No matter what the diagnosis, treatment is hard. If the diagnosis is cancer, from the common and favored diagnosis to the rare and aggressive diseases, treatment is still hard. It doesn’t matter if you are told your child has a 95% chance of survival or very little chance to live, we as parents face the same fears. We face the same heartaches and the same plaguing thoughts.
How will we make it through this? What will we do if our child dies? What can we do to help our child heal? Some parents only use conventional medications. Others look into all the natural medications, some even going to the extreme but sometimes successful options. No matter where you fall as a parent, one thing is true. We all want to do what is best for our child. It may not look the same, but the heart behind it is a huge love for our child that outweighs any pain or trial we may go through.
Your family will face many changes during treatment. Your children with be emotional, often clingy. They will struggle with all the changes in their lives. Little children struggle with all the strangers that now have open access to touch and prod, often hurting their body all in the name of helping them. Teenagers struggle with the loss of privacy, in addition to the loss of control in their lives. They crave normal once again. Siblings often struggle with all the attention being on the sick child. Parents find themselves worn out, with short tempers that they often take out freely on their partner.
Do your best to keep some routine to your lives during your treatment schedule. Eat a favorite snack on the way home from treatment every single time. Make hospital admissions fun with a special “hospital only toy” or special games you keep in their hospital bag. Be willing to allow things that you otherwise might say no to, like extra screen time when they are stuck in bed. We took a special tricycle to the hospital that we used anytime we could leave our room. You could often hear our girl ringing her bell as she petaled up and down the hallways.
Most of all make your time at home as normal as you can. Family movie time, dinners together, snuggling up on the couch, making memories together. We spent many nights on the patio gathered around our fire pit, singing, dancing, and eating smores. These are memories of good times in the middle of the hard times.