Parenting as a Cancer Patient: What to Do and How to Get Help
When you receive a cancer diagnosis, the entire world stops. But then it can lurch forward and grip you with anxiety as you worry about your family and how your medical condition will affect them. Parents with cancer wonder whether they should even let their children know about their diagnosis. Then there are the real, pressing worries of money. The financial strain of treatment and lost income can drain your life savings and create more stress and pain for everyone.
Sticking together as a family is more important than ever during this difficult time. While everyone is going to cope with the news differently, you can come together and emerge stronger. You can still be there for your children, but you will have to be gentle and kind with yourself in the process. No one plans for their life as a cancer patient, so it takes time and patience to work through each day. You can use this trying time to be a great example to your children of the importance of health screening no matter their age or current health status.
Figure Out Your Financial Situation Early
You may feel well enough to continue working, which is great. But if you can, start saving as much as possible. Draw up a will and plan your estate. Make a list documenting all your online accounts and relevant banking information. This should be appointed to your partner or your children’s legal guardian. It’s not about planning for the end of your life now. This is to give you peace of mind so you can focus on your treatment and getting better.
If you need financial assistance, there are many options available. You can look to Trust Life cancer patient loans to help you receive up to 50 percent of your life insurance policy’s death benefit. This can be put toward medical bills or living expenses if you are unable to continue working during treatment. There are also many non-profit organizations to reach out to, which you can review here.
Let Your Loved Ones Help
You may feel like you have to do everything for your children now, but they need you to be in the best health you possibly can. This means accepting the physical and emotional exhaustion cancer brings. You have to reach out to people who care for you. Friends and family can come over and help make dinner, drop off or pick up kids from school, help with chores like grocery shopping, or just babysit so you have some time alone or with your partner.
Avoid Taking on More Than You Can Handle
Your family’s schedule will have to adapt to your treatment and how you’re feeling on any given day. Allow yourself to accept the small sacrifices your loved ones will make to accommodate you. It does not make you a burden. You would not think that way about anyone you cared for going through treatment, so do not think that way about yourself. Find ways to make everyday tasks easier, so there’s less stress in the home.
For example, you may start shopping in bulk to decrease grocery store runs, or you could arrange for curbside pickup or delivery services. Rather than plunging headfirst into everything on top of treatment, limit your time to allow for plenty of rest and relaxation. Children may have to put some extracurriculars on hold, but they can still do one or two per week that they enjoy. The same should go for anyone else in the house. Even your own hobbies can be reduced to one a week that is easier to manage and lowers your stress levels.