Learning of a cancer diagnosis never comes easy, no matter what your age. The difficulties that surround the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery come at no surprise, and each family you care for will cope in their own unique ways. Some will cope well given the circumstances and some will need additional support. No matter how well each family appears to be dealing with their cancer diagnosis, checking in on their emotional health periodically can help you gauge their coping strategies and provide any needed resources or assistance.
One coping tool you can provide to your patients is a stuffed toy name Cellie. Cellie is part of a larger coping kit developed to help kids deal with the stress related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Cellie Cancer Coping Kit includes the stuff toy, Cellie, as well as cancer coping cards and a book for caregivers. The cards, found inside Cellie's zippered mouth, provide tips for coping with many cancer related stresses, such as medical procedures or fears and worries. The caregiver book not only provides tips on how parents can help their child cope, but also gives tips regarding siblings and interacting with the medical team. In a recent published study, children and parents found Cellie easy to use, helpful, and engaging.
How does you hospital help patients and their families cope with cancer?