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Are the Kids All Right? 26 W IN TER 2016 The Silver Lining Two years after her diagnosis, Perrier finished her surgeries and treatments. Follow-up exams every two years since have not shown any signs of cancer; she is now 49. She points to her husband's support as a key factor in coping. "I never felt alone," she says. And friends and family also made a lasting difference. "Some people reached out because they wanted to help but couldn't think of a good way to help. But that counted," she says. While battling cancer can be overwhelming, survivors and their families often point to positive outcomes like better relationships and a new attitude toward life. "A cancer diagnosis brings into perspective your role within the family and as a partner," Cannady says. While stressful, she says, "it's also an opportunity to re-evaluate your relationships and find ways to grow and bond. A lot of times people reprioritize, and the illness experience can be very beneficial for the relationship quality and for a perspective on life in general." ■ PHOTO BY WESTEND61/GLOW IMAGES Parents are often unsure about what to tell children regarding a cancer diagnosis in the family, or how best to communicate. Keep your information age-appropriate, but don't shy away from the word "cancer." Your kids will overhear it somewhere-from a friend's parent, from neighbors, when you think they are out of earshot-so it's better that they hear it from you first. Try to find out what they know and encourage them to come to you with their questions and concerns. Don't forget to talk to your children about their lives outside of the cancer experience. "When children have a parent going through serious treatment, they may not feel as though they can come home and share the normal struggles of childhood," Cannady says. On the other hand, giving children age-appropriate responsibilities can help them feel included. Ask your kids to do their own laundry or to sit with the family member who has cancer while you run errands, for example. From the beginning, be sure to tell your child's school what's going on. "Teachers are with your kids all day long," Binda says. "They will see if there are changes or if kids are acting out."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Cover3
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