Archive | Youth

What Helps a Child, by Age

November 3, 2015

Advice from the American Cancer Society on explaining cancer to a child


Infants or very young children

  • Keep the baby or child near the parents or a trusted adult who is a regular part of the child’s life, if possible.
  • Have a parent or trusted adult who is a regular part of the child’s life spend time with the baby or child daily.
  • When the parent must be in the hospital, caregivers can use video, phone, and other means so the child can see and hear their parent in real time.
  • Get your relatives, nanny, or day care providers to help keep the baby or child’s routine.
  • Record lullabies, stories, and messages when the parent with cancer can’t be at home.
  • Offer frequent reassurance to toddlers when a parent is away for short times that Mommy or Daddy will soon be back.
  • Cuddle and hug them often.
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An Oops Moment

November 3, 2015

Me and LGWhen I was first diagnosed, my nephew, LG, was 16. Even though he was on the cusp of adulthood, I didn’t know how to talk with him about what was happening. How much could he understand? How much information did he need? I didn’t want to worry him, make him fearful of losing me, until we knew what was going to happen. So, we said very little.

What I didn’t realize was that children — whether they are 6 or 16 — pick up things very quickly when they set their minds to it. I lived with my brother and his family. My sister-in-law was my caregiver. My nephew knew something was happening. He also knew that we weren’t talking to him about it. He heard the word “cancer,” but because I didn’t include him in the discussions, he felt the need to find the answers himself. So, he went on the internet – reading information on the internet scares the heck out of me and I have access to doctors who can explain it, so I can’t even begin to imagine some of the horror stories he found. Keep reading

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