Cancer and college decisions

<p>Any one out there dealing with cancer and concurrently working on sending their child to college? Share your experience.</p>

<p>I am so sorry you have to be dealing with this. If the cancer patient is you and the cancer is not the kind that puts you in the hospital for weeks , a distraction of dealing with college admission could be somehow helpful.</p>

<p>Sorry, should have given a bit more info. I am mom with cancer, and undergoing treatment. Only available parent to college bound senior. Trying to balance their needs and issues while undergoing aggressive treatment. Its a bit exhausting.Until this diagnosis very healthy, running marathons etc. so a difficult transition for both child and self. Kiddo is very helpful and mature, but can tell its hard for her.</p>

<p>yesshecan, check out the Class of 2009 thread. I don't know that any of the regular posters have cancer, but their children are in the same place as yours and the "class of" threads are great places for support and bouncing ideas around. </p>

<p>The very best of luck to you and your special kiddo.</p>

<p>^you gonna be alright!! come on CC often, people are really nice and it will help you to discuss with everybody about college life! big hugs to you and your DD!!</p>

<p>Yesshecan, I am sorry that you are having to deal with cancer at a time that is already stessful enough for both parent and child. Are there any other adults, such as a helpful guidance counselor, that your D can lean on and get a bit of advice, help, or support from?</p>

<p>Please introduce yourself to the Parents of Class of '09 thread. They are a great bunch, and have a lot of wisdom and experience. And you will have an instant support group and online "family".</p>

<p>Best of luck to you and your D.</p>

<p>I truly respect you and what you are going through. I've seen so many people continue their activities while dealing with this disease and I am truly amazed at the courage and drive I see in them. I watched my beautiful mother fight this disease and gained an enormous amount of respect watching how bravely she handled it. She never forgot how much she loved her children. I watched my best friend go through the same battle shortly after I lost mom and I miss both of the every day. My friend was very sharing and often shared her most private thoughts with me, she often told me how much she loved her daughter and I was in total amazement of how much energy she had while dealing with the disease while trying to keep her self busy and available to support the people and things she needed in her life. </p>

<p>I respect you and want you to know if there is anytime you want to talk, I will be availble. My beautiful daughter will be going to college in September and I know that you have a lot on your plate. You can do it and you will do it. It will keep you active and keep your mind off your illness. God Bless you.</p>

<p>Yesshecan --</p>

<p>It is a challenge, but I like your screen name and I hope it helps.</p>

<p>While I don't have cancer, I have a chronic disease that waxes and wanes in severity. I've learned to husband my energy reserves when I'm feeling exhausted, and I'm careful to spend them only on the things that are really important to me and my family. Sometimes that meant resting a lot during the day so that I had enough oomph to make it to a school concert in the evening. </p>

<p>Do take advantage of the support services out there -- a temporary disabled parking permit for use when you struggle to walk any distance, wheelchairs in airports, and friends who will step in and help when you really need it. You'd do the same for them, and I'm sure they want to help you.</p>

<p>One of the biggest challenges, though, is making sure your child knows that you don't want him or her to compromise on their life choices because of your disease. Many compassionate children would give up anything to help a sick parent, but I didn't want that and you may not either. The American Cancer Society has support groups for family members of cancer patients, and your child may find that the support of others is greatly helpful. The high school may also offer support groups for kids dealing with this.</p>

<p>Best of wishes to both you and your daughter.</p>

<p>Oh, yesshecan...I'm so sorry that you have to deal with all this. :(</p>

<p>I'm not exactly in the same boat, but I was dealing with my father's brain cancer, and then his death, all the while my D was trying to navigate all the college choice/college application process. Even that was exhausting, and it wasn't my own health on the line. I felt</p>

<p>All I can suggest is, think about who your very best friends & advocates in the world are. The people you would help in a heartbeat if they were in this situation. Then call in every favor you can from them. Ask each of them to take on one particular specific role in helping you, whether it's researching financial aid info, driving you to treatments, coming along on college visits so you can just sit & relax when you're tired and the friend can traipse all around campus & town with your kid.</p>

<p>People want to help, at times like this. But they often don't know exactly what would be helpful. Tell them. Be specific: time, place, task. Take their help. It's the tangible form of their love and care for you--and you need all of that you can right now.</p>

<p>Good luck with your treatment, and the difficult job of parenting when you're not well.</p>

<p>The husband of a close friend died of cancer during their child's senior year. He was ill for about 2 years prior. Worried about college applications at this time, and concerned that her child not be lost in the shuffle, she engaged a private college counselor to assist in application strategies and shepherding materials as needed. I gather it was fairly expensive, I also gather it was worth the money for the peace of mind for the parents at that very difficult time.</p>

<p>Well cancer puts the college-waiting stress into perspective in a hurry for the rest of us. Perhaps you and your kiddo will be wiser than many in this process, knowing that a "rejection" isn't the worst thing that can happen. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.</p>

