After a breast cancer diagnosis, a mother may become overwhelmed with the day-to-day needs of her decision-making and treatment and care along with trying to take care of her other responsibilities to the point where other family members seem to disappear into the background. Most often, this is not a conscious choice that anyone makes. But, when parents do consider what the children should know or be told, they don’t understand what and how much should be shared with their children, especially the very young ones. So, it becomes easier to just ignore the issue and go about daily routines as though nothing has changed.
And you might just be surprised at how resilient a child may be when he/she is included in the discussions. Feeling like they count and knowing that someone is there to help them can make all of the difference. Barbara Jacoby
But now there is help available that has been tailored to assist a parent with addressing this issue with the very youngest who are 5 to 8 years of age. An app titled “Magic Tree for Breast Cancer” has been developed by the Celgene Corporation from input provided from patient advocacy groups and experts in breast cancer. The full scope of the app and how it works can be accessed at the link provided here so that the parent or a designated professional such as the child’s pediatrician can review it before deciding whether they wish to download the app for the child on a mobile device.
Key Features of this series of animated educational videos are outlined as follows:
- Is It My Fault?” Explains that children are not at fault for their parent’s illness
- What Is Cancer?” Provides an overview of the disease
- Can You Catch Cancer?” Teaches children they can’t catch cancer from others
- How Do You Treat Breast Cancer?” Details the treatments for breast cancer, including the side effects of chemotherapy
4 unique, colorful games
- Discussion Guide for Parents, including discussion guidelines based on the content in each chapter
- A list of support resources and breast cancer organizations for families
For most of us who are already adults, our parents never would have considered even talking to us if our mothers were diagnosed with breast cancer. But, we knew that something was wrong and we would be scared to death that something bad was happening and maybe our mothers were going to die from whatever was occurring. So we remained quiet and lived in fear on a daily basis. How fortunate we are to be able to have a tool available now to help us to help our little ones.
There is never a right or wrong way to handle such a situation because every child is different. However, with a little planning and preparation the best chance for a successful outcome for the child can be achieved. And you might just be surprised at how resilient a child may be when he/she is included in the discussions. Feeling like they count and knowing that someone is there to help them can make all of the difference. As a result, the best possible outcome will not only be addressed for the patient but also for the young children who are also affected by a breast cancer diagnosis.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.