Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia

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Thinking About the Whole Family

Sometimes the parents themselves are uncertain what they need. Parents of a child who has just been diagnosed with cancer are often overwhelmed by the new demands of the situation. Sometimes they feel uncomfortable asking friends and family for assistance. Following is information designed to give you ideas about how you can best support a family facing cancer.

There are many things you can do to provide informational, practical, and emotional support that can make a significant difference for the quality of life for the child with cancer, the caregivers, and other family members. A community is made up of friends, extended family, neighbors, parents and teachers from school, members and leaders of religious institutions, work place, and other social groupings.

There is strong evidence that family caregivers who receive social support:. Family caregivers who receive support from their extended family and friends are more likely to be optimistic despite the hardships.

When thinking about supporting a family, think about the whole family. Everyone is affected by the cancer, from the mother and father, to siblings and the child who is sick. Each family member probably needs something a little different and they each have their own style of coping. Some typical issues for different family members include the following:. A family experiencing the time and financial concerns associated with having a child with cancer will sometimes look more traditional in terms of gender roles.

The father frequently tries to maintain work and the mother will sometimes have to cut back or leave her job. Many people focus on the child with cancer, sometimes leaving siblings in the shadows. Treatments often involve many visits to the hospital, prolonged hospitalizations, preoccupation of parents, disruptions in home life, and loss of companionship for the sister or brother with cancer.

Book Walking With A Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia

Things can be very difficult for siblings and it shows. They report more anxiety, depression, academic problems, loneliness, isolation, physical health problems, and family, school and social problems. Friends and extended family can successfully help siblings understand that they are not alone and that their feelings are important and valid.

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This is extremely stressful for the entire family. In this case, logistical support can be very helpful for the parent and children remaining at home. Friends can offer emotional support to the in-hospital parent with phone calls and letters. The in-hospital parent will be very grateful for the help at home. Taylor SE. Affiliation and Stress. In: Folkman S, ed. Glajchen M. The emerging role and needs of family caregivers in cancer care. Journal of Supportive Oncology. Mar-Apr ;2 2 Wills TA. Social support and interpersonal relationships. In: Clark MS, ed. Predictors of affective responses of mothers and fathers of children with cancer.

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Jul-Aug ;10 4 Han HR. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Dec ;44 5 Cancer stressors and protective factors: predictors of stress experienced during treatment for childhood cancer. Reseach in Nursing and Health.

Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia

Oct ;17 5 Psychological adaptation and social support of parents of pediatric cancer patients: a prospective longitudinal study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Jun ;26 4 Predicting posttraumatic stress symptoms in mothers and fathers of survivors of childhood cancers. Aug ;37 8 Emotions, coping and the need for support in families of children with cancer: a model for psychosocial care. Patient Education and Counseling. Feb ;33 2 Chronic psychological stress and the regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines: a glucocorticoid-resistance model.

Health Psychology. Nov ;21 6 Social support, coping, and psychological distress in mothers and fathers of pediatric transplant candidates: a pilot study. Pediatric Transplant. Nov ;11 7 Speechley KN, Noh S. Journal of Pediaticr Psychology. Feb ;17 1 Patterns of coping with cancer.

Walking With A Shadow Surviving Childhood Leukemia!

Type of social support matters for prediction of posttraumatic growth among cancer survivors. Feb 27 Impact of social environment characteristics on neuroendocrine regulation. Psychosomatic Medicine. Sep-Oct ;58 5 The relationship between social support and physiological processes: a review with emphasis on underlying mechanisms and implications for health. Psychological Bulletin. May ; 3 Supportive Care in Cancer. May 31 So blood test ,breathing test and PET scan all done with in a week of finding mass.

Surviving Childhood Leukemia

Blood worked showed nothing, breathing test was passed with above normal expectations but PET showed numerous spots…6 in all. We were totally shocked!! Next step is having biopsy for real diagnosis…but here is the crazy part.

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In between all test being done she went to her eye doc to get her some new contacts because she was thinking ahead and said she might need to take of that before things got worse and she was told she has histoplasmosis in her eyes! Well from researching on the web we found out that it only goes to the eyes from the lungs.

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Another shocker!! So how she got is a true mystery. We were told that histoplasmosis in the lung can mimic lung cancer and apparently look much like tumors of the lung even on a PET scan. So we are all praying for not cancer and treatable solution to lung infection after the biopsy is done and results come back. I will be back to let you know what we find out. Please say a prayer for her. Hello and God bless to everyone who share, you will be amazed who needs to hear this. I am a 51 year old mother of 3 adult daughters with 11 Grandchildren in which 1 grandson I am raising since birth who is 11 years old.

I too never smoked in my life and never could stand to be around smoke. I had walking pneumonia and whooping cough when I was in 8th grad and missed half of that school year from that and every since up until adult hood I had pneumonia 2 more times once when I was pregnant. I ended up developing a cough every since I was 12 years old and it never went away so I had been coughing off and on constantly since childhood up until adult.

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Well finally got a biopsy done after all of that found out I had stage 1 Lung Cancer. I was given options like Chemo but said no to that because I was already experiencing a lot of issues with my lung because they said I had COPD , Bronchitis, you name it I just didnt know what to think. Anyway I was given option of a wedge cut I said no to that I am not a piece of pie. So I agreed to Lobectomy to remove the upper right lung and get it all. The Doctors I have are amazed with my condition because I never smoked and I had all of the symptoms of a person who smoke 4 to 5 packs a day.

God Bless. Hi I am the mother of 3 grown children and 4 grands and I was just told by the Dr that they see a 2. I went to the emergency room about 2 months ago because I was feeling extremely tired and knew something was wrong. I am scared to death and feel I have no future, and right now I am in the dark. I have been having neck pain, lower back pain, numbness in my limbs and 3 weeks ago a terrible pain in my right leg that stopped me from walking until I stepped to the side and stretched it. Can someone share with me.

I have been suffering from extreme lack of energy no matter how much sleep I get I never feel like I have enough. We recommend visiting your health care professional whenever you notice changes in your body. Make an appointment soon and talk to him or her about these symptoms to get checked out. Thank you for reaching out and inquiring about Laura.

Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia
Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia
Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia
Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia
Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia Walking with a Shadow: Surviving Childhood Leukemia

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