Caregiver Support and Sen. Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: Another American family experiences the unexpected cancer diagnosis of a parent and spouseTuesday, May 20th, 2008
Today it was announced that unfortunately, Senator Ted Kennedy, 76, has a malignant brain tumor. His adult children from his first marriage are in their 40′s, busy with their own lives and now face their father’s cancer diagnosis. This happens all too often. It happened to me. Below are my three recommendations for other adult children like Ted Kennedy’s adult children who face a parent’s cancer diagnosis…
A parent’s cancer diagnosis can shatter your life as you know it. Within twenty-four hours, you embrace challenges and blessings of a caregiver life. Many families facing cancer must decide which doctor, treatment plan, and cancer hospital the parent should choose-fast. Some top cancer hospitals such as the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center or the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center can have six-to-eight week waiting lists to see a doctor.When my father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000, my sister and I immediately booked a flight home to be with my parents. Within one week, we learned everything we could about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and made the best educated decision regarding Dad’s immediate treatment. The choices boggled our minds. Dad’s diseased strengthened every minute we waited. Everyone’s situation is different. After the experience my sister and I went through with my Dad’s cancer treatment, I would do a few things differently.
Consider the following three suggestions and resources when your parent confronts a new cancer diagnosis.