What has helped us through
Finding resources to help support ourselves & the kids through cancer
I have had to be an advocate for my children through this process. Considering 5% of women with breast cancer are under the age of 40, you would think that there would be more inherent empathy and understanding of how a cancer diagnosis will impact a young family. Yet, I find myself consistently having to find resources to help explain, bring normalcy, or create a sense of familiarity for my kids (who were 5 and 2 at the time of diagnosis)
Below I will try and keep an up to date resource list of books, groups, individuals and businesses that we have found particularly helpful with a brief explanation as to why
Cancer Hates Kisses: this book is a wonderful resource that helps to show children how they can support their parent dealing with breast cancer, while explaining some of the different ways that it could be treated (chemo, radiation, surgery)
Cancer Party: identifies and reviews the roles of cells and where to find them. Explains how cells work normally and what happens when someone develops cancer (aka the cell forgets to do it’s job and “has a party”). Also identifies the ways in which cancer can be treated (chemo, radiation, surgery)
At our local cancer centre we are assigned a social worker to assist us through. Unfortunately there aren’t any options really for family therapy for young children.
We have utilized a private practice (Gryba Phillips) for play therapy. Assisting with dealing with all the events we have been through in the past year to decrease the ramifications of childhood trauma is important to us.
Keeping the kids involved
It was important to me that we as a family took control of what we could when we could throughout the journey. Giving some ideas for those that are looking for ways to get the kids involved:
Cutting your hair
Shaving your head
Play doctor with stuffies