Bear with me – (based on what I learned from my nearly-decade-long cancer journey) I’m trying to offer Valuable Insight For Parents Raising Children Facing Long-term Illness

1. Give your child, if they’re probably around the minimum age of 10 – I was 13 when I began fighting years of illness so I’m just giving my best guess for ages here – Room to Breathe! Endless hovering makes your child feel even sicker & draws unwanted attention (I hated that).

2. Don’t try to force your child to attend groups & camps with other kids dealing with the same sickness! This will Not in any way, shape or form make them feel better. I wanted nothing at all whatsoever to do with stuff like that because 1, I was nowhere near comfortable discussing my own personal disease at my young age & 2, Going to camps with other sick kids would mean embracing the illness, which was the VERY last thing I wanted to do. I remember thinking, “What do you do? Just talk about how sick you are?” I didn’t want to dive deeper into the world of my sickness when I was a child fighting leukemia; far from it! I wanted to be as normal as I could.

3. Give your kid a notebook & pen in case they feel, like I did at the time, like writing out the things they are going through & what they are feeling. I know I always felt a lot better after writing down my thoughts & feelings, which I mostly wrote as rhyming poems. Writing is a remarkably effective release, that I later read in a psychology book in college even has a term, which is “writing therapy.” It truly is indescribably therapeutic.

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