When someone is diagnosed with cancer, everyone in his or her family is affected. This holds especially true when a child has cancer. Different families have different ways of coping, but there are some sound strategies that anyone can employ. For useful tools and tips that may help, see the following pages:
Helping Your Child Cope
Regardless of age, children are usually aware when their health causes their parents concern. Your child may experience a variety of emotions, such as anger, guilt, fear, anxiety and sadness, all in quick succession.
Your child's treatment will involve new people and experiences that he or she may find frightening. Your child may be admitted to a hospital almost as soon as he or she is diagnosed. This may be the first time he or she has stayed away from home for an extended period.
Some parents feel they should discuss the illness with their child but not use the word "cancer" and shield him or her from information about the illness and treatment. Keep in mind that your child will fill in gaps of information with his or her imagination. Sharing information about the illness and treatment can help your child build trust in both you and the treatment team and feel comfortable talking about fears and concerns. Knowing about cancer and understanding the importance of treatment may help your child cooperate and learn, with your help, to get through difficult situations. Your child's treatment team can help you explain the diagnosis and treatment.
Sam Fights Back is a coloring book to help children cope with their hospital stay during cancer treatment.
We're Here to Help
You can get much-needed support and information to guide you through your child's cancer journey from LLS. Get financial support, listen to or watch our teleconferences and webcasts, access our free education publications or join a support group. We offer a wide range of both local and national services. The LLS network of chapters is located throughout the United States and Canada.
If you would like to learn more about our programs or if you have any questions about blood cancer, you can contact an Information Specialist who can provide you with the latest, most accurate disease-related information:
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s free booklets:
- Coping With Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma
Pictures of My Journey Coloring Book