Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #1: Family Dynamics

No one wants to give their kids bad news, and it’s hard to imagine worse than telling your kids you have cancer. For lymphoma survivors Gina Johnson and Connie Grayson, the challenge was greater, because they not only had their own kids to tell, but as teachers, they also had a school full of children to navigate.

Field day for Connie Grayson and her students.

Field day for Connie Grayson and her students.

Every kid reacts differently to the news, as Johnson recounts her discussion with her children.

“We sat down at the kitchen table and my daughter screamed hysterically,” recalls Gina. “But my son just sat there. ‘Is that it?’ he said.”

For Connie, the discussion was complicated by the fact that she had recently lost her own father to melanoma.“ My daughter had lost her grandfather to cancer, and then her mother was diagnosed with cancer, too.” Grayson says. “She was very, very angry.”

lymphoma, teaching, Gina Johnson

Gina Johnson and her two kids, Jaden and Hannah.

Using both humor and honesty, Gina and Connie were able to help their own kids manage their anger and fear, and to also help the many kids whose lives they touch at their schools.

Hear Connie and Gina’s story by listening to the podcast episode below or click “download” to listen later. Subscribe options are also available via iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher app, TuneIn app, and RSS.

The Beyond Cancer podcast series features cancer survivors sharing how they’ve navigated the physical side effects, emotional challenges, and different dynamics of life during and after cancer treatment. Visit the Beyond Cancer page for more episodes and Dana-Farber’s podcast page for more information on other cancer podcast series.

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-960-1562

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

All content in these blogs is provided by independent writers and does not represent the opinions or advice of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or its partners.

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
Dana-Farber #researchers have shown that clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) - the presence of s… https://t.co/ZlmXSeyKfZ
Dana-Farber @danafarber
CRISPR, a powerful new tool for editing the #DNA instruction manual in animals and humans, is proving a boon to… https://t.co/pCzS3riHPS

Republish our posts on your blog

Interested in sharing one of our stories on your blog? Feel free to republish this content! We just ask that you credit Dana-Farber, link to the original article, and refrain from making edits that change the original context. Questions? Email the editors at insight_blog@dfci.harvard.edu.