We’re here to listen, call us anytime you need to… learn more
Your browser is not supported by this website, please consider browsing the site in a modern browser.

Resources

Self-care during childhood cancer: what other parents say

Parents have shared their top tips for looking after yourself when your child has been diagnosed with cancer.

When you’re supporting someone with cancer, it’s important to find ways to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It might seem difficult to find time for your own needs, but it will help you and the people around you.

Small things can make big differences

Little things like leaving the hospital for a walk, going home for a shower and sleep, or just getting a coffee can help. Here are some other ways to take care of yourself:

Eat well food might not seem important right now and it’s tempting to grab whatever’s easiest, but a good diet is still important for your health and making sure you have energy

Laugh whenever possible, and as much as possible. At first this might be difficult, but finding the funny side in things is surprisingly important in tough situations, and black humour is completely acceptable.

Talk, share and learn, join a support group with other people who have been in similar situations. Redkite runs regular phone-based support groups, so you can participate from anywhere.

Bring your hobby or work to hospital, waiting is easier if you have something to fill the time like reading, writing emails, craft, cards, board games, or even sorting through all the photos on your computer.

Sleep, get as much as possible. Grab it wherever you can and don’t feel guilty.

Try mindfulness exercises, if you don’t like the idea of writing things down, mindfulness can quieten busy thoughts for a little bit.

Write it down, recording how you feel can help make sense of things and clear your mind.

Give yourself a break, remember that you are not superhuman and you can’t do everything and you don’t have to do it right now. You can always put it on a list for later.

Hour by hour, day by day, one foot in front of the other. The days are long but the years are short. Listen to your child’s Doctors. Make more fun memories in a day than painful ones. Self care IS important, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Hold on tight to your loved ones and remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Love + Strength ♥️
Eliza, mum to Harper who was diagnosed at 4 years old

words from parents

‘Don’t ignore how you’re feeling. Showers are great places to release pent up emotions.’

‘Take care of yourself. It’s easy to only think of your sick child, but you must care for your own health.’

‘For Dads: Don’t be afraid to show emotion; you don’t have to be the tough one. It will come at once if you bottle it up and that is not good for you, your child or your family.’

‘The support is there, people really do care about you.’

‘Do not be afraid to ask friends or family for help.’

‘Take time out for yourself even just 10 minutes for a coffee or short walk.’

It’s not your fault and it’s ok to embrace all the emotions that come your way never let anyone judge how your coping because what they imagine your going through is most likely only half the pain your feeling.
Angela, mum of a child with cancer

‘Pause. Just pause and breathe.’

‘Find someone, as well as or other than family, that you can talk to. It’s hard on family too.’

‘Eat healthy along the way.’

‘Remember to take time as a parent to look after yourself too. You can’t give everything of yourself and run yourself into the ground.’

‘Ensure both parents take a break together and have a dinner or go see a movie together or something else.’

‘To be able to look after your child to the best of your ability, you will need to look after yourself.’

Do you have a tip for parents to look after their mental health? Share them with us 

Request help or information

We’re ready, let’s jump right in. How would you like to talk to us?

Call 1800 REDKITE Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm (AEST)
Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm (AEST)
24/7

Relationships
6th Oct

When your child isn’t going to get better

When your child isn’t going to get better is an eleven-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents.

When your child isn’t going to get better

When your child isn’t going to get better is an eleven-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents.

rk-man-pyjamas-stressed-phone

Relationships
5th Oct

When your child dies

When your child dies is a nine-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents about life after your child dies.

When your child dies

When your child dies is a nine-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents about life after your child dies.

Relationships
5th Oct

Living without your child

Living without your child is a nine-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents about life after your child dies.

Living without your child

Living without your child is a nine-page booklet written using the real experiences of bereaved parents about life after your child dies.

Relationships
2nd Sep

Other childhood cancer support services

A list of childhood cancer support services in Australia

Other childhood cancer support services

A list of childhood cancer support services in Australia