Category Archives: Parents

Preparing for the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Death


The 12 months following the death of a loved one is known as “the year of firsts” and for obvious reasons, is extremely difficult to get through. Dealing with the first birthday, Christmas, etc. is painful, and does not necessarily equip one to face that dreaded anniversary of the loss.

Grief is a complicated experience, partially because it never truly resolves itself but rather changes over time and meanders along different paths; some difficult and others not so difficult.

Facing the anniversary of a meaningful loss can completely blindside one, even though we know that it is coming and generally anticipate it with dread. Just as with other “stages” of grief, getting through this time can be immensely difficult and there is no right way or wrong way to approach it; the experience is different for each individual.

Every single person will be faced with losses of those we love and admire throughout our lifetime, and the loss of a child is always the worst.

 

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How do I Prepare for My Child’s Death?


The approaching death of a child is likely to be the most difficult time in any parent’s life. Children are supposed to outlive their parents, not the other way around…

Dealing with your child’s cancer is all-consuming; it drains you and the rest of your family – of strength, of vitality, of joy, of finances, and leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless much of the time.

Many parents feel that, even though they have already been given the prognosis and know that their child is dying, to acknowledge it means that they are giving up… Other families feel that they need to get their affairs in order…

Everyone is different and copes in their own way – there is really no right or wrong way to cope with the impending death of a child – you just need to cope in whichever way feels right for you and your family, no matter what anyone else may think or say.

It is often believed that difficult times can bring a family together and make the family unit stronger, but hardships can also create divisions. This sometimes happens if one parent has been more involved in their child’s care, which could mean that they are further along with the various stages of understanding and preparation than the other parent.

Dealing with the trauma of a child with an incurable disease is difficult, and individuals can go through various stages of disbelief, anger, understanding, acceptance and preparation. It is individual though, and does not always occur in the manner that we would expect.

 

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Helen’s Story – Retinoblastoma Part 1


 

Helen 7 months old

Hi,

my name is Helen and my mommy and I would like to share my story with you so that more people can get to know about Childhood Cancer; in this case specifically Retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer that develops in the light-sensitive lining of the eye, called the retina, and can occur at any age but mainly occurs in children younger than 5 years of age and most often in those younger than 2.

Retinoblastoma may occur in one or both eyes, but rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Although it is the most common eye tumour in children, it is a rare childhood cancer and accounts for about 3-4% of childhood cancers.

The main challenge of treating Retinoblastoma is the prevention of blindness, however approximately 98% of children with retinoblastoma are cured.

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Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Children with Cancer


foodiefriday-wp-logoDoctors have yet to find a definitive link between cancer and food. What they have found, however, is a correlation between certain diets — such as the Mediterranean Diet — and the potential for cancer reduction. Doctors call these diets (often specific to a culture or geographical region) anti-angiogenic, which means that they cut off the blood supply of cancerous tumours, starving them of the nutrients they need to grow.

An easy way to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient vitamins and nutrition when they find it difficult to eat due to cancer treatments is to make them some delicious cancer-beating smoothies to drink using fruit and veg that have cancer-fighting properties in them

Smoothies have gotten a bad rap in the past for being sugar-laden and more closely resembling dessert than anything remotely healthy, but while that might be true for smoothies purchased at juice shops or in restaurants, you can make healthy smoothie recipes right at home for a fraction of the price in just minutes.

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Recipes for High-Calorie Shakes and Drinks


foodiefriday-wp-logoHi Folks, it is Foodie Friday again, and following on yesterday’s post regarding ensuring that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient calories and proteins in their diet to help them fight their cancer and continue to develop and grow naturally at the same time, here are some great drinks recipes.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

Some Children with Cancer also find it difficult to eat or swallow as a result of the cancer treatments, son one of the best methods of getting them in ingest nutrition is via smoothies and other healthy drinks.

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High Calorie/High Protein Diet for Children with Cancer


calorie-protein-pyramidNutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for Children with Cancer, who often have poor appetites as a result of the cancer itself, or due to the side-effects of the cancer treatments.

Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child’s appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body’s ability to use nutrients. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

The nutrient needs of Children with Cancer vary from child to child. Your child’s doctor, nurses, and a registered dietitian can help identify nutrition goals and plan ways to help your child meet them.

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Helping Your Child with Cancer Cope


cancer-childA cancer diagnosis brings with it not only pain and treatments, but a complete lifestyle change – there are all the appointments, tests, medications, infusions, scans, special diets, and so on to deal with; time in and out of hospital; fatigue, lethargy, boredom and a change in eating habits…

For children things are worse, because they can often not go to school while under treatment due to their impaired immune systems and possibilities of infection; often they can also not even see their friends and need to keep themselves entertained for days, weeks and even months on end. I mean, adult company is OK, but when you are a child you need to play and need other children around…

The sudden move from health to illness and the unwelcome tests and procedures needed to get a diagnosis can be very frightening for a child, and hospital stays can be a scary and overwhelming experience.

It’s very scary for a child to be told their body is not working right, and that they have cancer and it is completely normal for a child or teen to be afraid of new and often painful experiences.

