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Tag Archives: Childhood cancer

Your Child Has Cancer: Canadian Support Resources That Can Help

SueMcKechnieby Sue McKechnie, CKN Childhood Cancer Advocacy Co-Editor

 

When your child is diagnosed with cancer, your world turns upside down. All your best laid plans fall to the wayside and in an instant you find yourself in uncharted waters. The good news is that Canada has a network of resources that can ease the emotional and financial stress for all the members of your family.

 

There are 16 hospitals in Canada dedicated to the healthcare of children. Each one of these facilities will have staff devoted to helping families navigate through their childhood cancer journey. The list below only scratches the surface of what resources are available, for a full list of services in your area, consult with your child’s health care team.

 

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Pediatric Palliative Care: A Multidisciplinary Approach

TrishaPaulby Trisha Paul, CKN Advisory Board Member, Childhood Cancer Narratives

 

I have to admit—one of the first reasons that palliative care first piqued my interest was because I wanted to learn more about death. But as I’ve delved deeper into palliative care, I’ve come to realize just how much more comprehensive it is. While increasing access to hospice care is a component of what palliative care provides, palliative care does so much more for patients and families.

 

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Tips for Hope and (Emotional) Survival

MayaStern2by Maya Stern, Living with Cancer, CKN Advisory Board Member

 

This month, I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of receiving a heart transplant, and the beginning of a new life. In light of this milestone, I have been reflecting on how I have mentally and emotionally made it through the long-term effects of childhood cancer to this point, in spite of the times when I felt that nothing would ever go right. I have been granted so much luck by the universe and by the privilege into which I was born, however there were many moments when I was unsure if I could handle any more. These were the moments when I had no hope for change.

 

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Moving On

MayaStern2by Maya Stern, CKN Advisory Board Member

 

The most frustrating part of being sick for me was hearing people say, “You can’t do this”—even if it was physically warranted.

 

After chemotherapy shrunk my tumour, surgeons cut open my body to remove the remnants of the tumour. It was still too large, and they had to remove the whole kidney. No big deal—I have another one.

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Discovering a Passion for Pediatric Palliative Care

TrishaPaulby Trisha Paul, CKN Advisory Board Member, Childhood Cancer Narratives

 

As someone who loves spending time with kids, I was thrilled when I was placed to volunteer on the 7th floor pediatric oncology inpatient playroom at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Although I was just in high school, I had an early interest in becoming a pediatrician, and Mott seemed like the perfect place for me to learn more.

 

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Battle Scars

MayaStern2by Maya Stern, CKN Advisory Board Member

My scars form a lopsided winking face on the upper half of my body. Since I do not constantly wear turtlenecks, there is usually some visible sign of the trauma my body has incurred. 

When I was a 4 year old in preschool, I was the bald cancer kid, but my peers never treated me differently. By five, my hair had grown back and my scars were starting to heal and fade. I started kindergarten, and the only reminder that I had had cancer was the occasional follow up appointment. I wasn’t hiding from my past, but my past was hidden. When I had play-dates with friends, my parents would need to communicate that I may tire more easily and need a nap, or we would go swimming and my friends would see my scars when I was in a bikini. No one pried or gawked; or maybe I was too young to notice.

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