Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Chemotherapy and hair loss
Photo from NCI Bill Branson photographer

If your child has cancer and is about to begin chemotherapy, they may very likely experience hair lose.  Unfortunately, chemotherapy and hair loss tend to go hand and hand. And for a lot of kids, especially teen agers, hair loss can be one of the most difficult and devastating side effects of treatment.

Losing hair takes away cancer anonymity. It’s like an emoji to the world that a person has cancer. And while some kids are able to take it in stride, it can be pretty distressing for others. Especially if a child isn’t comfortable sharing the news.

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Preparing Your Child for Medical Tests

Preparing Your Child for Medical Tests
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Medical tests can be scary, no matter how old you are.  And for kids with cancer, it’s really hard because tests and procedures are a large part of their cancer journey. But by properly preparing your child for medical tests you can help lower their anxiety and provide them with valuable coping skills.  

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Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast!

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast on February 18th

If you’ve ever wanted to dish up a bowl of your favorite ice cream for breakfast rather than your usual bowl of oatmeal, February 18th is the day to do it! And while Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast is a day that gives you permission to indulge in one of life’s little pleasures for breakfast, the real goal of the day is to increase awareness about childhood cancer. 

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COVID-19, Kids With Cancer and School?

Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

Having a child with cancer is tough enough, but during a pandemic it’s even tougher. And as the pandemic lingers, the question is – should kids with cancer attend school in-person during COVID-19?

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Gift for a Child with Cancer

Gift for a Child with Cancer
Photo by Ekaterina Shevchenko

Selecting an appropriate gift for a child with cancer can be tricky. It’s hard to know what they’d like or even be able to use when they’re not feeling well. And you certainly don’t want to buy something that is inappropriate or would make their situation worse. But don’t let this stop you from giving a gift for a child with cancer. You just need to do a little homework before choosing a gift.

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Raise Awareness for Childhood Cancer

Raise Awareness about childhood cancer

September is the month chosen to raise awareness for childhood cancer. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, “By the time this month is over, another 1,300 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer. Even with the best treatments available, 1 in 5 children with cancer will not survive. And of those who do, most will have long-term side effects from their treatment.”

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Children with Cancer during Coronavirus

Children with Cancer during Coronavirus

While children with cancer during coronavirus face challenges such as increased social isolation, there is some good news. According to a study led by Andrew Kung, MD, PhD, Chair of MSK Kids and his colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer, children and teens with cancer are not at higher risk of being affected by COVID-19 than children without cancer. The research also shows that children with cancer who have COVID-19 often have mild symptoms like those of healthy children.

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Talking With Your Child About Cancer

By Les Friedman, CEO and Mikey’s dad

Photo by National Cancer Institute

“Your child has cancer.”  These words are probably the most frightening words a parent will ever hear. And amidst our own fears, is the equally daunting thought of talking with your child about cancer.

Talking with your child about cancer: why they need to know

It’s only natural to want to protect our children from the cancer and the fear that comes along with it. For this reason, it may be tempting to consider holding off talking with your child about cancer or even not telling him at all. But not telling the truth will only lead to problems later.

Kids usually know when something is wrong. They may not be feeling well or may wonder why they have so many medical visits.  In fact, some children will create their own idea as to what they think is wrong.  Not knowing what is wrong or what to expect may cause your child even more anxiety, stress, and fear.  For this reason, being honest tends to lessen a child’s stress, guilt, and confusion.

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Social Distancing – all too familiar for cancer patients

By Les Friedman, CEO and Mikey’s dad

Social distancing - all too familiar for cancer patients. Wearing a mask and gloves is nothing new for cancer patients.

The spread of the Novel Coronavirus has placed social distancing in the forefront of global attention.  For most people, this is probably their first experience practicing social distancing to avoid infection.  But for cancer patients, it’s well, just another Monday.  The concept of social distancing is all too familiar for cancer patients, whose immune systems may be compromised because of their disease or treatment.

Wearing a mask, donning gloves, avoiding crowds and frequent hand washing aren’t anything new. While this behavior is the new normal for everyone during COVID-19, it’s the “always normal” for cancer patients.  

That’s why when it comes to coping with isolation, cancer patients are a step ahead of everyone else.  Because they’ve been practicing social distancing and staying connected, while apart, for years. 

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Mind-body Practices Can Lower Distress

Mind-body practices like connecting with friends on a laptop can lower distress.
Mind-body practices like connecting with friends on a laptop can lower distress.

Receiving a childhood cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment can be very stressful. Every aspect of a child’s life is turned upside down. The uncertainty and pain associated with long and grueling treatment can be overwhelming. But the good news is there are ways to help children cope.  Mind-body practices like yoga, mindfulness, and diversion can in fact lower distress. And connecting with classmates, friends and family using electronic devices can help at a time of significant isolation.

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