Many terminally-ill children are forced to deal with their health challenges before they have developed the coping skills to understand the gravity of illness. It is this fact that predisposes them to depression and feelings of loneliness, being overwhelmed, and worry.
A nurse told me often that an illness can be harder on the caregiver than it is on the patient, and that caregivers often experience serious ailments during the first couple years of this stressful period.
I sent a spry little dog to the vet that morning and received a dog that look 10 years older. I couldn't shake the comparison to my mother, who'd gone in for a simple procedure seven years ago and suffered complications.