What is the most important advice you share with a parent who was just diagnosed with cancer?

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member1710 (Survivor (2 - 5 years)) - 05 / 14 / 2012

Don't try to hide your cancer from your kids. They will sense something is wrong, and fill it in with something worse because they likely feel that you're hiding something they can't handle.

Instead, give them age appropriate information based on their maturity and their personalities. Here's some more on how to do that:http://parentingwithcancer.com/2011/04/25/how-do-i-tell-my-kids-i-have-cancer-2/

They don't need to know every detail at every moment. Mostly, little kids want to know that they didn't cause your cancer (through their thoughts) and that they can't catch it. Kids big and small want to know that their routines will stay as normal as possible, which you can provide by asking for help from family, friends, neighbors, clergy, the school, etc.

member7087 (Survivor (5 - 10 years)) - 05 / 20 / 2012

My parents were diagnosed after I was grown. Having had both parents with a cancer diagnosis I will try to do my best here. First of all it is something you have to deal with yourself. It was devastating for me at one time. I cried in the shower out of my mothers sight.
What I am saying is that to be a good helper and teacher for your parent you first have to face your own feelings.
The next thing I think that is important is to let them know you are going to be there every step of the way because you love them. Let them know that it their turn to let you take care of them. I did a lot of constant reassurance, even if it was a lie, I did it to make they journey easier for my parent. We talked about what we were going to do when we got home, etc. They slept happily. Talk about how much they mean to you even if they are on a road to wellness. Let them know how much you appreciate the things they have done and do for you. The tables turn......
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