• Counseling for teenagers whose father has lung cancer

    Asked by SashaSam on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    Counseling for teenagers whose father has lung cancer

    The boys are 11 and 13. Their dad was diagnosed about 2 months ago. The prognosis is not good. How do we find counseling and support for the boys? Already tried SO MANY sites - all the national cancer organizations I could find, local organizations, the hospital where he's being treated. Obviously, I'm missing something! We're in Silver Spring, MD/DC area.
    ALL ideas welcomed! Thanks:)

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I'm sorry you're having trouble. Someone who knows that area will have some information for you.

      21 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      A lot of times the hospital or treatment center will have a social worker, counselor or psychologist to work with family members. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and was having some trouble getting my own mind untangled and trying to find better ways to communicate with my family, my nurse navigator set me up an appointment with the social worker right away.

      I know things are a little crazy with schools being in a state of disarray, but perhaps checking with their home school or even their school district might yield some positive results in getting some support that is age appropriate for them. It may be worth it to check with insurance too, to see who they list as "in network" counselors. I am fortunate to be a military dependent and Humana Military has a great network of counselors and I can look up specific subject matter to see counselors in my area that have experience with certain issues.

      Maybe a church? I know some of the churches here have members who are licensed psychologists or counselors and they see people on a sliding fee scale if cost is a concern.

      Obviously this is not a great answer to your particular area, but it's just a few suggestions.

      Interestingly, my primary care manager recommended a counselor for me who specialized in PTSD. I thought it was an odd recommendation at first, but I can definitely tell you my life has changed and there is some trauma associated with cancer. That recommendation and insight was a really good one for me. So in searching, you might look for counselors who do help military members or their families with separation or loss issues and PTSD sorts of situations. Just trying to think outside the box a little. Maybe dealing with separation, loss and ongoing trauma in general rather than solely focused on cancer could be another way to go.

      20 days ago
    • Kp2018's Avatar
      Kp2018

      Does your sons' school have a school social worker? School is probably out of session in your area, but it might be worth it to contact the school administrator to find out if the social worker might be available. School social workers are experienced in supporting kids in times of loss and grief. If a direct service is unavailable from the school, they might be able to provide you with good leads for other sources. My best to you and your sons during this difficult and sad time.

      20 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @KP- great idea. I would think since a lot of the schools may continue with distance learning- the schools are probably pretty open to providing support services they might normally provide if a student were to be homebound for other reasons.

      20 days ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      When my hubby was going through treatment and it wasn't looking good, it was our grandchildren I sought out information for. They were younger-5 and 7 yo- than you kids so books were helpful.
      I don't know if you kids are on Facebook but there are two groups that popped up in the search bar....Kids with Parents Who Have Cancer and My Parent has Cancer and it Really Sucks. The second one has a linked website: https://parenthascancer.com/?fbclid=IwAR2mS3Eb9lBQad96BgKaoFcqkhojiT0tARiIIINIzJ9kUboLNzQv8o12XpQ
      I looked at both and you can see some posts. You can also message both before "liking" the page. I hope you find some outlet and support for your kids.

      15 days ago

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