“Heros of children” Impact of child’s cancer on the family

by cadabamshospital

02 August,2018 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

We know that cancer is something that deeply affects families, no matter who it affects. It is especially tough in the case of youth cancer for a parent to accept that their child is a cancer victim, and thereon their lives are forever changed. The viewpoint of the child affected is the one which needs to be emphasized, and it is a time of very concentrated love and care for them. 

To bring the entire family together, the parents and siblings need to come together and incite empathy, compassion and love to get through the tough times. The phase is a tough one, but there are steps that can be taken which can help keep the family together.

The Warning Signs- How to look out for them?

Cancer in children is usually very difficult to detect and diagnose, and is a time taking process. In some cases the child stops enjoying doing things they usually did only a month back, and in others excess sleep and random pains are a visible symptom. It appears differently for different people, and it is difficult to detect it correctly. The key in these cases is to take their symptoms seriously and to treat them quickly, and not to delay the treatment. 

It is natural for parents to not be able to imagine that their young child is suffering with cancer, and there really isn’t much that can prepare them better for it. However, they must prepare accordingly and act fast when/if it gets detected, for which childhood cancer awareness is immensely important. 

 The Eating Challenges

Naturally, once a child gets diagnosed with any type of cancer their entire eating habit will go through many changes. In patients of all age ranges the taste buds get affected and their desire to eat healthy food goes down (if it was present to begin with). 

In some children it is assumed that they still haven't developed their taste buds yet. They are fed with tubes. This is done to ensure that they get the nutrients they need for proper nutrition. The needs of the child need to be put first naturally. 

The “Hidden” Costs of Cancer

It is not secret that a cancer diagnosis is a huge toll on the family, mentally, physically and of course, economically. It is easier said than done, but the care of the child is a priority, and work life balance can never be more essential. The time taken at the hospital and the time taken for the treatment can never really be predicted well along with childhood cancer’s treatment side effects. 

So parents and siblings should mentally be prepared to give as much time as they can, and even take leaves whenever possible. Other than the obvious medical costs there are costs of new lifestyle changes as well. Knowing and planning for these additional hidden things can keep the family in better books. 

Long road to be “cured”

It is very obvious that it’s not an easy road for anyone, not for the family and definitely not for the child. One must be prepared to admit that this is going to be a tough time in their life, and that help is something that they need to ask for. There is no shame in doing these things, and in most cases one will find help around them. 

Certain changes and adjustments need to be made by everyone in the family, and the care of the child needs to be maximised so that they don’t feel lonely and isolated. Having the pandemic around definitely doesn’t help anyone’s case, but either way the child needs to be protected from getting any sort of infection.

Cancer is never your fault

No one is in control of these things. Even though it is very easy to blame oneself as a parent, it is not your fault, and this cannot be emphasised enough. It is definitely heartbreaking to know about these things, but it should never be put on anyone's shoulder. 

There isn't anything that a parent could have done differently to change it, and it is important to know that there isn’t anything wrong that you have done which has led to this. What is important is that you give your child the support they need during these tough times.  Everyone needs to get together, and you shall get through these times as a family. 

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