Parent to Parent Blog Entries

  1. Just Goggle It – the internet is it friend or foe?

    The internet – our best friend or worst enemy?



    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s dad

    “Just Google it!” It’s part of our everyday language but the truth is, the internet can be our best friend or our worst enemy particularly when it comes to medical information.

    Pediatric cancer is like a finger print – every cancer is different and every child reacts differently to treatment. What you read on the internet may be totally wrong for your child’s situation.

    First of all, don’t believe everything that you read online. While there is a significant amount of health-related information on the internet, the accuracy of the information is erratic. So many facts can be wrong on the internet that you can get lost in the wrong. A lot of information is outdated, rife with inaccuracies or not applicable. Acting on inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant information can prove hazardous to our well-being, potentially posing a significant detrimental impact on our health.

    While the accuracy of medical information obtained via the internet is often in question, as long as you stick to reliable websites, the possibility of finding expired or false information will be considerably less. Turn to reliable sites such as those of government agencies like the National Institute on Health or  Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention, well-known academic medical institutions such as Yale, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, University of California or reputable organizations like  Coalition Against Childhood Cancer or the American Cancer Society.

    My advice?  Stay off the internet for medical information unless it’s from a reliable source but definitely jump on the internet to find support – search for local support groups, parent blogs, parent resources such as CancerCare and The Truth 365 or online resources at the hospital where your child is being treated. CaringBridge is a very strong and reliable personal website which has all the tools you need to keep your family and friends updated during a difficult time.

  2. What I’d Tell A Parent Whose Child Has Been Diagnosed With Cancer.

    Your role is to be your child’s voice.

    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

    When your child is diagnosed with cancer, you have to be his/her advocate. As a parent, your insight and intimate knowledge of your child are what make you the best possible advocate for him/her. Your role is to be your child’s voice.

    There’s a certain number of children on the floor when your child’s in the hospital. Every child has needs and it’s not always easy to get what your child needs when your child needs it. I learned quickly that being a “squeaky wheel” is what got results. I asked, I nagged, I pushed –  I did whatever it took to get what Mikey needed when he needed it. read more →

  3. What I Learned From My Child’s Battle With Cancer

    When your child’s life is on the line everything else pales in comparison.

    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

    When Mikey was diagnosed with cancer, our world as we knew it stopped. Life became doctor appointments, the side effects of chemo, and the ever-looming possibility of an unexpected hospital admission. Meanwhile, regular life also marched on and what we considered normal became something else entirely.

    I learned a lot of lessons from fathering through Mikey’s cancer. What’s important and what is not became crystal clear to me and most significantly I learned to live one day at a time. read more →