Life After cancer treatment
Adjusting to life outside hospital can be difficult
If your child has been hospital for a long time it can be hard for them to adjust to being at home. Sometimes they may feel they have been forgotten, they will probably be concerned that the cancer will return. The treatment team are there to support you as a family so talk to them about your concerns.
Even when the treatments are going well, the cancer still affects each member of your family. There are so many adjustments to make, family members may be apart, your other children may feel left out.
Despite all that is going on with your poorly child, family life goes on. Brothers and sisters have school and activities. Parents have jobs. It is hard to keep up with everyday activities and responsibilities while being with and caring for your child with cancer.
Life after cancer will undoubtably not be business as usual. Instead of going back to life as normal, it may be a time of continual adjustment. As a family it is important to tackle this together and to appreciate that there will be tensions that can last somme time.
Be aware of your child’s feelings. Most children cope well with the cancer treatment but older children can be upset when they fully realise what happened to them. They may need to talk about their feelings, they may wish to meet other children who understand what they have been through
Your child will probably return to the consultant every 3 to 4 months initially for regular check ups, including blood tests and scans. It is a good idea to keep a personal record of your child’s medical information. As your child enters adulthood, they will have a clear, history of the diagnosis and treatments.
Promote good health habits. Eating well and getting enough sleep and exercise will help your child feel better and be healthy.To better understand your child’s health care needs today and in the future, ask the treatment team.
Be alert to signs of lasting effects of cancer treatment. Cancer treatment may cause side effects many years later. Some cancer treatments may affect how your child learns and grows physically.Find out how likely they are to occur, some children are given growth hormone injections.
Your Child's Friends
Your child still has the same needs as other young people – going to school, having friends, and enjoying things that were a part of life before their illness. You can help meet these needs by letting your child live as normal a life as possible.
Encourage your child to stay in touch with friends. Keeping contact is easier if your child can continue to go to school while being diagnosed and treated.
If your child is going to be in hospital for a long period, try to encourage their friends to come and visit them in hospital. Many children (and their parents) say that friends who have shared cancer journey are more accepting and appreciate what your child has been through.
We know cancer is not just stressful but expensive too. With travel to treatment centres, food and heating bills adding to the burdens of everyday life.
Cancer families are spending up to an extra £600 per month – so there is no shame in saying you’re finding it hard to manage.
You might be eligible for a grant from Joss Searchlight and extra benefits too. Contact us to see if we can help.
You can do something amazing
Senior members of the Highworth club donned red Santa suits, hats and beards as they played 18 holes in support of Joss Searchlight.
Doing something new and get sponsored for our brain tumour charity
Danielle has now been receiving treatment for her brain tumour for 14 years. Danielle remains positive “I’m just different. I’m not like my old friends any more” Danielle says.
Fighting to make all brain tumours curable
Annabel was a healthy happy 11 year old in her final term at primary school when she was diagnosed with a stage one brain tumour.
Following a seven hour procedure at Great Ormond Street Hospital she presented with symptoms of posterior fossa syndrome, often characterised by a reduction or an absence of speech. Over the next six months with treatment and rehabilitation she became stronger and returned home.
Annabel had to struggle very hard to overcome her disabilities, including learning to walk and talk again, but can now confidently say she’s on the road to recovery and leads a relatively normal life.
Seeing a child on the road to recovery is wonderful and makes everything we do worthwhile
Help us find a cure for rare brain tumours and give support today