How to cope with your family
Most young people notice that lots of other things change in their families while they are having their treatment. To start with of course, lots of people worry about you.
You may have had family and friends giving you presents and phoning to ask about how you were doing. The people in your family probably gave you extra attention too. Sometimes this can be too much and get on your nerves, but at other times it can be helpful to know how much people care when you’re not feeling too good.
At the end of treatment some young people find that they miss this special treatment and find they don’t feel as important as they did when they were ill. It can sometimes be hard getting used to being treated the same as everyone else. There are other young people though who really wish their family would treat them as normal. Your mum or dad will probably have needed to keep an extra close eye on you while you were having your treatment, making sure you had your medicines and checking for side effects. Lots of mums and dads find it really hard to stop doing this when treatment is over. Like you, they may worry about the chance of the cancer coming back. You know that you feel OK, whereas they don’t. It can really get on your nerves to be asked if you are alright all the time, but it’s good to remember why your family might be worried. If this is a problem in your family you could agree to tell them if you feel at all ill, if they will agree not to ask you all the time!
Brothers and sisters
When you were ill, things probably changed a lot for your brothers and sisters too. A lot of brothers and sisters feel really left out, especially if they didn’t get presents or treats like you did. They may have found it hard to be without your mum or dad if you had a lot of time at the hospital with them.
Now that you’re off treatment, they may worry about your health too or may feel left out if you are still getting extra attention.
© CCLG 2007 This information has been provided by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group. It is aimed at 10 – 16 year olds although it may be of interest to other young people.
Authors: Katherine Green, Moira Bradwell and Annie Griffiths on behalf of the CCLG Publications Committee. All quotations have been supplied by 10-16 year olds.
Family Support Network
Family Support Networks have been developed to provide support throughout the cancer journey. They focus on the needs of the whole family – if loved ones are supported the young person in turn will be supported.More