Category Archives: Parents

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

 

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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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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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