In the first few days after diagnosis, many parents use denial to shield themselves from the terrifying situation. They simply cannot believe that their child has a life-threatening illness. Denial may serve as a useful method to survive the first few days after diagnosis, but a gradual acceptance must occur so that the family can begin to make the necessary adjustments to cancer treatment. Life has dramatically changed.
Once parents accept the doctor's prognosis, push their fears into the background, and begin to believe that their child will survive, they will be better able to advocate for their child and family.
After our daughter's diagnosis, we had to drive two hours to the hospital. My husband and I talked about leukemia the entire trip and, I felt, started to come to grips with the illness. However, after the IV, the x-rays, and the blood transfusions, he became extremely upset that they were going to admit her. He thought that we could just go home and it would be finished. I had to say, "This will be our life for years."
My husband and I sat and waited in silence until the doctor came back with the test results. The next thing I knew we were in his office with a primary nurse, a social worker, and a resident listening to the sickening news that our son had leukemia. I couldn't stop crying, and just wanted to grab my 2-year-old son and run far, far away.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.