When your child is on treatment
- Give them a little to eat, but often. Their taste buds will probably be affected so don’t be surprised if they no longer eat foods that they previously loved. You may also be advised that your child avoids particular foods entirely while on treatment.
- Keep your child away from sources of infection – such as sick relatives or crowded places. It is important to keep your child away from measles and chickenpox in particular. If your child is attending school please ask the principal to send a letter to all parents asking them to advise the school if any family member is affected by measles or chickenpox. If someone is affected your child will need to remain out of school for a period. If you have any difficulties with the school inform your social worker in Crumlin who should be able to help.
- Pay special attention to dental hygiene and use a soft toothbrush.
- If your child is feeling shivery, unwell or running a temperature above 38oC, call St John’s Ward or your local shared care hospital for advice. If in any doubt it is better to call the ward.
- Given the number of hospital visits your child may have during the course of his/ her treatment it is a good idea to keep a suitcase ready with the essentials such as pyjamas for both of you, wash bag and favourite games and books that help pass the time in hospital
Here are some questions you can ask when meeting with your doctors
- What type of cancer does my child have?
- What is the stage of the disease?
- What does this stage mean?
- What are the treatment choices at this point?
- What treatment(s) do you recommend and why?
- How long will the treatment last?
- What are the chances that this treatment will be successful?
- How will we know if treatment is successful?
- What are both the short-term and long-term risks of the treatment?
- What side effects will our child experience as treatment is taking place?
- Are any longer term side effects anticipated from this treatment?
- What role should or could we play in our child’s treatment?
- Since we need to be with our child during treatment, can the hospital help us find accommodation? (as appropriate and required)
- How can we help our child prepare for this treatment?
- What’s the very best way we could support our child through the treatment?
Bring a pen and paper with you during the meeting. Take notes. It is often a good idea to take a small recorder with you and ask if you can record the meeting, that way you can review everything that was discussed later.