My husband is currently undergoing radiation therapy for a secondary tumour on his right frontal lobe. We have two sons, aged 6 and almost 8. We thought it would be helpful for them to understand a bit more if they could see how/what happened when Daddy had radiation treatment. I asked them if they would like to see, "oh yes" was the response, so Monday morning we all set off to 'check it out'. The boys patiently watched and waited while Daddy was 'measured up', using the lasers and then 'stuck' into place with some masking tape! We left the treatment area and watched on the monitors, we could see Daddy lying very still and then watched as the machine started moving. "Is that it?" says our nearly 8 year old. "Where's the electricity and zapping?". It appears he was expecting to see something similar to lightning bolts going into Daddy's head and lots of flinching, jerky movements going on as a result. "That's boring" he says!! Sorry to disappoint you darling!
Hi Mrs Elton Yes it is boring when you are on the receiving end - just lying there, held in place, not moving while the machine hovers above you and doe it's thing. In my brighter moments I used to imagine it was a monstrous pterodactyl hovering over me to see if I would make a meal or not. Other times when the imagination was not working it was just a machine doing its' thing. The greatest excitement occurred if it broke down - then all sorts of people appeared out of the woodwork. There are some good book out there that tell children about cancer - because my memory is screwed I can't remember what they are, but the cancer helpline people 13 11 20, can advise. The Cancer Council NSW has some good information at This site also has some great information - I can't find it from the home page, maybe Emma or Kate can help here. But if you Google children and cancer it comes up at Cheers Sailor A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives. Anne Davison 

0 Kudos
Regular Contributor
Hi, When I was having chemo I overheard a similar response from a grandchild who was accompanying his mother and grandfather. Mum spent a lot on food from the cafeteria that day! Maybe the boys were expecting Star Wars. Take it easy Samex
0 Kudos
Hi Mrs Elton When I "recovered" from the initial shock of being told I had bowel cancer and it was very aggressive and basically attacking everything in it's path (oh joy), my sister explained to her 8 and 6 year old why I was so ill and why I had to come and stay with them for a while in order to rest and get better.They are pretty smart kids (course I'm not biased), actually very clever kids and they understood as much as is possible for that age to understand.When I had my first chemo treatment, my 6 year old niece asked her Mum if my hair and fallen out yet - how cute. Watching me read all the cancer council books my 8 year old nephew picked one up, muttering "not more cancer I'm totally over that".Well and truly "out of the mouths of babes". Hope that brought a smile to some faces- it still does to mine. Strange how quickly things change - now we don't talk about cancer as my nephew who is very sensitive was having nightmares about me dying and wasn't participating in school activities because he was crying at school over me. That is so heartbreaking- now, even if I feel like crap I don't care - the kids want me to play with them - I play and have a wonderful time and for those few precious moments - I am cancer free!
0 Kudos
Post new blog
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.