MISSION: Recovery – The Black Dot Returns
LIVING WITH METASTATIC ILLNESS / CHRONIC ILLNESS:
Parents are pretty incredible. Raising kids can be challenging but awesome work. Metastases is complicated. There often are few true answers to questions about living and dying that arise in your own mind, let alone those that arise in the minds of kid’s.
The best way to help your kids cope is to ensure that you have the help you need to cope. Whether it is through a formal doctor or therapist, or through connecting with a community of young Moms facing metastatic illness, you need to find what works for you. You partner parent may need to do the same thing and find the right support for their needs as well.
Once you have found help for yourself, you can concentrate on the kids and their coping needs. Accessing professional support can assist you with this. There are skilled child life specialists, social workers, councillors and therapists that can help kids understand and find ways to cope. Some professionals are available through the hospital where you are receiving treatment, while others can be found in the greater community.
CONSIDER THIS! A list for Parents:
- Focus on the Living
- Acknowledge dying
- It’s ok to say “I don’t know”
- Expect questions – repeatedly. And then again……
- Forgive – kids often say and do things impulsively and repeatedly, including asking, saying and doing things that may seem inappropriate or insensitive about chronic illness, death and dying.
- Save your energy – finding a way to balance your energy level can be hard! Try to focus your energy on quality time and experiences with children, family and friends.
METASTASES & CHRONIC ILLNESS: Kids, let’s talk…
OK guys. Chronic or metastatic illness can be hard to understand – even for grownups. These strange words mean a few different things. One is that the cancer has spread and there will be no more treatment to CURE Mom’s cancer. Sometimes these cancers are in the original place where they started, like the breast, but more often they are in a different place in Mom’s body, because the cancer did not completely go away when Mom received treatment. The cancer has spread. It also means there will be more treatment to help manage Mom’s cancer where it has spread. The doctors want to keep trying to shrink any cancers that are still in Mom’s body, and this will hopefully help Mom to feel as good as possible. The medical team includes doctors, nurses, scientists and researchers that are working very hard, everyday, to improve the treatments they provide to Moms with metastatic illness. This often helps Moms feel well most of the time and will allow them to do many activities and things you both like to do together. Moms may need to make sure they get enough rest, while still staying as active as possible, and a lot of Moms try to make healthy choices about what they eat and drink.
HELPS is a cool tool for kids to check on YOU, how you are feeling and if you need information, hugs or support.
H – How am I feeling? Have I shared my feelings with anyone?
E – Explain – do I need more information about Mom’s cancer? Do I need information repeated?
L – Love – do I need a hug from someone I love?
P – Play – did I play today? Am I able to find time and enjoy my favourite activities and games?
S – Support – Do I need support? Do I have someone I can talk to? Find someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to. This could include a parent, family member, friend, teacher, coach, doctor, nurse, social worker, child life specialist or counsellor. –Morgan Livingstone
Read the next blog, Transmission Feelings