Mom with cancer here. Have one who's a now freshman in college, one a junior in HS. Have been dealing with the beast since they were 10 & 11. I do daily oral chemo -- cancer is under control but not gone. Please feel free to PM me. </p>

<p>I have found that helping my kids reach their goals has brightened many, many dark days. Do what you need to to keep yourself healthy enough to get through chemo and to support your D as best you can. If you can get yourself and/or your D to a counselor, that can be very productive. Do you have friends/other family in the area who can help with logistical stuff (meals, driving D to activities, vacuum and clean bathrooms)?</p>

<p>Your D has a lot going on right now, and so many of the exciting feelings HS seniors have as they make college decisions are conflated with fears about leaving home and becoming independent. That, combined with grief and concern about your illness, makes it an even bigger tangle of spaghetti to unravel. I found that my kids handle adversity much better when they know what's going on, so I made it a policy from the beginning that I would tell them the truth and answer any questions they have. Everyone's different and will have their own way of handling things, though.</p>

<p>Sending you huge gentle hugs and lots of energy!!!</p>


<p>It must be very stressful for both you and your D. I'm assuming that a lot of admissions decisions are about to be received. Focus on the positive and ignore anything negative. I hope this strategy will lift up both your spirits. Take good care of yourself and ignore the small stuff.</p>

<p>yesshecan- well, I didn't get the cancer diagnosis until the week after parents weekend for the college freshman, so was not actually in your shoes. </p>

<p>I think the advice to conserve your energy is a good idea. Definitely take advantage of any services available. When someone asks if you need help, ask them to bring over dinner. </p>

<p>It is tough to parent when you fall asleep on the couch by 7 every evening. One thing that I should have done more of- reassuring the kid at home that being exhausted was normal, and that the treatment was going really well. She felt bad about waking me up to proof read a paper, but it was ok. I didn't mind, and fell right back to sleep, (I probably did crummy on the proof read).</p>

<p>If the prognosis is good, make sure she knows it. You've got a problem, and are having it taken care of. That is excellent role-modeling. </p>

<p>The other thing I would encourage, is to make sure all her teachers, counselor etc, know what is going on. Not so they will cut her some slack, but so they can keep an eye out for emotional cues, and engage her, and maybe offer extra help or an ear. I only told a few teachers, but I should have told them all. My D was touched when teachers made sure to touch base with her, just to see if she was okay.</p>

<p>I have cancer and my D is a sophomore in college - I was diagnosed at the end of her freshman year. I just completed a stem cell transplant a few weeks ago following surgery last year and many rounds of chemo. The one thing that has made a big difference is that my D is not too far from home. She's 1 1/2 hours away and she has been able to come home on weekends to visit - which has been very helpful to me and to her. I certainly wouldn't recommend choosing a college solely based on location, but we, as a family, are grateful she's not too far away. Freshman year she relished her she's the one calling me to check on things. While no one wants to go through a serious illness - I have seen incredible growth in my D's maturity and a strengthening of our family bond.</p>

<p>I wish you well with your treatments. There's an added challenge of meeting your D's needs and meeting your own needs. I wish you all the best.</p>

<p>Thak you all for reaching out. There are some great comments. My D's school was informed pretty quickly since we had a lot on our plate and I was concerned re her. There are no support groups for teens her age available, they seem to top out at about 16yo here, but she has been working a bit with the school counselor.
Chemo does get me exhausted, my treatment is very aggressive, so I parcel out my naps and plan on having more energy when its early evening, but I agree with Karen Colleges that your proof reading gets wonky.
D is aware of the diagnosis and guarded prognosis, and I keep it real. But we do laugh. At the(my) baldness, at the weird food issues, and at all the little silly things we might not have noticed before.
I guess I'm reaching out for all those great comments and the support because this is hard, and all the ideas can make it a bit less stressful.
Thanks a million. Its all good. God bless.</p>

<p>Your screen name seems to indicate you have a wonderful positive attitude! Sending many good thoughts your way.</p>

<p>yesshecan, so sorry you're having to juggle taking care of yourself and your needs as well as being there 100% for your child. My SIL battled for 4 years, and I know it was a constant challenge to take care of herself emotionally and physically and still be there for her two kids.</p>

<p>I hope she finds the perfect school for her and that you continue to find the right balance. </p>

<p>This is a wonderfully supportive group of parents, and you're welcome to share and commiserate here. My prayers are with you.</p>

<p>One thing I really appreciated was all the photos friends shared to keep me up to speed with things in D's life that I couldn't see in person. Sometimes I think pictures are worth far more than a thousand words, and I'd encourage you to ask friends whose kids are involved with activities with your daughter to take pictures and send them on. (I guess these days Facebook is probably a likely venue, if your daughter will "friend" you.)</p>

<p>Sending warm thoughts to you, and welcoming you to CC!</p>