Seeing "a picture or two" on my Facebook feed of kids with backpacks posing (are they really this happy to be going 'back-to-school?' Certainly some of those smiles look forced!) and I'm reminded that Labor Day Weekend will be here next weekend and the seasonal change from summer to fall is just around the bend. It's a time of transition for the kids, an adjustment from the carefree days of summer fun back to school, and a time when athletic practices among many other activities are gearing back up!
The back-to-school transition is easy in comparison to the transition a kid must make when diagnosed with or impacted by a loved one's cancer. According to kidsvcancer.org The "Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years." They also state, "Each year around 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. -- That's more than a classroom of kids a day (that are diagnosed with cancer!)" While I was diagnosed with stage four cancer at age 33, and feel for anyone facing a diagnosis (or supporting someone with cancer), today I especially want to share some of the many resources I know about as your guide to facing "Cancer with JOY" that'll help kids when they are impacted by cancer.
Here's five resources you really need to know about when kids are impacted by cancer:
www.cancer.net is a total treasure trove of helpful information that I list on page 116 of "Cancer with JOY" in my comprehensive chapter with 25+ pages of resources. Better yet their information is "Oncologist-approved." How I wish I'd known about this valuable resource when I was diagnosed! People seem to know about www.cancer.org which is the American Cancer Society's web site, but few seem to know about www.cancer.net.
2. Speaking of www.cancer.org, here's a very specific helpful link from that site hopefully saving you your precious time and energy searching all over it.
3. From pages 122-123 of "Cancer with JOY," www.livestrong.org/school
I think the "free, age-appropriate curriculum" is just great! Whether the child is personally facing cancer, or is impacted by cancer due to a family member's diagnosis, this is a terrific resource!
4. www.cocai.org -- The Children's Oncology Camping Association International (COCA-I) is featured on pages 131-132 of the "Cancer Retreats" section of "Cancer with JOY."
5. www.supersibs.org serves kids impacted by cancer as the siblings of children with cancer.