In August, my husband was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
As I began looking into resources for young adults with cancer, I found there is very
little information for their spouses and NO information for families with very young
children. All programs offered for children who have a parent with cancer start at
age six to 10. Our four-year-old understands a great deal more than many that age,
but I have not found many resources out there to help her or me. I am now providing
our family's only income as a full-time teacher, with my husband spending at least half
of every month in the hospital, plus a four-year-old to care for. I am lucky that we
have our parents nearby (and retired) to lighten my load, but what about those who
I just thought this is an area in which your site might provide more information.
No one else is.
Reply to Letter | View Comments
| Past Carenotes |
Name: Jan Reinhardus RN
Location: Chatham-Kent , Ontario, Canada
Time: 06:59 AM
I saw your request in the Caregiver newsletter and I have passed it on to our Kid's Circle Coordinator asking her to reply to you. I know you are in the USA and we are based in Chatham-Kent Ontario Canada but perhaps we can help? Erin, our coordinator assists children from the age of 4 to 18 who are dealing with a life threatening illness for themselves or a loved one to help them understand and cope. I have asked her to provide you with some web sites and resources that may help you and your family. She might also be able to answer any questions you might have. Good luck and I will keep you all in my prayers. Jan Reinhardus
Time: 06:41 AM
I am very sorry to hear of your husband's illness and all that you are juggling in your lives.
I'd like to suggest that you look into the resources offered by the Well Spouse Association(www.wellspouse.org), a wonderful peer support organization exclusively for those caring for spouses with chronic illnesses or disabilities. We offer an online forum and chat, in-person support groups in many areas, and telephone support groups. We have just started a phone group for younger spousal caregivers (under age 45).
Our mottos are "When one is sick, two need help" and "You are not alone." I encourage you to check us out -- we understand the journey you are on, and we care. Many of us have shouldered most of the parenting responsibilities due to our spouses' illnesses.
Perhaps you can find a therapist who does play therapy with young children if your child is showing signs of stress. An online search may help you find useful books on the subject of parental illness suitable for young children or advice books for you.
Dorothy (W.S.A. Co-President)