'My Cancer Days' helps children cope with emotional cancer experience

January 22, 2016

A cancer diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience for a child, with resulting emotions that are difficult to process. A new picture book published by the American Cancer Society, My Cancer Days, offers reassurance to children facing this daunting illness.

My Cancer Days uses beautiful, vibrant watercolors and a first-person narrative to depict the emotions of a little girl with cancer. The child goes through days when she feels angry, days when she's envious of other children, and days when she is feeling well and happy, with each emotion represented by a color. The girl comes to learn that all of these feelings are okay and that she shouldn't feel guilty. Expressing her feelings -- instead of keeping them bottled up -- is an important part of coping with a very difficult situation.

Author Courtney Filigenzi hopes the words and pictures can help children and their families confront some of the fears common to a child's experience with cancer: fear of the unknown and fear of expressing themselves.

"I wrote My Cancer Days for the smallest warriors," said Filigenzi. "Children can have a hard time identifying or describing their feelings. I wanted to help kids find the words they need to express how they're feeling inside."

For families, being able to talk about what they're going through is an important part of coping.

"It's my hope that the book can help families have these difficult conversations, so they can support each other and grow stronger together," said Filigenzi.

This valuable resource gives children a safe space to express themselves and will help adults provide the support their child needs.
My Cancer Days (ISBN- 9781604430912)

Hardcover List Price: $12.95. Also available in e-Book format.

Available for purchase at cancer.org/bookstore or at any online or retail bookseller.

About the Author

Courtney Filigenzi is the award-winning author of Let My Colors Out, also published by the American Cancer Society. She graduated from Towson University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Courtney lives in Woodstock, Maryland, with her husband and two sons.

About the Illustrator

Nicole Tadgell is the award-winning illustrator of more than twenty picture books, including In the Garden with Dr. Carver. Her work has been honored with the Children's Africana Book Award, the Américas Award, the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, and the Growing Good Kids Award. When she's not drawing, Nicole also visits schools, gives lectures, and conducts workshops.

American Cancer Society

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