After receiving a diagnosis of cancer for your child, it is common to feel a sense of loss. The “normalcy” of life as you know it will never be the same and treatment can be overwhelming. Many people feel like giving up hope. Having a supportive group around you is an integral part of dealing with the emotions that come with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Ask your health care team about support groups for your child’s type and stage of cancer. Most oncology teams include a social worker that’s soul purpose is to provide resources for emotional support for not only the child but the entire family.
Harnessing Your Community
It is an extremely natural reaction to want to isolate yourself after a diagnosis of your child’s cancer. Take your time to grieve how you need to, but my biggest piece of advice is to accept help. Grab hold of anyone that is willing to help you. You will have many people that offer to babysit your other children, bring you meals, Drive your children to school, set up a GoFundMe, and countless other things. Accept these offers and ask for specific help. If not for yourself, for your children or spouse. People want to help so let them.
Find people that have walked in your shoes! There are groups specific to your child’s cancer on Facebook. The main group to look into is Momcology on Facebook. It allows you to connect with other caregivers and advocates across the world. After you join that group you can find subgroups particular to your child’s cancer, state, region or even hospital. It is a great resource to help you navigate your child’s treatment! The wealth of knowledge from other parents that have been where you are is invaluable.