Parent to Parent Blog Entries

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. What Did The Doctor Just Say?

    By Les Friedman, Mikey’s dad

    What did the doctor just say image of doctor.

    When the doctor speaks with you about your child’s diagnosis, you might hear what he’s saying, but hearing isn’t the same as understanding.  This happens not only because it’s difficult to process information after receiving overwhelming news, but also because childhood cancer has its own complex vocabulary of medical terms and acronyms. Lots of new information coupled with a lot of emotion makes it difficult to process what you were just told. As a result, you may find yourself wondering, “What did the doctor just say?”

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  5. Chemotherapy, Kids and Mood Swings

    By Les Friedman
    CEO and Mikey’s dad

    Chemotherapy, Kids and Mood Swings - be prepared.

    When your child is about to begin chemotherapy, you may already know the possible side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. But are you prepared for the mood swings and emotional changes that your child may experience during his treatment? Just like chemotherapy side effects that you can physically see, such as hair loss, mental health issues are also a very real and common effect for kids coping with cancer.

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  6. CT Scan vs MRI Scan – What’s the Difference?

    CT Scan vs MRI Scan

    CT scan vs MRI scan – both are diagnostic medical tests that, like traditional X-rays, produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of your child’s body. Radiologists use the images generated from these scans to detect, diagnosis, or monitor your child’s health during and after treatment. So, what’s the differences between a CT (computerized tomography) scan and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)?

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  7. Ways to Manage Mouth Sores

    Soft foods like soup and oatmeal which are served lukewarm are easy to eat and swallow.

    Mouth sores. These painful little cuts or ulcers in the mouth can certainly make life miserable. In fact, eating, drinking and even speaking can become very difficult. While there currently isn’t any guaranteed way to prevent them, the good news is there are ways to reduce your child’s risk of getting them. In addition, there are ways to control and manage mouth sores if your child does in fact have them.

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  8. Bust Pediatric Cancer Patients’ Boredom

    By Les Friedman, Mikey’s dad
    Boredom is part of pediatric cancer patient treatment

    Boredom – of all the side effects related to pediatric cancer patients’ treatment, boredom is probably not high on the worry list. But for kids, boredom and loneliness can significantly add to the struggles they face every day trying to cope with their treatment. To them, hospitals can feel like a whole lot of waiting around. And on days when they are feeling a little better, the boredom can be excruciating.

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  9. Your Child has Cancer – Accept Help

    Fifty Ways People Can Help

    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s dad

    When your child has cancer, his life is turned upside down and your entire family is catapulted into a new world.  What was once manageable becomes challenging. Mowing the lawn, getting dinner on the table, changing oil in your car or walking the dog – there’s just not a lot of time for these things. Accepting help from other’s is difficult for many of us. But when your child has cancer, it is time to accept help wherever you can.

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  10. Pediatric Cancer Financial Toxicity

    Pediatric Cancer patient with IV poleFinancial Toxicity of a Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis

    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s dad

    Treating pediatric cancer is expensive. Rising medical costs wreak havoc on a family’s finances and, in time, become yet another toxic side effect of cancer treatment.

    Medical bills quickly fill our mailboxes as costs mount for hospital stays, clinic visits, medicines, tests and surgeries. In addition, unexpected costs for procedures or treatments for infections, dehydration or pain can add to rising costs. read more →