Make sure your child feels secure and thinks you are confident to take care of this new situation. A young child might not notice your stress as much, but a teenager will. It’s okay to show concern and care but not fear and stress.
Show positivity whenever possible. You can admit you don’t know everything but that you will do everything possible to take care of this.
Don’t let your negative thoughts jump into the future (about survival, for instance).Don’t worry now based on what you think could go wrong in the future.Focus on the now. The drugs/treatments that are available now will certainly change in the future.
Also, take lots of doctor/medical notes. Save everything; get copies of all scans; keep a chart of blood work with dates and outcomes; and do some research. You can even set up files and a notebook with tabs. This is a long journey.
Don’t let a doctor intimidate you or pressure you. Ask all the questions you need. Trust yourself first. Cancer is not an exact science. If you want another blood test or a scan, get it if you can afford it (or insurance will pay). Often a doctor will say “no” just based on general experience and not about a child’s specific situation or a parent’s concern.
For emotional support, ask for help. Find people you trust to confide in. Get support for yourself and take care of yourself. You can’t help your child if you aren’t doing well emotionally or physically. If you have a partner, make sure you both are getting help together. Men and women process emotions and information differently, and any two people will have different perspectives at times.
This is sad but be aware that some friends and family will back away. This is very common, unfortunate and hurtful. It doesn’t make sense. Some friends and family aren’t comfortable, are scared, don’t know what to say or don’t know how to help. None of it should be enough to stop the relationship, but it does happen.
Keep focused. You can do this. You can care for your child. You are as strong as you need to be for your child. Your life will never be the same again, but that’s okay. In everyone’s life, there are challenges and blessings. Daily, focus on the blessings.