Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stupid Cancer...

A generation of people dealing with cancer is our young adult population. Think about it, there is more in the media about kids with cancer and older adults with cancer, but no one seems to notice the young adults.

I am talking about the 19 to 40 year old group of adults who are in the prime of their sexual lives, becoming newly weds, having children, climbing the career ladder, and owning their first homes. And folks, they get cancer. Many of them are in the fight of their lives.

Well there is a group founded by and for young adults called Stupid Cancer. Visit www.stupidcancer.com and check it out. It is for those from 19- 40 ish who are either dealing with the disease or have survived and now are trying to figure out how to live again.

Many may not realize it but sometimes the treatment to survive cancer causes many other health issues. Things like blood pressure problems, diabetes, stroke, mental challenges, physical challenges, and God forbid another type of cancer.

I'm too young for this is their motto! Their advertisement states it best. Welcome to the club that no one wants to belong to but once you're here, you're family. This is your life plus Cancer where remission is not a cure and survivorship is all that matters.

If you are a young adult dealing with cancer or if you know of one who is, pass on the website link. It is a wonderful place to visit with resources of all kinds for young adults. Now you don't have to feel like you are dealing with this alone. www.stupidcancer.com is the site to visit and it will link you to other sources as well. You can find them on Twitter @stupidcancer and on Facebook/stupidcancer  or on the blog at http://blog.stupidcancer.com/

You are too young to go it alone. Find others who are living the same life as you. Check it out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Get Moving Kids- Tips for Children with Chronic Illness

Summer is coming and warm weather is a great time to get off the couch and get moving. Kids need to move, even kids who are dealing with a chronic or long term illness. The key is to monitor activity and to be on the look out for signs of trouble. Here are a few tips:

  • Allow  chronically ill children to engage in physical activities that they enjoy and can tolerate. This means that you monitor your child for signs that the activity is too much but that you also allow age appropriate activities if your child is able. It gives them a sense of normalcy
  • Keep your child hydrated. Provide water and power drinks like Gatorade for those hot days. Avoid sugary drinks and soda as those can add to dehydration
  • Have fruit and snacks available to keep blood sugar levels normal and to help avoid nausea
  • Encourage periods of rest
  • Don't hover. Children who are chronically ill need to feel normal. Try to avoid pampering and hovering. Just be there to provide support.
Watch for signs of pain, swelling, vomiting, fever, shortness of breath, or distress that may mean your child is overdoing an activity for the disease. Check with your child's physician before beginning a sport or strenuous activity to make sure it will be safe for your child. Avoid allowing activities that your child is too weak to currently participate in. Look for activities that will promote socialization yet limit strain if your child is too ill.

Generally speaking, your child will be able to determine what activities he or she is up to doing. Let them be your guide. The way they look and act can help you to decide if today is a good day for getting off the couch or if today is a day of rest. If a child is up to doing an activity that he or she loves to do, the exercise may help the overall health and feeling of well being so enjoy the moment. If in doubt, don't hesitate to ask your health care provider for advice.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: National Backyard Games Week is this Month.

This is a good link to check out for summer activities that can be very inexpensive. The picture of the little guy is adorable too.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: National Backyard Games Week is this Month.: "Jump into spring! The 14th annual National Backyard Games Week takes place this month. It begins the Monday prior to Memorial Day and ends..."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Walking With Sophie

Walking With Sophie                                             

Author: Adam Webb

ISBN: 978-1-4610-7697-1

Lazy River Books

Picture Book

Ages 3-10

From the back of the book: Take your child on a special journey, with an enchanting girl. Explore the magic of childhood memories and the imagination that captures each precious moment. Tiptoe into Sophie's world once. Keep her in your heart forever.

My view: This book is just what it says it is...enchanting. But it is so much more. The reader follows Sophie to all her favorite places and you sense the importance of everyday quality time spent with a child. It is not until the end that the reader understands that Sophie is in spirit and what a wonderful way to ease the pain of the loss of a child.

This story is written with simple words and on the surface it has a simple concept following a child to all her favorite places. The after affect and take away value of this story is enormous. Any adult reading the story with their child will come away with a renewed sense of the importance of everyday things and the quality time your child deserves. The story is a gentle reminder that you only have today, not sure of tomorrow, and to make every moment memorable.

This enchanting story also can be used as a stepping stone to open conversations about life after death. The story is so warm, loving, and enchanting that it erases the negativity associated with talking about death. As a nurse who has cared for children who are terminal, this book would be such a blessing for both parent and child going through this trial.

I give the book 5 stars. This book is a must have for anyone who collects children's books.  I can only hope that author, Adam Webb, will be writing more of these enchanting books about meaningful life experiences for children.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

R is for Rest

Rest is the one thing that most parents ignore for themselves when they have a sick child. Rest seems to escape most parents until say your child is over 21.  As parents we worry about illness, activities, school grades, do our children have friends, what kind of friends do they have, could they do better, and on and on.

If a child is ill the worries are even greater. Parents watch and worry over blood counts, fevers, growth and development, medicines, scans, and everything else that can change in a heartbeat with a sick child.

Rest is essential to health. Rest helps your emotional state, your cognitive state, and your physical state. Tips for getting rest include
  • learn to say no
  • don't over book your free time
  • take naps when your child is resting
  • delegate house hold chores
  • go to bed early
  • enjoy down times without guilt
These are a few reminders to keep in mind which may help you to gain a few moments of rest.