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Interior Cancer Journal

Cancer Through the Eyes of a Child

Shelita Anderson

Shelita Anderson, RN, OCN
Patient Care Director, Special Projects with Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital

With three published children’s books to her name, author Shelita Anderson, RN, OCN, is tackling the subject of cancer in a new children’s book called Mommy, cancer, and Me. The book, which is written for ages 7 to 9 years old, is expected to be available by the end of summer 2016.

"It’s very difficult for kids to understand cancer, and there aren’t many materials available that speak to them on a level they can comprehend,” says Anderson, who is patient care director at the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-

Greater Heights and has worked with oncology patients for the past 28 years.

“Dealing with patients and their families for so many years has given me insight into the questions kids have and the issues they face. My goal is to explain the complex issues surrounding cancer in a way that children can understand.”

The book’s main character is a girl named Abigail, who learns that her mother has cancer. She discusses her feelings as she gains knowledge about the disease itself and the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, including fatigue and hair loss. Abigail’s mother survives, but she learns that not everyone does. She connects with other children dealing with cancer and comes to understand the importance of working together as a community to help others.

“Kids are smart and very creative,” says Anderson, who is the author of I Think Myself Happy, God’s Creation I Can See and What God Says About Me. “They never stop surprising me with their understanding and generosity.”