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Daily Dose

Talking to Kids About Cancer

1:30 to read

There is a little 2 year old in our practice with a newly diagnosed malignant tumor…..just heartbreaking.  But when I was hearing about the diagnosis, I immediately thought of a new campaign that I recently learned of entitled “Pillow Talk-Conversations about Cancer”.

This is a program sponsored by CancerCare which is national organization dedicated to providing support services to anyone affected by cancer.  which is especially important when a child is diagnosed with cancer as it  really impacts the entire family….there is no way around it. Suddenly this child needs her parents “all of the time” as she undergoes tests, procedures and begins treatment.  Parents, siblings, grandparents, other family and friends are all affected and being pulled in multiple directions with all different emotions.

CancerCare partnered with Bayer to create a “Care Package and Comfort Pillow” to help cancer patients and even young children talk about cancer. Talking about cancer is never easy, and may be especially scary for young children and their families. What do you say?  How do you say it?  This kit comes with a wonderful tip sheet specifically written to help families communicate with their child (which is very age dependent) and others about understanding cancer.

The free kit also has an entire DIY art project to make a pillow that friends and family may decorate and write on (like you sign a cast) to make it your own.  The child can then take along their “comfort pillow” during scary or painful procedures, and for naps and bedtime.  Even a two year old loves to color and it comes with an array of fabric markers to use on the pillow.  The entire family can be involved in deciding what “pictures and words” symbolize things that are comforting and personalize their child’s pillow. The package comes with a booklet on “how to use the kit” and some really clever ideas of things to do with younger children. 

CancerCare is a wonderful organization and this new campaign is one way to help families communicate and collaborate about the challenges of cancer. For more information about the program visit https://community.cancercare.org/pillowtalk?tab=1

So… I pray that this little girl will be strong and beat her cancer….and will someday be able to show her own child the “comfort pillow” that she had during her treatment.

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