Category Archives: Onco Parents
Losing a child is the most painful experience that any parent can be asked to go through, especially when it is a young child that they have had to watch go through the devastating, frightening, physically and emotionally crippling battle against cancer.
Losing a child is like losing one’s heart and then being expected to carry on with life as though everything is still the same – and it isn’t.
People expect you to act and behave in a specific manner, and they have no right; they mumble inane well-meaning but awkward, insensitive phrases like “He’s in a better place,” “Everything happens for a reason,” or “You’re lucky to have other children,” and “Time will heal all,” or “You must get on with your life now.”
In our second article in this Bereaved Parents Awareness Month we would like to once again extend our heartfelt sympathies to all parents who have lost a child/children and remind you that NOBODY has the right to tell you how to grieve, how long to grieve, or anything else about YOUR grief!
The loss of a child is probably the most painful experience any parent can endure.
July is International Bereaved Parents Awareness Month and during this time the Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to remember and reach out to all those parents who have lost their children to Cancer.
The loss of a child is the most inconsolable of losses; It violates the natural order of things. Here at LFCT we unfortunately see too many parents face this devastating loss, and it breaks our hearts every time we do, but even we cannot really say that we know what they are feeling.
International Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is a time to reach out to bereaved parents and their families by giving them someone who will listen to them without trying to give them advice as to how to feel or act; someone to just “be there” for them, to give them a shoulder to cry on or a hug if they need it, or to just let them talk…
While the following article refers more to lifestyle diseases such as HIV Aids, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, eating well and ensuring that you and your Child with Cancer eat sufficient fresh, whole-foods and staying away from processed food as much as possible is critical for your good health.
It is important that we all learn to change our bad eating habits to include healthy eating solutions inspired by traditional southern African foods which contain more Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fibre, Calcium, Carbohydrates and Protein than what most of us are eating on a daily basis.
Please read this article carefully and take the important information contained therein to heart, but also remember to discuss any changes in eating habits with your child’s oncologist before embarking thereon.
Remember, this is not meant to take the place of any current medication, but as an additional help to build up the immune system.
What do you do when you receive the shocking and unwelcome news that your child has cancer? What do you need? How do you handle it?
What do you do or say when the child of a friend has been diagnosed with cancer? How do you support them best?
What do you say and what should you never, never, EVER say to the parent of a child with cancer?
It is difficult to know what to say even to an adult who has been diagnosed with cancer, let alone to a child or the parent of a child with cancer…
The following was written by the mother of a child with cancer to let everyone know how she felt and what is cool and what is not cool to say to someone whose child has cancer… we hope that it will be of some help to those who have just heard that a friend or family member’s child has just been diagnosed with cancer and the family is about to face the battle of their lives….
Little Fighter Kenzo Phillips was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in February 2016, at a mere 8 months of age.
Kenzo has gone through much in his short lifespan, including harsh chemotherapy treatments, and has seen more hospitals and doctors than any child should…
Earlier this month LFCT celebrated with Kenzo and his family at the news that, after his annual 4 weekly check-up – a full month after his final chemo treatment – His blood counts were perfect and the doctors were very happy – his Bone Marrow Biopsy also came back CLEAR!!!!!
Cancer is fickle however, and a mere FIVE DAYS later Kenzo was rushed to hospital with a terrible headache & vomiting.
While surfing the web I came across the beautiful and heartfelt poem “Mamas, We’re in This Together” written by Morgan Turpin, whose son was born with a life-threatening illness called Dravet Syndrome.
The disease causes frequent seizures beginning in infancy and cannot be cured. Turpin’s poem is an expression of the fear, frustration, and ultimately, hope that she feels as a mother of a child with a complex medical condition.
I think that this poem also expresses all the emotions that parents of a Child with Cancer go through, so thought it would be nice to share it on this blog and just remind all our Onco Parents that they are not alone….
The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders.
Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.
One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.
Leukocytes are produced or stored in many locations in the body, including the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow.
For this reason, they’re called the lymphoid organs. There are also clumps of lymphoid tissue throughout the body, primarily as lymph nodes, that house the leukocytes.
Some children who have been born without a limb or who have had a limb amputated feel pain in the non-existent body part. This is often called phantom pain. This pain is caused by damaged nerves from the amputated limb that continue to send signals to the brain. These signals are interpreted as pain.
While the pain the child experiences is not caused by an actual injury, the sensations are very real and can include burning or shooting pain, achiness or cramping, or pins-and-needles feelings.
The sensations of phantom pain are very real. Following an amputation, there are still nerves present in the remaining portion of the limb and these nerves send pain signals to the brain and tell the brain that the limb is still present.
Phantom limb pain is a well-recognised pain syndrome which can resolve on its own with time, but because pain can interfere with your child’s quality of life and decrease physical function, there are various treatments available.
Hearing the doctor say the words “your child has cancer” will never be easy to hear.
Parents go through several stages throughout this process much like the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
However, unlike losing a loved one suddenly, cancer can go on for several years with many highs and lows.
This results in stages varying in timing, duration, and cycles.
By acknowledging and understanding the possible stages you can better progress through the phases parents’ may go through.
Before we go any further though, please join the Little Fighters Cancer Trust in supporting Shanaya and her Family by downloading the pic on the left and using it as your Profile pic for today and the next few days to show them how much support there is for our little Butterfly Princess.
For those who may not have been following Shanaya’s journey with cancer, histology results on 13th September, 2017 confirmed that she had Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The bottom half of her left humerus had been eaten away; the top part of the left humerus was fractured and there were metastasis in both her lungs.
Shanaya has since undergone intense chemotherapy treatment cycles over the past 6 months, but unfortunately her arm was too damaged and could not be saved and the decision to amputate at the shoulder was made.