Explaining cancer

Imagine finding out you have breast cancer at age 39. Then picture trying to tell your sons, age 3 and 6.

That’s what Katy Tessman Stanoch of Minnetonka had to do, along with explaining her surgery (a double mastectomy) and chemo treatments. 

Immediately, she and her husband tried to find a book they could read to their boys to help them understand.

“We were at a loss about how to help them through this journey called cancer. I wanted a book that instilled hope and explained the basics of cancer,” Stanoch said. “I never found that book.”

So Stanoch, diagnosed in 2009, decided to write her own book about how to talk to young children about cancer.

In Our Mama is a Beautiful Garden, illustrated by Jessica Bailey of Minneapolis, two young boys share what it’s like to have a mom go through cancer. They use the metaphor of a weed in a garden to explain how cancer doesn’t belong — and needs to be removed — from a person’s body.

Stanoch, now five years cancer-free, will do a reading of her book at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Excelsior Bay Books in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Learn more at excelsiorbaybooks.net.