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Advice for Adults with Cancer from a Five-Year-Old Childhood Cancer Survivor

by Nicole Scobie and Elliot

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My son Elliot was only four and a half years old when he was diagnosed with stage IV Wilms tumor, and now, at age five, he is in remission. Here is his advice for adults with cancer.

1. It is perfectly acceptable to have a complete tantrum and throw your shoes around just before leaving for the hospital.

2. You are allowed to worry about life and death, but only to the same extent that you worry about whether Santa Claus will be able enter your home if you don’t have a chimney.

3. Speaking of worry, don’t worry about anything that is not going to happen today or tomorrow.

4. Any bad thing that happened in the past should be quickly erased from your mind – using ice cream.

5. Good friends may stare when they first see you without any hair, but they are quickly more interested in all your new toys. So make sure you have lots of new toys around all the time.

6. A Popsicle for breakfast is a good idea; it goes well with bacon.

7. If someone rubs your bald head and says you’re cute, you should stare at them in complete boredom until they stop.

8. Scars are badges of courage and make you look like a pirate or a superhero.

9. Jumping on the bed is a perfectly acceptable form of exercise.

10. Make having fun your priority, all the time, no matter where you are or what’s going to happen next.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Nicole Scobie is a writer, artist, blogger, and mom living in Rolle, Switzerland. She blogs about childhood cancer at nicolescobie.com. Her five-year-old son Elliot is in remission from stage IV Wilms tumor.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, July/August 2012.

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