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62

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

7

Living your life

Will my daily life change?

There’s plenty of information out there on how to talk

to children about cancer and help them cope with

a parent’s illness. The website Telling Kids About

Cancer at

www.tellingkidsaboutcancer.com

offers

a wealth of age-appropriate tips and resources for

parents. Some helpful tips for talking with children:

††

Use age-appropriate language.

††

Be honest and accurate in describing your

illness. Call cancer by its name.

††

Tell your child that the cancer is not

contagious and that he or she did not cause

your illness.

††

Explain what kind of treatment you will be

receiving and the side effects you may have.

††

Reassure your child that he or she will be

taken care of no matter what happens, and

that you and other family members are there

to listen and to answer any questions.

If you need more guidance on talking to your children

about cancer, seek help from a social worker. They

can also refer you to local support services. You can

also reach out to Cancer Care, an organization where

oncology social workers provide free counseling and

referrals for assistance. You can visit the website at

www.cancercare.org

or call 800.813.HOPE (4673) for

more information.

Will my daily life change?

If you’re living on your own or caring for a family,

managing your home life and treatment can be

a struggle. Staying on top of things like laundry,

cleaning the bathroom, or grocery shopping gets hard

when you have side effects. This is an excellent time

to accept any offers from others that want to help you.

If friends and family members want to rally to your

aid, suggest that they check out the My Lifeline

at

www.mylifeline.org

or Lotsa Helping Hands at

www.lotsahelpinghands.com .

These free services are

designed to help friends and family organize support

efforts. They include features such as a help calendar

to schedule and sign up for specific support activities

for things like shopping or appointments, as well as a

message board for sharing information.

Being in school

The combination of cancer and the social part of

school can be challenging. In addition to constantly

being exposed to the germs in classrooms, locker

rooms, and shared bathrooms, side effects like

fatigue and chemobrain can make it harder to keep

up with your school work.

No matter how much you may want to keep your

condition quiet, it’s good to let your teachers/

professors and school counselor know what is going

on. Have a talk with each teacher soon after your

diagnosis and at the beginning of each semester.

Let them know about the side effects you’re likely to

experience and how they may affect your ability to

attend class or meet deadlines. Discuss how—and

when—you should request more time to do your

work, if needed.

Working during treatment

Since cancer treatment can last for months to years,

you might be working while you are being treated.

You may want make time to talk with your boss

before treatment begins. Get a clear understanding

of your company’s policies on things like flex time,

telecommuting, qualifying for Family Medical Leave

Act benefits, and short- and long-term disability.

If you have other questions, check out Cancer and

Careers at

www.cancerandcareers.org ,

a one-stop-

shop for all things cancer- and work-related. This

site aims to stop the fear and uncertainty for working

people with cancer. It has expert advice on everything

from selecting a wig to disability law. The site has