sense of what’s going on. As far as my grandchildren are concerned, the older one who is just 16, I have to tell her the truth because she is very astute, and if I don’t tell her the truth, she gets very upset because sooner or later she is going to find out.
And her sister who will be 14 over the summer is not quite as verbal, but she holds it all in. And I feel that she has to know some of what’s going on, and she is very quiet, but she does know and they see me. And when my hair fell out and I went and got the wig, Sam went with me, and I said, “Well, should I put it on?” He went, “Well, you are going to see grandchildren, so put it on.”
So we went over there, and I had the wig on and of course they knew right away, and then it was bothering me so I took it off so they could see that, you know, I really didn’t have hair. But the other two are still a little too young to really understand what’s going on. So with them, it’s a little bit easier, but with the older two, and they saw what their mother went through, so they know. But I try not to elaborate too much, but I have to definitely tell the older one–the 16-year-old--how I feel and what’s going on because she really needs to know.
Her biggest problem when her mother was ill was that she felt we were keeping things from her, and she was very upset about it. She could deal better with what was than what she didn’t know, and I think that’s what’s happening now. Do I feel pressure to kind of keep the family together? I don’t know that I do, I think I just do what I would do naturally.
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