Practical tips for parents

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  • Find out as much as you can about childhood cancer, treatment and care. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals can give you lots of information and direct you to trustworthy websites.
  • Don't try to manage this on your own. The doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospital all want to help you, so let them know how you feel and ask for help.
  • Ask family and friends if they can help with things at home like cooking, cleaning, washing or looking after your other children. Most people want to help, but they might not be sure how, so make sure you let them know what you need.
  • It can be exhausting trying to keep everyone informed all the time, so set up a group email or blog to let people know how things are going, or ask a friend or relative to keep people up to date for you.
  • Make sure you look after yourself, and make sure your own physical and mental health are OK. It's easy to focus everything on your sick child, but you need to be healthy so you can help them. Don't feel guilty about taking some time out for yourself. 
  • Make time for your partner, other family members and friends. It's important to maintain close relationships during this difficult time.
  • Talking openly with family and friends about what is happening can help, but you might also want professional help from a counsellor or psychologist. Ask your doctor or someone at the hospital for a referral.

published: Sunday, 23 August, 2015