Learning your child has cancer creates an emotional rollercoaster for you and other family members. As treatment continues, it’s common for emotions to stabilize. While life is never quite the same, a “new normal” will develop.
Our Family Support Program helps ease the emotional strain a childhood cancer diagnosis takes on families by providing a case manager who stands by a family’s side throughout their journey. NCCS case managers are trained in providing practical and emotional support to parents and caregivers. These dedicated individuals offer support during difficult times, educate parents and caregivers on how to best advocate for their child and provide referrals when needed.
Some effective ways to deal with your emotions during this difficult time are as follows:
- Give yourself permission to experience both positive and negative feelings and remember they are normal.
- Educate yourself about your child’s diagnosis and treatment.
- Become an active member of your child’s treatment team since no one knows him/her better than you do.
- Recognize which areas of your child’s life can be controlled and which cannot.
- Understand that some questions may not have answers.
- Find ways to express your feelings.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat properly, and exercise.
- Learn to accept help and support from others.
- Find a relaxing hobby like crocheting, knitting or woodworking.
- Spend time with your other children.
- Learn relaxation techniques, how to pace yourself and set priorities.
- Join a support group or talk with a friend, counselor or clergy member.
- Keep a journal. Record special moments, both happy and sad.
If you are having continued difficulty coping with your child’s diagnosis and/or treatment, speak with the healthcare professionals at your child’s hospital. Seeing a counselors is always helpful and can be located through professional organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers at National Association of Social Workers or the American Counseling Association or 1-800-347-6647.