Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

What This Book Offers

This book is not autobiographical. Instead, I wanted to blend basic technical information in easy-to-understand language with stories and advice from many parents and children. I wanted to provide the insights and experiences of parents who have all felt the hope, helplessness, anger, humor, longing, panic, ignorance, warmth, and anguish of their children’s cancer treatment. I wanted parents to know how other children react to treatment and to offer tips to make the experience easier.

Obtaining a basic understanding of topics such as medical terminology, common side effects of treatment, and how to interpret laboratory results can help improve quality of life for the whole family. Learning how to develop a partnership with your child’s medical team can vastly increase your family’s peace of mind. Hearing parents describe their emotional ups and downs, how they coped, and how they molded their family life around hospitalizations is a tremendous comfort. And knowing there are other parents out there who hold their breath with each test hoping for good news can help you feel less alone. My hope is that parents who read this book will find understandable medical information, obtain advice that eases their daily life, and feel empowered to be strong advocates for their children.

The stories and suggestions in this book are absolutely true, although some names have been changed to protect children’s privacy. Every word has been spoken by the parent of a child with cancer, a sibling of a child with cancer, or a childhood cancer survivor. There are no composites—just the actual words of people who wanted to share what they learned with families of children newly diagnosed with leukemia.