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How does the Cascade program help?

A parent shares their thoughts on the Cascade program, and how it has helped them overcome the challenges that they faced when their child finished cancer treatment.

Why did you sign up for Cascade?

For two years my child’s cancer was my whole life. Then treatment finished and our family was once again stepping into the unknown. 

Fears that I had suppressed resurfaced when the “safety net” of chemo was taken away and I felt stuck, like I couldn’t make any plans in my life because at any moment we could end up back there. At the same time, most of the support fell away, both from the hospital and from friends and family who considered our cancer journey was over, but for me, it was still very present. This made me feel more isolated and like no one wanted to hear my worries, that I should just be grateful my child was in remission.

I joined Cascade because it gave me an opportunity to meet other parents experiencing the same feelings as me and because I wanted help to return to a life that was about more than cancer.

How has Cascade helped you?

The Cascade program actually changed my life – with the support of Redkite and the other parents I said yes to a job opportunity I had repeatedly declined and now I feel so proud that I did that. I began to plan holidays and special events again without always worrying about having to cancel. I now allow myself to prioritise my needs and I continually remind myself that worry won’t prepare me for further bumps in the road, all I can do is make the most of each day in the meantime.

The Cascade program actually changed my life… I now allow myself to prioritise my needs and I continually remind myself that worry won’t prepare me for further bumps in the road, all I can do is make the most of each day in the meantime.

What were some of your key takeaways?

  • The way I was feeling was normal for parents who had been through what I’d been through
  • That it was OK allow myself to take chances without fear of disappointment
  • That it was OK prioritise my own needs

What would you say to other parents thinking of joining Cascade?

I believe every parent should do a program like Cascade to find support from other parents experiencing the same feelings and to help them process what they have been through and make plans for the future.

How did you find the delivery of the content by the facilitators? 

I found the topics and frameworks taught super useful. I also think it’s good to group together parents who are off treatment because they may not always feel comfortable sharing their feelings in front of parents who are in the thick of treatment. The facilitators were great, they always made me feel really heard and comfortable to share my feelings.

Cascade is a six-session online program for parents and carers of children who have finished treatment within the last 12 months.

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