Kids who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer will inevitably need to adjust to some new ways of living and coping - whether they have leukemia or a malignant brain tumor. Their situations run the gamut: some kids with cancer are in a hospital setting and don't get to have "normal" interaction with other people. Others might be at home much of the time, but have frequent testing at the hospital or with a home health aid.
Whatever the situation, many families who were used to soccer games and ballet lessons may find themselves challenged when it comes to thinking up activities that kids with cancer can do just like the rest of their peers. Here are just a few.
- Pick up the puffy paint: For the days when your child doesn’t much feel like getting out of bed or doesn't have the energy to do so, making a T-shirt can be a fun activity. You can pick up a cheap shirt at stores like Wal-Mart and then invest in some iron-on transfers or puffy paint from your local craft shop. Even a fabric marker can create the perfect tuxedo T-shirt
- Take a deep breath: The physical benefits of yoga, like strength and flexibility, are beneficial to everyone, and simple yoga postures aren't too taxing. Unlike in a competitive sport, no one's winning or losing -- it's just about the movement of the body. Relaxation and breathing techniques can help a kid who's going through some scary medical procedures and stress.
- The pen is mighty: Writing is a great creative outlet and might help your child put some of his or her frustrations and hopes down on paper. A blog could help your kid connect with other people in the same situation (although parents will want help find online communities that are safe for their kids). Writing a play or doing acting exercises is a good way to work through feelings -- or escape from the tough stuff for a little while.
Also see Discovery Health's Cancer Center