Many parents find unexpected reserves of strength and are able to ask for help from their friends and family when they need it. They realize that different needs arise when there is a great stress to the family, and they alter their expectations and parenting accordingly. These families usually had strong and effective communication prior to the illness, and pull together as a unit to deal with it.

The majority of families, however, have periods of calmness and other times when nerves are frayed and tempers are short. But usually families survive intact and are often strengthened by the years of dealing with cancer.

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