Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mrs MacGrady and Me




In a recent post, I explained that Amber, my oldest granddaughter who is seven, came bounding into the house exclaiming, "I know what your illness is........ its called cancer."
At the time that remark struck through me like a knife because I hadn't mentioned that word to either of my granddaughters and I wondered if some one else had talked to Amber.
She went on to tell me that she had seen a children's programme on TV, about a school cook who was diagnosed with cancer.
Although I am not a cook, I am a dinnertime supervisor and work in an after school club, I thought it was a bit of a coincidence that I should suffer a similar fate to Mrs MacGrady and I managed to track the programme down to see what it was really about.

After viewing it, I was struck by several things. In this video the dinner lady goes through all kinds of things that I have been through. Feeling not too bad when the treatment started, then losing hair and having to wear headgear, feeling ill, needing support and eventually going back to the usual routine with still no hair after a long, long time.
I particularly like the way that cancer was explained to young children. Healthy cells being likened to flowers and cancer to the weeds that were growing among them. The medicine that killed the weeds caused the hair to fall out and made Mrs MacGrady feel ill.

There is also a mention of Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour De France, and the childrens' encounter with him.
That in itself seemed quite a coincidence because a young guy from church lent me the book, *Not About The Bike* ..... how Lance Armstrong overcame cancer and went on to win the Tour de France. He even gave me a wristband to wear to remind me how he had overcome cancer after a big struggle.

The video is in three parts but I think it is well worth watching if you can ...... because I think it is an excellent way of telling children about an illness which they will surely come across sooner or later.
I think it is a Canadian cartoon.
I am really glad I found it.
What do others think?


22 comments:

Mary G said...

Thanks! A lot. We are trying to find a way to explain to a six year old ('Almost, seven grama!) what happened to my sister-in-law who died Thursday from cancer (lung cancer, the one that isn't beatable). This is a real help.

You sound as if you are feeling better again - sending you hugs and warm wishes.

RNSANE said...

I watched two of the episodes. What an excellent way to teach children about cancer. Very touching, really - and it is a format kids will watch and understand. Poor Mrs. McGrady, it looks like she never got a moments rest. I hope you aren't being completely innundated with chicken soup ( a little variety would be nice ) and that you have visitors but aren't being bombarded.

Hugs to you, Maggie May!

Jeni said...

Looks to me like an excellent tool to use to explain something as big as cancer is or can be. I've seen changes in your voice here over the past couple of months as you've become a seasoned traveler now with the chemo and seem to be bouncing back a tad better all the time. Maybe spring has a little bit to do with some of those changes too -can't help but make a person feel a bit better when the sun makes more appearances and the trees begin to bud, flowers popping up all over too! Keep it going in that direction too! Peace.

Cheryl said...

Hi Maggie, You have been in my thoughts so much! It is so nice to hear from you again. The film sounds like a wonderful way to explain cancer to children. I am going to look it up. I do hope you are feeling better and getting some relief from that awful rash!XXXXX

Akelamalu said...

What a great way of explaining this to children. Children are so accepting if one takes the time to explain things to them aren't they?

Hope you're feeling better m'dear. x

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Dear Maggie,
I've not even been entering my Blog and not written anything for months... and have just seen your posts about your illness.
I'm so sad to hear about this but I know that you will be o.k. and that God is protecting you through all of this.
Even though I don't know you personally I know that you are a wonderful lady, one of my first and dsearest friends here in Blog land and I know that you're going to be o.k.
I will try to enter my Blog on a more regular basis and read some more of your posts and get updated.
God bless dear friend and lots of Big Hugs for you!
Donnie xxxxx

Mimi said...

This is a really good way to explain cancer, not just to children, but to all of us.
Ignorance is the worst enemy, and we've come a long way from when cancer was described as "The big C"- that used to terrify us even hearing it.
Glad to see you up and running again- hope the itch has eased off now, Maggie.

Monalisa said...

Very good video. It is so hard for children when things aren't being said. The cartoon about cancer makes it just fact of life.

Moannie said...

What a wonderfully kind way the video has of bringing such a strong subject to young children. Hugs, Annie.

Bernie said...

Oh Maggie I am so glad to see you post and know you are well enough to do so. The video is a real teaching tool for all children to learn about cancer.....I think it is wonderful for them to learn the truth, and also the right way to explain it to them. What a wonderful service you have done by posting this sweetie, be well my friend......big hugs...:-)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is terrific!!! Arthur was a program my son watched occasionally when he was a little boy...lots of excellent lessons...and so I am not surprised that the creators would tackle this subject so thoughtfully and creatively! Really superb! Thanks, dear Maggie!! Praying for your recovery now...and that your hair grows quickly ;-) Love you, Janine XO

Ayak said...

Well I can't comment on the video Maggie as I suspect it's on Youtube so all I have is a blank white space (Youtube is banned in Turkey), but I am always in favour of children knowing the truth about everything, as long as its told in a gentle way that doesn't give them too much anxiety.

the mother of this lot said...

Maggie, if you're wearing a LIVESTRONG wristband, does this mean I should watch out for you in next year's Tour de France??

Hope you are feeling a little better and that the itch is on it's way out x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I do think it's important to make sure children understand, but one has to be very careful in how they approach the subject with particular children, such as those like Amy!! Maggie, you are a remarkable woman and to tell your story would be an honour for anyone.

CJ xx

Rose said...

I just watched the first part of the video, Maggie, but this much looked like a great way to teach children about cancer. It's from the series "Arthur," which is based on the books about Arthur the Aardvark, and a show I sometimes watch with my grandkids. The books and the series are excellent and teach a lot of valuable lessons to kids. I like the analogy about the flowers and the weeds--that really fits, doesn't it? I know what happens to my garden if the weeds take over. I think sometimes we try to protect our children too much, but they appreciate the honesty and understand more than we give them credit for sometimes. I think your granddaughters will be better able to cope with your illness knowing what is really happening.

Hope those nasty weeds are disappearing from your "garden."

aims said...

I was wondering if you have shown your grandchildren this Maggie? No matter what age - this video helps everyone who comes into contact with people who have cancer.

Now that the weekend has passed I hope that the itchiness is behind you.

Thinking of you with Positives x 7!

Suburbia said...

I have seen this programme with my two over the years and it seems to deal really well with all sorts of sensitive issues.

Brian Miller said...

we love arthur in our house...i think we have seen just about all of the,...great vid....

ladyfi said...

Seems like a good way to explain cancer.

Hugs and healing thoughts!

Eddie Bluelights said...

A very tasteful way of explaining the problem to children - very good indeed.

A bit late visiting in fact I saw your later post first and I noted that the children wanted Mrs MacGrady back and they want you back at school as well. Striking similarity ~ hugs ~ Eddie

Joey said...

I think it sounds like a wonderful way to explain cancer.

Hugs...

Life with Kaishon said...

I will show it to Kaish.
I wish that no child ever had to know what cancer was.