Are You Feeling any of These Things?


Looking at this list of feelings that you may or may not have might be helpful in realizing others have been where you are now and have felt similarly. You might realize that you can feel good about many of the ways things have been going and how you are dealing with them.

Afraid…

of my child dying, being lonely or unhappy, being in pain; the future; my child feeling/being different from other kids; my child missing out on important parts of childhood; being shut out; not have the answers my child needs; not having the patience my child needs; of losing my faith ; that my spouse and I won’t be able to communicate well during this crisis; that my marriage might not be strong enough to survive this crisis; that I might not be strong enough to survive this. You are not alone.

Angry…

that this is happening to my child/our family, at God/the world for letting this happen, that this is disrupting our family life, that this is disrupting my life, it is difficult for me/my spouse to work, family/friends aren’t helping as much as I wish they were, my employer isn’t being as flexible as I want , everything is so expensive at the hospital, we don’t have money to go where I want to take my child, my child is not getting all the care he/she needs.

Worried…

my child is not getting well, my other children are suffering and I can’t be there for them as much as I wish, this will cause physical harm to other family members, I will just run out of energy, about losing my job, how my child will react to being sick for so long, about my child losing a so much school, my other children are angry that I am missing important things in their lives.

Alone…

despite having many people around, I often feel alone with the pain of my child’s illness, my spouse and I really can’t talk about it yet, this is happening only to our family, I do not want to show my feelings; I do not feel I can talk to anyone about how I feel, no families around us have ever had to deal with something like this, my parents just get more worried if I talk to them and I worry for their health, when I do talk to friends they do not really understand how deep this goes, because I do not speak English well and do not feel I can even talk to other parents at the hospital very well, I do not know or trust the hospital staff yet.

Uncomfortable…

living in the hospital but feel I cannot complain as I need to be with my sick child; when I am away from the hospital, I worry about my child there; when I’m at the hospital, I worry about things at home and/or work.

Guilty…

somehow I gave this illness to my child, I did not take my child to the doctor sooner, I did not argue more with the doctor when he said it was just a cold, I did not feed my child organic food, sometimes thinking I just want to get away from all this, I sometimes snap at my child, I take out some of my frustration on the hospital staff, I get mad at my spouse for not doing things the way I would do them, my spouse and I seem to be fighting so much, I turn to having a drink when I am upset, I am a smoker and worry this contributed to my child getting cancer.

Grateful For…

good medical care available, good friends and family who have rallied around us, my child seems to be doing OK with treatment, science has led to possible cures for children with cancer, kindness of the medical staff (most of them!).

Embarrassed by…

asking people for help in ways I never have before, needing to have neighbors and friends take my other children to school and do things I usually do for them, people now know more about our family than I wish they did, crying sometimes when I wish I wouldn’t but just can’t help it; getting angry sometimes and saying more than I wish I did because I am just so tired and scared, I’m not coping with stress like I usually can, not always understanding or remembering all that the doctors say because I am so exhausted and overwhelmed, my child not being as sick as another child in the hospital.

Confused about…

how things work in the hospital- who to ask for what, how to get things done, where to be when-home or hospital, how to help my kids when I am so worried myself, what foods to give my child; my spouse and I don’t seem to feel the same things at the same time about our child’s illness, what is happening in our family, whether I can keep my job or not, how we will pay our bills, if everything will ever be all right again.

Feel trapped…

sometimes, I just want to leave the hospital and not come back for a while, I would like to turn the clock back and not have such big things to worry about that I have so little control over, my spouse and I could talk better about our sick child, I just want to get a good night’s sleep, I just want to go for a walk and not think about cancer.

Feel envious…

of friends and family members with healthy children, people who have more support here in the hospital from family nearby, parents whose children seem less sick than mine, parents whose children are already finished with treatment, parents who speak English better than I do, families that are not divorced.

Yearn for…

times before my child got sick, an afternoon alone with my other child, a quiet day, a day outside the hospital, sleeping in my own bed, a day when I am not so scared, a date with my spouse, going for a walk and feeling good, sunshine.

Feel frustrated by…

not feeling I really understand the plan for my child’s care, who is really in charge of my child’s care, having someone I trust and know like I know our pediatrician, many different staff taking care of my child, cramped spaces in the hospital, no privacy, seeing my child uncomfortable and not knowing what to do, everything!

Feel Overwhelmed by…

worry, practical concerns about managing at home when I am not there, trying to work when I want to be at the hospital, so many people wanting my attention, people wanting to help me and so little energy to tell them how to, love for my sick child and fear about what the future holds, financial concerns.

You are not alone. These are all normal feelings.


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