Everybody else was celebrating on New Year’s eve. But your child was in treatment for cancer, so it was hard to think about the New Year ahead. Fear and uncertainty seemed to dominate your thoughts.
The love for a child is among the most powerful emotions on earth. So the churning you feel in your heart is only natural. But you have more power than you might think. It’s possible to take those emotions and channel them into something else…a sense of strength and determination, for your child’s sake.
Here are 3 resolutions you can make this year to get your child through her treatment for cancer.
1. Take lots of notes.
During your child’s treatment, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information coming your way. Don’t be. Keeping a written (or digital) record of everything that’s going on can help you by:
- Reminding you of questions you want to ask your child’s medical team
- Letting you make sense of important information or instructions after you’ve had time to process them emotionally
- Creating a record of things like your child’s medication schedule, eating habits, sleep routine, etc. This is helpful information for both you and the medical team to have. And it can alert the medical team when something is off and your child needs extra help.
2. Ask as many questions as you want to.
Asking questions keeps you actively involved during your child’s treatment. It also helps you understand and process what’s going on.
If something isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s medical team. We’re here to answer any questions—no matter how serious or silly they might seem to you—such as:
- Does this medication need to be taken with food?
- How can I explain to my child why she can’t go to her friend’s birthday party?
- Can she eat a piece of cake her friend brought to her from the party?
- What should I tell visitors when they’re not supposed to come over, because my child’s immune system is low?
3. Make the most of hospital support services.
Having your child go through treatment for cancer can be overwhelming for your entire family.
But there are so many people at the hospital who can provide some much-needed support for you, your partner, your child, and his siblings. If you need personal, financial, or emotional assistance, please reach out to:
- Social workers
- Child life specialists
- Hospital chaplains
- Behavioral health specialists
- Palliative care providers
We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ll do everything possible to help you, your child and your family.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.