Grandparents Living With Retinoblastoma
Grandparents experience deep emotions in response to the diagnosis of retinoblastoma.
Often these feelings are complicated by genetic implications of the cancer, and a realization that the expected natural order of life may be reversed.
Grandparents often respond with great sensitivity, wisdom and grace honed by life experience.
They provide immense practical, financial and emotional support, particularly when retired. Their unconditional love and solid commitment maintain stability and hope through the cancer journey.
Unfortunately, just as many families do not share this experience. Grandparents may not live close enough to help as much as they would like. Others are limited by their own health concerns or care needs. Some are emotionally overwhelmed by the crisis and need support themselves. They may become demanding, needy, or disappear altogether.
Many of the emotions grandparents experience are similar to those of parents, and we encourage you to read the Parents section. The Children section also provides information about children’s responses, how they cope and how you can help your grandchild with cancer and their siblings.
Most grandparents accept they did not cause their grandchild’s cancer, but many still feel guilty about it. Some even feel anger towards their child.
Grandparents often feeling more helpless when not actively involved in caring for the child with cancer. There are many things you can do to be involved.
Your well-being is very important. Reducing physical and emotional stress will enable you to better support your family while protecting your own health.