Our littlest one recently came down with a rash, vomiting and high fever.
This was a few days before my wife and our oldest were headed out of town on a church youth trip. So I was left at home for the long weekend with baby Jeb and big sister Katie. With Jeb's fever hovering at or near 102 degrees, it was pretty clear we were house bound for the entire weekend.
As the weekend progressed, Jeb was feeling better, losing the high fever and regaining his appetite. Then Katie started to not want to eat. For her, this is extremely odd. And, on Monday evening, my older daughter Abby noticed that Katie felt hot too.
So, I was off to the pediatrician for the second time in a week of what would include a grand total of seven visits to the doctor. We had to drop my wife off at her doctor before heading to the pediatrician for Katie. As Katie and I waited for the doctor to arrive, we hung out and played games. The nurse had grabbed another nurse and two of us held Katie while she had a strep test done.
Soon, the doctor arrived. However, we were thrown off as she arrived sporting a pink blouse, pink sweater, pink hat, pin and bracelet. And under the hat, she had lost her hair and was wearing a mask to minimize coming into contact with germs. Katie was a bit scared. I held her and we both reassured Katie that there was nothing to fear.
When I left the office, I told Abby about the doctor. She was visibly upset. Doctors don't get sick, she reminded me. Then we got my wife from her appointment and I told her about it.
See, that particular doctor from our practice is younger than me, and she has two kids of her own. So, my wife was in tears too thinking about all the doctor and her kids are going through. This was now the time when we had to teach Abby about breast cancer and how indiscriminate it and other cancers are. They don't have a list of who qualifies to get cancer of any type.
Abby knows my mom died from cancer when I was 14. So, I've talked a tad about the disease. For that reason alone, Abby has told us she hates it. She hates that it robbed her and her siblings of a wonderful grandma. My mom's sister had breast cancer, but beat it. We talked more that night and reminded Abby to pray for the doctor and her family.
As a daddy, I just wish there were things in life I didn't have to go over with my kids. And cancer is one of them.
Stay-at-home dad Mike Slawter is 'husband to the best lady in the world and daddy to the three best kids in the world!' The family lives in Raleigh. Slawter writes monthly for Go Ask Mom. Find him on his own blog Tales of a Stay at Home Daddy to 3.