Treating retinoblastoma requires many long days at the hospital, and usually some inpatient care.
Specialist retinoblastoma centres are often located far from home. Your family may become separated at a time when you need mutual support and encouragement most.
Children and parents are pulled away from the comfort and security of familiar surroundings, thrust into an environment flooded with uncertainty and frightening medical terminology.
Spending seemingly endless days in hospital with your child can rapidly sap your physical and emotional energy. Hospitals are vast places with many rules, regulations and routines that are potentially overwhelming.
However, you can make surviving hospital a positive experience. With a little thought and planning, you and your child can maintain a healthy sense of control in the midst of all this unfamiliarity, and nurture hope – the life-blood of your child’s journey through cancer.
Your have a responsibility as a parent to comfort and protect your child. To do this effectively, you need to remain with her at the hospital.
Packing for hospital may be low on your list of concerns, but a little planning before you leave home can avoid stress during the hospital visit.
When you are prepared for the hospital stay, you will be calmer, more able to support your child and more confident to advocate for her.
Hospital can be a daunting, uninviting place for young children. You can do many things to bring light, colour and fun to your child’s inpatient stay.
When you keep all your child’s records neatly organized, there will be fewer delays in tests and treatment, and less stress for all of you.
Play is the language of childhood, enabling children to express their feelings safely. Seek opportunities for play, fun and laughter wherever possible.