Marsha Dale, Maya’s mom, was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer (a tumor in each breast). She bravely faced lumpectomies, six rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation. We are all thankful that today she is in good health.
When cancer struck, we were pretty typical. We just never thought it was something that could happen to our family, and we didn’t have any plans on how to deal.
Marc: Marsha and I told the kids, Maya (then 15) and her sister, Daniela (12) when we picked them up from the first day of school.
Maya: The car was a good place to be told because no one could stomp off to her room or disperse for at least thirty minutes after we found out.
Marc: As a family, we visited a therapist at the beginning of treatment just to see if there were any issues we had to deal with. And we tried to keep the kids in the loop. We’d always tell them exactly what was up with Marsha and her treatments.
But we never asked them how they were doing. We were so busy dealing with cancer and the other stresses of daily life, that we kind of neglected our kids!
Maya: And so a lot of our feelings were kept bottled up inside. And without being able to share stories with others who were going through the same thing, we weren’t sure where to turn. That’s why we decided to write this guide so that even if you’re a teen and you don’t know anyone else going through the same experience or a support group, you have this book with the voices of so many others like you.