A diagnosis of leukemia may be devastating — especially for the family of a newly diagnosed child. With time you'll find ways to cope with the distress and uncertainty of cancer. Until then, you may find it helps to:
March 26, 2015
- Learn enough about leukemia to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about your leukemia, including your treatment options and, if you like, your prognosis. As you learn more about leukemia, you may become more confident in making treatment decisions.
- Keep friends and family close. Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your leukemia. Friends and family can provide the practical support you'll need, such as helping take care of your house if you're in the hospital. And they can serve as emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.
Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, library or a cancer organization, such as the National Cancer Institute or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Find someone to talk with. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to you talk about your hopes and fears. This may be a friend or family member. The concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support group also may be helpful.
- What you need to know about leukemia. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/wyntk-leukemia. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Understanding leukemia. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. http://www.lls.org/resourcecenter/freeeducationmaterials/leukemia/understandingleukemia. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/taking-time. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 11, 2015.
- Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. March 11, 2015.