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
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…
Brain tumours are hard to treat. But even this is a harrowing understatement for some forms of the disease.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is one such example. These rare brain tumours almost exclusively affect children, and they’re invariably fatal.
“Almost all children with DIPG sadly die within a couple of years of diagnosis,” says Professor Chris Jones from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, a Cancer Research UK-funded expert on the disease.
“There aren’t any effective treatments.”
One of the main reasons that the outlook for DIPG is so poor is down to where it grows in the brain. These tumours start in the brainstem, which lies at the base of the brain and hooks up the spinal cord with deeper brain regions. This crucial piece of machinery controls many of the body’s vital processes, such as breathing and our heart beat.
That means surgery – a cornerstone treatment for many cancers – is out of the question. Drugs are also notoriously ineffective for brain tumours, because most are shut out by the protective blood brain barrier.
The month of July is designated International Sarcoma Awareness Month.
Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.
They can affect almost any part of the body, on the inside or the outside.
There are three main types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma, bone sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma
Sarcomas make up 15% of all childhood cancers (0-14 years) and 11% of all cancer diagnoses in teenagers and young people (15-24 years).
The first of our “Share the Warmth” 2018 Hospital Outreaches has been done!
Each winter the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does several winter warmth projects which we have rolled into one this year, and although donations have been very slow in coming in this year and we are hectically busy with restructuring, we will do what we can to share the warmth in as many hospitals as possible.
On Sunday 24th June our wonderful LFCT Representative Lauren Hook, accompanied by Shareen Ferreira Scott (Ambassador – 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Pietermaritzburg), her daughter Erin Scott and Inge Millbank paid a visit to the Paediatric Oncology Ward of Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to distribute warm winter blankets and some other goodies.
Each child in the ward received a lovely snuggly warm blanket to fend off the cold – these Little Fighters get REALLY cold due to the treatments they undergo for their cancer, as well as due to impaired immune systems, so they really need to keep warm at all times.
Each mother – who spends weeks, sometimes months at a time in the hospital with her child, generally sitting in a chair at their bedside and more often than not sleeping in that chair too – also received a lovely blanket to keep them warm during their bedside vigil.
Some lovely warm knitted scarves were also handed over, and received with much gratitude.
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is proud to announce that our Blog has once again – for the 3rd year running – been ranked among the Top Childhood Cancer Blogs on the internet for 2018!
This blog was started in June 2014, and since then we have been hard at work trying to share the most relevant, most up to date information regarding Childhood Cancer as well as some of the Struggles and the Triumphs & Tragedies that accompany Childhood Cancer, and will continue to do so as often as possible for as long as possible.
We moved up from #57 in 2016 to #5 in 2017, and in 2018 we have moved up to
Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4
#ChildhoodCancer #LittleFighters #LFCT #CancerSUCKS #LittleFightersCancerTrust #HelpingHands #LFCTCares
Thanks a million to all our Supporters and Followers!
Our modern germ-free life is the cause of the most common type of cancer in children, according to one of Britain’s most eminent scientists.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) affects one in 2,000 children.
Prof Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research, has amassed 30 years of evidence to show the immune system can become cancerous if it does not “see” enough bugs early in life.
It means it may be possible to prevent the disease.
The type of blood cancer is more common in advanced, affluent societies, suggesting something about our modern lives might be causing the disease.
There have been wild claims linking power cables, electromagnetic waves and chemicals to the cancer.
That has been dismissed in this work published in Nature Reviews Cancer.
Instead, Prof Greaves – who has collaborated with researchers around the world – says there are three stages to the disease.
The first is a seemingly unstoppable genetic mutation that happens inside the womb. Then a lack of exposure to microbes in the first year of life fails to teach the immune system to deal with threats correctly.
This sets the stage for an infection to come along in childhood, cause an immune malfunction and leukaemia.
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….
Cancer patients in Gauteng die while waiting for radiation treatment and the delays mean any intervention already made is rendered useless, reports the Sunday Times.
“It’s bigger than the Esidimeni tragedy,” said one senior oncologist. About half of all cancer patients will need radiation as part of their treatment but can expect to wait up to four months if they are accessing it in state hospitals in Johannesburg and Pretoria – delays described by doctors as “extreme and unacceptable”. Waiting too long for radiation can mean the cancer is much more likely to return, explained the medical director at Campaigning for Cancer, oncologist Devan Moodley in a Sunday Times report.
In December a surgeon at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoriawrote to the hospital manager to ask that the radiation backlog be dealt with. He wrote: “Many (patients) have transport problems and cannot visit again and again. Some die waiting for treatment.” In the letter the doctor describes the impact of the backlog, like the patient in his 20s who had a tumour removed in December. He needed to start radiation within six weeks to try to prevent a recurrence of the disease, but his first appointment with the radiology department was in March and he will likely only start radiation in June. Another patient is described as young and with an “excellent prognosis” – if he receives radiation within six weeks.