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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 11/12/13


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 don't? I just thought this is an area in which your site might provide more information. No one else is.



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Name: Jan Reinhardus RN
Location: Chatham-Kent , Ontario, Canada
Date: 11/12/2013
Time: 06:59 AM


Hi Kalli, 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

Name: Dorothy
Location: Virginia
Date: 11/12/2013
Time: 06:41 AM


Hi Kalli, 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(, 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)



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