Having a child diagnosed with cancer can be devastating to a family. The child is often confused and struggling to adjust to treatment and all the new healthcare team members. Parents wrestle with how to understand disease and treatment, make decisions, and move forward, all while trying to protect their child. As you guide your child through cancer, you might have questions such as these:
- How do I share information that is developmentally appropriate?
- What behavioral changes should I watch for?
- How can I maintain normalcy for my child, siblings, and family?
- How do I manage my own anxiety about treatment, fear of recurrences, and other challenges?
- What does this mean for my child’s future health?
and more, at no cost.
How We Can Help
Whether your child is newly diagnosed, in treatment or has transitioned to survivorship, we help navigate the emotional impact of cancer, negotiate family dynamics, understand your child’s behavior, and manage the many emotions and feelings that children, parents, and other family members often experience.
Counseling & Support
Individual and family counseling is available for parents, your child with cancer, siblings, and any other significant person in the child’s life. Connect with us—at no charge:
Connect with us in these locations:
In the Outpatient Clinic
An experienced oncology therapist, trained to work with children and teens with cancer, their parents and their families, is available for ongoing support and counseling. Your therapist will provide strategies to help manage the many emotions that children and parents often experience. Come to us for help transitioning to end of therapy and for long-term follow-up. We can link you to survivorship services and community resources that assist with school transitions, neuropsych testing, and finances.
In the Hospital
When a child or teen is hospitalized, additional needs and challenges can develop for the patient, parent, and other family members. Life with Cancer oncology therapists can guide your family through adjustment to treatment, assist in communicating with health care providers, help with sharing developmental appropriate language and offer strategies for emotional wellness. Life with Cancer works in collaboration with Inova’s Child Life and art therapy services.
At the Life with Cancer Family Center
Our experienced and caring oncology therapists can help you manage communication with your health care team and family members, reduce stress, and create a “new normal.” Art therapy and play therapy are valuable components of our care.
In the Community
Life with Cancer oncology therapists are available to provide consultation and guidance to your child’s school and other organizations concerned about students and families impacted by cancer.Make an appointment
Pediatric Oncology Parent Night
This special monthly dinner program provides education and support group meetings for parents and includes separate activities for children ages 5-12. The program includes guest speakers and educational topics pertinent to coping with childhood cancer, opportunities for networking and a variety of fun activities for the whole family, such as an annual Halloween Party, Mother & Daughter Spa Night, Family Bingo, and Father & Son Night.
Kid and Sib Day
This program is designed for children ages 5-12 who are in treatment and their siblings (ages 5-12). This program includes art therapy and other supportive activities, time for sharing feelings and talking about changes in the family, opportunities to connect with other children with cancer and their siblings, and time for fun.
For parents with children and teens who are newly diagnosed, this three-session program includes proven techniques and tools to help you manage more effectively.
Other programs for parents include classes on stress management, mindfulness, art therapy, fitness, and nutrition that can nurture resilience. Contact us.Contact us to Register for Program or Group
- Life with Cancer Resources for Pediatric Oncology Patients and their Families: A comprehensive, handpicked list of resources to assist your child/teen and family, including information on disease and treatment, camps, and special wishes, as well as financial transportation, wigs, and school resources.
- What Parents Can Expect at Diagnosis, During Treatment and at End of Treatment and Beyond
Get Help For
- Children Who Have a Parent or Loved One with Cancer
- Teens with Cancer
- Teens Who Have a Parent or Loved One with Cancer