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Health and Fitness News

Care for You, Care for Your Child

Because parents whose children have cancer need to care for themselves, too.

It’s six letters long and is one of the most hated words in the English language: cancer. But when it is aimed at one of your children, the word is even more difficult to stomach. Because when your child suffers from cancer, you suffer as well. You find yourself in a constant state of fear and anxiety over your child’s health, while your own health takes a backseat.

Self-care for parents whose children are battling cancer may seem selfish, but without it, you can’t be at your best. And if you’re not mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared, your child will suffer.

How can you take care of yourself to provide the best care for your ailing youngster?

Accept Help

One of the hardest things to do is to admit you need help. Reaching this difficult milestone as early as possible gives you the best opportunity to continually care for your child. Take a few minutes today to think of different ways people can help you.

Would it make your life easier to have a meal brought over once a week? What if someone cleaned your house every few days? Or maybe someone could hang out at your house with your child while you get in a workout with your trainer. By thinking these ideas over early, you’ll be ready to give an answer when people ask how they can help.

Meet Others

Helping children cope with cancer can be daunting. From diagnosis to initial treatment to follow-up visits and beyond, every step of a child’s cancer battle is intense. If not careful, that intense battle can feel like one that not one else faces. But it’s not. Every year, more than 300,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with various cancers.

Instead of keeping your fears to yourself and trying to handle everything on your own, seek out other parents in the same situation. Talk with your child’s oncologist and other cancer care providers to learn about support groups that are available in your area. Meeting with those going through similar experiences helps you know you’re not alone and gives you an opportunity to share stories and learn how to cope with the process you’re all going through.

Work Out

Caring for a child with cancer taxes your physical, mental, and emotional health. Combat this degradation and stress by maintaining a regular exercise routine. You may not be able to maintain your regular schedule of working out. However, have your personal trainer create a routine that will give you the best benefit in the amount of time you have at your disposal so you can be the best parent possible for your child.

Laugh with Your Youngster

Life before your child’s cancer diagnosis wasn’t always easy. But there were a lot of fun times full of laughter and joy. Once your child is diagnosed, the word cancer can overshadow every aspect of your day. Be careful this doesn’t happen to you! Remember that your child is not defined by that cancer diagnosis. Your child is still your child, who is still a unique individual with hopes, dreams, and a lot of laughter stored up.

Give yourself and your child an appropriate sense of normalcy by laughing together. Whether chuckling at something silly that happens during treatment or cracking up at a favorite movie, laughter does the body good. It also gives you special memories that you’ll remember despite being in the midst of some of the hardest days of your life.