Talking with parents

Your parents are likely to feel overwhelmed and helpless when they first hear of your diagnosis. Regardless of the child’s age, most parents have a strong desire to protect their son or daughter. It may take your parent a while to adjust. They will also have to deal with the emotions of other siblings or family members.

Parents of young children and adolescents play a big role in their care and may become their advocate during treatment. Parents of an adult child with cancer may not have a clear role, and they may feel excluded if others take precedence in caring for you.

Quick tips

  • Explain current treatments. This may lessen any fears and misconceptions from their past experiences with cancer.
  • Talk openly about your feelings. You may avoid discussing your worries with your parents to avoid upsetting them.
  • It’s also an opportunity for them to express their emotions.
  • Let them know what help you need, and be honest if you want independence to make your own decisions.

This information was last reviewed in December 2016
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