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Summer Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe for Children with Cancer


watermelon-gazpacho

Continuing with the current trend of posting delicious recipes for children with cancer on a Friday, here is another great recipe from the table of Culinary wizard and author of Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer, Danielle Cook Navidi .

After using nutritious, home-cooked food to help nurse her son back to health when he was suffering from cancer, Danielle Cook Navidi is giving back by teaching other parents the cooking skills and recipes to give their cancer-stricken kids strength.

Danielle shares her culinary wisdom and first-hand knowledge by creating delicious recipes dedicated to children undergoing cancer treatment and recovery. These nutrient-dense recipes combine great taste with powerful immune-building ingredients designed to satisfy young palates, while helping set the stage to more effectively battle cancer.

Regardless where your kids are on their cancer journey you will find something useful and uplifting within the pages of Danielle’s recipe book. This book is a big culinary hug to young cancer patients and their families.

Here is another great free recipe from Danielle that is sure to tickle your child with cancer’s tastebuds.

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Yummiest Turkey Burger Recipe for Children with Cancer


Yummiest Turkey BurgerFollowing up on our Nutrition in Paediatric Cancer post yesterday, here is a bit more about holistic nutritionist, Danielle Cook Navidi’s program and another yummy recipe from her.

Navidi’s 11-year-old son, Fabien Navidi-Kasmai, was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the only nutrition advice she received was, “Let him eat McDonald’s. He needs the calories.”

She was appalled, and as a mother and an avid cook with a love of farmers markets and a background in catering, she decided to do something about it. She was convinced fast food was not the answer, so “went back to basics” and…

Navidi began volunteering at MedStar Georgetown in 2008. “I pretty much just asked, ‘Can I take a little spot and make smoothies?’ She would do prep at home, pre-cooking anything that required a stove or oven, and showed up at the hospital with bags of groceries.

Aziza Shad, chief of MedStar Georgetown’s pediatric hematology-oncology program helped find grant money to fund Danielle Cook Navidi’s program and encouraged Navidi to compile her recipes into a book.

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The Role of Nutrition in Paediatric Cancer Treatment with Danielle Cook, MS


danielle-cook-navidiDanielle Cook Navidi learned that her 11-year-old son, Fabien Navidi-Kasmai had cancer, and the only nutrition advice she received was, “Let him eat McDonald’s. He needs the calories.”

Navidi, an avid cook with a love of farmers markets and a background in catering, was appalled.

Fabien’s body, his digestive system, his taste buds and even his cravings were being ravaged by his illness, Stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He would go for days without eating. When he did, he had trouble keeping down even his favorite foods.

Navidi didn’t know how to feed him anymore, but she was convinced fast food was not the answer.

So I started with the basics,” says Navidi, a Washington, D.C., resident. “I grabbed a pot, put a chicken in, added some vegetables. There were days when he’d have chicken soup at 10 a.m. because it worked for him. Now that’s what I tell other parents: Start with the chicken.”

That back-to-basics approach is the backbone of her cookbook, “Happily Hungry: Smart Recipes for Kids with Cancer.”

In this presentation, Danielle Cook, MS, will draw from her experience as the Director of an innovative nutrition program for pediatric oncology patients as well as her first-hand experience with her son’s cancer to discuss pediatric cancer in the United States and the need for sound nutritional support during and after treatment. She will also address the unique needs of adolescent and young adult survivors, and how the nutrition program she created bridges patient needs with cancer protocols.

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Coping with Urinary Incontinence in Childhood Cancer


Urinary Incontinence in ChildhoodSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Some cancers and cancer treatments may result in incontinence (the inability to control urination), which could be really embarrassing for your child, especially if it happens at school or in front of their friends.

Urine forms in the kidneys then flows into the bladder (a hollow, balloon-like organ) from where it then flows down a tube called the urethra and out of the body. Sphincter muscles (which act like a valve that holds urine in or releases it) work in tandem with nerves that carry signals between them and the bladder to control urination.

Some types of cancer and some cancer treatments can damage or change these nerves and muscles; they may also cause other changes to the body that lead to incontinence.

If your child is having bladder-control problems, their healthcare team will work with you and your child to find out why.

Incontinence is often treatable. How it is treated depends on what caused it, the type, how long it has occurred, and severity. A combination of treatments is often used.

Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Urinary Incontinence on our static page, Urinary Incontinence in Childhood Cancer

 

Avoiding Infection While on Treatment for Children’s Cancer


Caregivers can contribute to positive treatment outcomes by helping children with cancer avoid exposure to infections.

Whenever medically advised, children should continue to participate in school and other activities to maintain relationships and build social skills.

This may be hard for caregivers, who may feel more comfortable keeping a child at home to avoid exposure to germs. However, certain precautions can be taken, including hand-washing and covering your cough to keep children healthy during cancer treatment.

This 5 Tips for Staying Healthy While on Treatment for Children’s Cancer video is a great tool for caregivers to view and share with teachers, daycare providers, and coaches.

 

Source: CureSearch

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