Childhood cancer treatment can leave you feeling isolated. The chemotherapy weakens your child’s immune system, and your family can’t go out the way they used to. It starts to feel like the only social interaction you ever get is at the hospital. It can really get lonely.
So, how do you help a family who is feeling isolated by childhood cancer?
1. Invite The Parent Out.
When your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is leave. When he’s having a good day, you don’t have the energy to make plans, or actually leave the house or hospital.
But my friends kept inviting me and prodding me—and my husband encouraged me—and eventually I’d go out for a little fun. It’s amazing how refreshing it was, just to get away for a little while. I felt stronger and better equipped to take care of my kiddo by the time I went back.
2. Send Mail.
Everyone loves to get mail. In this age of electronics, it’s almost a novelty. When our son was diagnosed, a group of friends organized local church groups, classes at the school, and individuals on a schedule so that we received a card in the mail every single day.
I cannot tell you how encouraging that was, just to know other people were thinking about us. I recently came across those cards I’d stashed away all those years ago, and those feelings of being loved and cared for came rushing back. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
3. Call Anyway.
I had a few friends say they didn’t call (or text) because they were worried we might be busy and they’d bother us. Here’s what I say to that: Call anyway!
Even if we couldn’t get the phone, or didn’t have the energy or time to call back, we listened to every message. It meant the world to us to know that people cared. You are never wasting our time or bothering us when you reach out.
When your child is going through cancer treatment, it can be easy to feel like the world has forgotten about you. These are just a few ways you can show a cancer family they are loved, and most definitely not forgotten.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.