Tips for Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis

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When you first hear from your doctor that your child suffers from cancer, you may feel overwhelmed and so emotional that you have a hard time talking with your son or daughter. Once your child receives his or her diagnosis, you should sit down as a family and go over exactly what that means now and for the future to help your child cope better with that diagnosis.

Stick to a Normal Routine

Some parents are more lenient with their children after those kids learn they have cancer and begin treatment. This can make it harder for your child to transition back into a normal routine later. As the parent of a child dealing with cancer, you should stick to some type of normal routine. Kids should still go to bed at the same time, do whatever chores they can handle, and keep up with their schoolwork.

Explain Treatment Options

Make sure that your child understands both the diagnosis of pediatric cancer given by a doctor and the treatment options available, too. Kids often feel scared about doctors' appointments and worried about how the treatments will affect them. You need to make sure that they know all about the potential side effects they might experience, including nausea and hair loss. The more knowledge your child has about an upcoming appointment, the better he or she will feel about seeing the doctor.

Keep Your Child Comfortable

When you help your child feel more comfortable after appointments, you can better help your child cope with a cancer diagnosis. This might mean curling up in bed to read a book together, taking a short walk around the neighborhood to enjoy some fresh air, or even cooking a simple meal together.

You'll also want to look for ways to increase your child's comfort after a treatment like treating your child to ice cream or soup when he or she cannot eat solid foods. Your child may even appreciate watching some films about younger people who suffered from cancer. Keep in mind that some of these films may be too emotional for younger viewers.

Cancer is hard for both adults and children, but you can help your child better cope with a cancer diagnosis from a doctor.