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For your child who had cancer

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Many cancer survivors – including children – are changed by their experience. They may view life differently, and perhaps value it more than other children.

Your child might experience some developmental delays as a result of the cancer diagnosis and treatment. These delays may be physical, social or emotional. Your child may require some additional support to help them catch up to their peers.

Your child will probably be relieved that the treatments are over – some treatments are uncomfortable and even painful, and will not be missed. But they might miss the special attention they received during their care, which will take some getting used to.

Babies and toddlers will probably not remember much about their experience. Preschool children may be confused by the ordeal and react by acting younger than they are. Be patient and set limits during this transition period.

Older children may be worried about going back to school and facing teachers, friends and other children. There may be some physical reminders of their ordeal, such as hair loss or weight changes, that others may react to. Some other children may be afraid of ‘catching’ cancer. Your child might have fallen behind in their education, and it’s important to discuss support options with both your child’s doctor and the school.

By talking to teachers at the school, you can help them understand what your child has gone through. This is important so that the teachers can help your child settle back in and make adjustments for their learning requirements.

With time, you will adjust to a new ‘normal’.

published: Sunday, 23 August, 2015