Answering key questions about treatment

Here are some possible answers to challenging questions that your kids might ask you about your cancer treatment.


Listen to podcasts on Explaining Cancer to Kids and Family Dynamics and Cancer


Q: Is it going to hurt?

Many children – and adults – worry about cancer pain. Cancer doesn’t always cause pain, and if it does, the pain can be relieved or reduced.

A: “Cancer doesn’t always hurt, but if I have pain, the doctors will give me medicine to help make it go away.”


Q: Why do you look so sick when the doctors are meant to be fixing you?

Often people who have cancer look perfectly well when diagnosed. It’s only when they have treatment and the side effects kick in that they start to look sick. This can be hard to understand.

A: “The doctors are using strong medicine to kill the cancer, but the medicine affects good cells as well as cancer cells. Some days I will feel and look sick, but this doesn’t mean the cancer is getting worse. I will start to feel better when treatment finishes.”


Q: Will your hair come back?

Hair loss can be upsetting for you and your children, so it can help if the family knows what to expect and what you might do about it.

A: “The doctor says I may lose my hair because of the chemotherapy. It will come back but probably will look a bit different, especially at first. I can wear wigs, scarves or hats until it grows back.”


Q: Does radiation therapy make you radioactive?

A common fear among children is that they can become radioactive by touching you after radiation therapy. With most types of radiation therapy, this is not possible. Your doctor will tell you if you need to take any precautions.

A: “Radiation therapy is like an x-ray. It doesn’t hurt. It’s safe to touch me.”


Q: Why do you need to rest so much?

Children often can’t understand the exhaustion you may feel after treatment. They may resent you not doing as much with them.

A: “The operation/treatment I’m having has made me tired and I need to rest a lot so my body can recover and get better. Why don’t we make a plan for where we’ll go or what we’ll do on a day I have more energy? Perhaps today we can do something quiet together like watch a movie.”

     — Anna, mother of two children aged 9 and 13  


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Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in December 2018
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Support services

Coping with cancer?
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Work and cancer
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Cancer information

Cancer treatment
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When a student’s family member has cancer
How the school community can offer support

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