I get asked this question a lot. And it is a good one.
The fast simple answer is "They just don't get it" and "They are doing fine." But the truth is: it is a little bit more complicated than that.
Connor knows that I am sick. He has seen me at some of my worst moments and has even shed a few tears. But life for Connor is pretty wonderful. On my bad days he gets extra Wii time and time on the computer. We go to the gym 3X a week and he loves it there. He loves playing basketball, dodge ball, and helping the teachers. He also LOVES doing karate and is really good at it. We kept Connor at home this year and have been doing school with him. He is doing awesome. Connor is the oldest and loves being the boss, but I have loved watching him become a more compassionate and better older brother every day. He is my helper, and he is very excited about calling 9-1-1 if I ever need him to, seriously he asks quite a bit if he can call me an ambulance. Ha
Bryce doesn't understand that I am sick. But he gets that he can cuddle and lay on the couch with me A LOT and he LOVES that! And he also loves all the extra TV time. His personality is more of an at-home kind of dude, so he has loved that we stay in the house a lot more. One of our favorite things to do is coloring and drawing. I draw a picture of him and he colors it. He is the first person in the house to notice when I am having a good day and actually get dressed up, hair done, and make up on. And he still thinks that I am pretty. ( I love that)
Alexis is having the hardest time with this cancer journey. She is VERY attached to Mommy and all the hospital visits, doctor appointments, surgeries, and laying the couch have her very paranoid. I can't walk into the other room without her checking on me. It is super adorable and super kind of crazy. Poor little thing just knows something is wrong, but she doesn't know what. But because of all this time at home she is also getting pretty spoiled. I take a nap every day and so does she, so naturally we take a nap together. I haven't broken her enough to mess up her sleeping in her bed in her room at night, but naptime....yup I have broken that one. We love having a couple minutes to giggle and talk before we fall asleep. She is the first McManus kiddo who has been all about Mom, and secretly I LOVE IT! But I do worry that she doesn't understand what is going on and the fact that I can't get up to go to the bathroom without her freaking out is pretty disconcerting. Luckily, she loves going to church and the gym and has never cried there, so she can't be too broken. She also thinks that she has a headache whenever I have one too.
Because I am sick or laying on the couch more than ever, Daddy has had more and more "kid time" lately. And I love that. Dad just does the "cool stuff" and the boys especially love it. One of their favorite activities is going out into the woods and just exploring. I hate having cancer and I hate being sick and I HATE fighting so hard to live. But God is so good and He gives me these moments that make my heart sing.
It's hard having cancer at such a young age. And it's even harder being a wife and Mom. But it is not quite as hard having cancer with kids who are young. And I praise God for that. I am strong and I think that I am fighting this fight pretty well. BUT if I had to watch my kids struggle with having a Mom who is sick, that would be too difficult. I don't have to answer any "big" questions yet. They don't have any anxiety or even get what cancer is. They have never lost anyone close to them, so they don't really get that either.
So, their Mom lays on the couch more than usual. So, the littlest one REALLY loves her Mommy. So, all the kids get just a little bit more Daddy-time. So what? Connor, Bryce, and Alexis' Mommy has cancer, and it is not really a big deal.
So, when you ask me "How are the kids doing?" The truth really is..."Great."
Praise God for that.