Childhood Cancer

You may have to provide some medical care when your child comes home. If so, arrange to have the necessary medical equipment at home before your child leaves the hospital. Also try to make any special accommodations in advance, such as creating a sleeping area downstairs if your child won’t be able to climb the stairs. If your hospital has a discharge planner or social worker, talk with her well before your child’s discharge time, to make sure that you have all the information you need.

If your child needs nursing care, physical therapy, or other services at home, make sure the doctor writes that in the discharge papers. Some insurers refuse to pay for care after hospitalization unless there is a documented medical need.

Your family may need a few days or weeks to rest and recover before life returns to normal. Don’t be afraid to tell family and friends that you need some down time for a few days after your child comes home. Hospitalization can be very stressful for families and everyone may benefit from time to decompress. However, if you like having family and friends around to pitch in and help or to keep your child company, let people know.

After a long and tough hospitalization, 4-year-old Christine walked in the door, kissed her sister, kissed each dog, grabbed her blankie, wrapped herself in it, crawled up on the couch, let out a big sigh, and said “Finally, I’m home.”