In response to the growing popularity of eBooks, Breast Cancer Care has collaborated with eBook Partnership, with funding from the Ashley Charitable Trust, to transfer Mummy’s Lump to an electronic format, downloadable for free from iTunes. You can still order a free hardcopy from their website though, if you're not equipped to read an e-book.
I really hope this is something that none of you will ever need. I've never been diagnosed with breast cancer but I do remember when we had our "angel baby" and the first question I asked the counsellor at the hospital was "what do I tell the kids?". When your head is totally taken up with trying to come to terms with things yourself, you just don't have the resources left to work out how to explain things to young children in the way they need, especially as they generally understand more than you think about what is going on.
As the UK’s leading breast cancer support charity since 1973, Breast Cancer Care knows that telling children about a breast cancer diagnosis can be difficult and distressing, and parents need support. Mummy’s Lump was therefore developed with Gillian Forrest, Consultant Child Psychiatrist and Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University, whose research with over 30 mothers with early breast cancer and their children showed that the youngest children had a much greater awareness of cancer than parents realised.
Gillian, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 when her children were five and seven, said: "Despite being an experienced child psychiatrist, when I got my own breast cancer diagnosis I was anxious and unsure about what to tell my children. All the support I got focused on my own health - there was little available to help deal with my children’s needs. In the end I told them that I had a bad lump that had to be taken out. The clear message from my research was that no matter how much children had been told, they knew something ‘bad’ was going on. They’re exposed to lots of information about breast cancer in ways we don’t really appreciate, but the more they are prepared and informed, the more it helps them cope. It can be easier for parents to broach something as sensitive as a cancer diagnosis through a story rather than a conversation so I wrote Mummy’s Lump just like a normal story book. Now, as a narrated eBook there should be even fewer barriers to being open with children about a breast cancer diagnosis."
All of Breast Cancer Care's publications, including Mummy's Lump, can be ordered for free at http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications
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