Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is half sorrow.
—Swedish proverb the interactions between the parents of a child with cancer and their extended family and friends are complex. Potential exists for loving support and generous help, as well as for bitter disappointment and disputes. The diagnosis of leukemia creates a ripple effect, first touching the immediate family, then extended family, friends, coworkers, schoolmates, church members, and the entire community.
This chapter discusses some of the experiences the family might encounter, as well as scores of ideas for helpful things that family and friends can do. To prevent possible misunderstandings between family members and friends, parents also share ideas on things that do not help.
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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.