Category Archives: Parents

Dedicated to Those Who Are Missing Someone Today


Christmas is not a happy time for everyone – there are many individuals for whom the Festive Season is very painful as it is the time that they miss those who are gone the most.

For parents who have lost a child, whether to cancer or anything else, this is a really, really, difficult time of the year because Christmas is about the children, after all…

Today we would like to take a moment to send out some love to all parents who have lost a child/children.

While the first Christmas is particularly poignant, each Christmas without your child will bring its own challenges, and each parent has to grieve in his or her own way.

There is not much that anyone can say that will take away your pain, but we here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust would just like to let you know that we are holding you close in our hearts today and are sending you as much Love & Peace as your heart can hold.

 

Sending you Angel Blessings
( `\( ). .•°*”˜
¸.•´¯`•...✫ (⁀‵⁀,)
..` /
\_/¯…………`•.¸¸. . . . . . . ´
.(_/’/……………………`•.¸
`•.
…\ \ …
…./ /…
Sprinkling Love, Light & Healing
….\/ ….
Peace, Love & Harmony Your Way

 

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How can I Help My Grieving Friend/Family Member?


lost love is still love

One of the things that we try to do during Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is to help the grieving parents make some sense of how they are feeling, to encourage them to give themselves permission to grieve according to their own schedule irrespective of what other may feel or think.

Another is to try to help friends and family understand what it is like to lose a child; what the grieving parents are going through and how best to act around them and help them through this tragedy that has overtaken their lives, which is what today’s post will cover.

When a child dies, the parents will be in shock, even if it is a death after a long-fought battle against an illness like cancer. The bottom of their world has just dropped out from under them, and they will be going through a range of emotions such as disbelief, denial, confusion, anger, hysteria, resentment, anxiety, panic, depression, and a lot more besides.

There is generally no shortage of help when a death first occurs, but unfortunately that soon seems to dry up, as though once the funeral has happened it is all over and done with and everything should just go back to normal, and this is just not so – especially with the death of a child! Read the rest of this entry

The Mourner’s Bill of Rights


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!

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WHY Do We Do What We Do?


The Little Fighters Cancer Trust focuses on helping the Child with Cancer and the whole Family in a Holistic manner because we realise that the whole family is affected when a child has cancer.

Added to this, there are many vastly different belief paradigms in play as South Africa is such a diverse nation and thus it is important to treat every family according to its individual unique set-up, belief system, knowledge about childhood cancer, accessibility to the internet or other sources of information, accessibility to support, etc.

Many of our Little Fighters come from rural areas and when they get diagnosed with cancer, are immediately transferred to a hospital in a urban area where there is a Paediatric Oncology Ward – most of the time without even being able to go back home to collect any clothing or other basic necessities.

Many of the mothers end up sitting in the hospital beside their child’s bed without a change of clothing, toiletries, food, accommodation, or any kind of support base.

Below is an extract from a study conducted in 2016, most of which still remains relevant today – THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!! THIS is why we need ongoing funding….

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Mother’s Day Greys’ Hospital Pietermaritzburg


On 7th May the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Representative in Pietermaritzburg, Lauren Hook, and a team of wonderful caring women took time out to treat all the Mothers of Children with Cancer in the Oncology Ward at Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to a bit of an early Mother’s Day Picnic in the garden of the hospital.

The mommies were treated to some lovely snacks and juice, and thanks to the wonderful team of ladies from Blu Gel Hair Salon, a fantastic and relaxing Indian Head Massage. Friends from Salon Gemini also gave the ladies a manicure and did their nails.

All of the children in the ward were also given beanies and colouring-in books and crayons.

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Emotional Stages for Parents of Children with Cancer


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.

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I Love/Hate My Work


Most days I love what I do with the Little Fighters Cancer Trust because although it is tough to deal with Children with Cancer and their Families every day because we see firsthand what they go through, knowing that we are helping take the strain off them even just a little bit is a good feeling.

TODAY I HATE MY JOB!!!!

Today is the kind of day that I hate my job – the kind of day when things are trundling along and one is doing what one does to help our beneficiaries but somewhere deep down there is a feeling that there is a monster lurking in the dark which is going to pounce any minute… and then it does!!!

Around 30 minutes ago I received a WhatsApp message that made my heart drop, my stomach curdle and my eyes tear up…

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Dedicated to Those Who Are Missing Someone Today


Christmas is not a happy time for everyone – there are many individuals for whom the Festive Season is very painful as it is the time that they miss those who are gone the most.

For parents who have lost a child, whether to cancer or anything else, this is a really, really, difficult time of the year because Christmas is about the children, after all…

Today we would like to take a moment to send out some love to all parents who have lost a child/children.

While the first Christmas is particularly poignant, each Christmas without your child will bring its own challenges, and each parent has to grieve in his or her own way.

There is not much that anyone can say that will take away your pain, but we here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust would just like to let you know that we are holding you close in our hearts today and are sending you as much Love & Peace as your heart can hold.

 

Sending you Angel Blessings
( `\( ). .•°*”˜
¸.•´¯`•...✫ (⁀‵⁀,)
..` /
\_/¯…………`•.¸¸. . . . . . . ´
.(_/’/……………………`•.¸
`•.
…\ \ …
…./ /…
Sprinkling Love, Light & Healing
….\/ ….
Peace, Love & Harmony Your Way

 

Read the rest of this entry

Effects of Childhood Cancer on Parents’ Relationship


Parents who are dealing with caring for a Child with Cancer undergo huge amounts of stress, and generally experience both positive and negative changes in their relationships, communication, stress, and their roles.

Emotions run the gamut; anger, anxiety, guilt, and distress will all ebb and flow during the course of the child’s illness. Childhood cancer is a family affair, and while these emotions will generally all be expressed at one time or another by all family members, expression is generally more overt from mothers and children.

Childhood Cancer affects the family’s needs in a myriad of ways such as self-esteem, social interaction, their need for care, and general functioning. This may cause the parents to have to change or modify their family roles to cope with the demands of their child’s illness.

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Cancer Caregiver Stress, Depression & Burnout


Being a caregiver for a person with cancer takes its toll on one’s health, and even more so when the person with cancer is your child.

Caregivers of Children with Cancer (usually the mother) are faced with far more stress, as they usually have to give up their job, spend endless hours at their child’s bedside in the hospital – sometimes for weeks or even months at a time, make endless trips to doctors, clinics and hospitals, and still try to be there for the rest of the family. Childhood Cancer unfortunately often ends in divorce, which places even more of a burden on the mother and the stress becomes far worse and can often turn into depression or burnout.

While it is natural to want to stay by your sick child’s side and meet the needs of their siblings and other family members – all at once, this is a virtually impossible task, and unless you give both your mind and your body a break once in a while, you could well end up with caregiver-burnout!

When one continuously cares for others while under tremendous stress, one can begin to feel that you’re in over your head and have little control over the situation – this can cause the stress to begin taking a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind—eventually leading to burnout.

When you are burned out, it’s tough to do anything, let alone look after your ill child, which is  why taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it is a necessity! There are plenty of things you can do to rein in the stress of caregiving and regain a sense of balance, joy, and hope in your life.

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