Parenting With Cancer
Dealing with any illness as a parent is never easy, especially when your children are young. When you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, the challenge of balancing your own treatment with the needs of your children is tremendous.
The good news is, you’re not alone in this challenge. Learning from the experiences of cancer survivors, who faced it as mothers and fathers, can help you navigate your own journey through parenthood with cancer.
How do I tell my children about my cancer diagnosis?
Speaking to your children for the first time about your cancer diagnosis can set the tone for how they handle the duration of your treatment. There’s no one right approach of course. Your child’s age, your outlook, and many other factors might dictate when and how much you choose to reveal. But the most common themes among the survivors The Patient Story spoke with: There’s no hiding it, so be honest.
How can I help my children deal with the treatment process?
Telling your children about the diagnosis is just the first step. Helping them process and deal with the entire course of your treatment is just as important. Here are some approaches that helped for the patients The Patient Story spoke with:
Build a solid support system
Involve the kids in treatment
Keep things as normal as possible
How should I handle my emotions around my children?
With your own emotions running high throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, your children are bound to notice. Here’s what a few patients had to say about managing these feelings around their children:
How will having cancer affect the family as a whole?
As much as you might try to bear the entire burden, cancer will affect your entire family, in different ways.
Should I ask for help with childcare?
Among the parents The Patient Story spoke with, there was definite agreement: take help when you can get it, even when if comes to childcare. Relieving the day-to-day burden as much as possible will allow you to focus on recovery, so that you can be there for the long-term with your kids.