By Sue Perbody

When a child is diagnosed with cancer it is never something easy to digest. However, during this delicate time it is important for a parent to remain emotionally and psychically healthy for their child especially as they undergo treatments. The child is not the only one affected by this diagnosis. Here are four tips
to lighten the burden during this challenging time.

Asking for Support
Do not keep it bottled up inside and hide it from your friends and extended family. Once they know, most want to help you in whatever way they can or stay informed. There are plenty of different sites you can use to keep family and friends updated. It’s good to have a community of support. Visit the American Cancer Society’s website for treatment and support options near you, www.cancer.org/treatment

Asking for help
Sometimes we get so down waiting in limbo for the child’s results. You may not want to talk to your
family or friends, but you should talk to someone. There is no shame in seeking out a professional to
talk to whether it is for your child or for any member of the family affected by the diagnosis.

Keep a healthy relationship
It is easy to feel defeated. Your child may be weak from another treatment and you feel like there is nothing you can do. There is something you can do though. Talk to them, keep your relationship with them strong. Let them know they are not in this fight alone. They most likely will miss out on a lot of
things children tend to enjoy when they are young. Make them aware that no matter what you will always be there for them.

Appearance changes
When a child is diagnosed with cancer they will often go through treatment that may cause their appearance to change. However, children tend to be more self conscious. Make sure it is conveyed to them, that they are beautiful inside and out. If they want, there are businesses that specifically donate
hair for cancer patients. During this time is important to keep your child’s self-esteem up and make them feel like they can still do anything they want.

Cancer is a horrible disease. It is harder to bare when it affects the youth. The important thing to
remember is to stay strong, find a community that works best for you and your child. You want to make this difficult time as easy and comforting as you can for your child.

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