Q. Are there support groups geared towards grandparents of a child with cancer?

A.

While there may not be a local support group geared specifically toward grandparents of children with cancer, it is probably worth inquiring about caregiver support groups at your grandchild’s treatment center. At CancerCare, a grandparent whose grandchild has been diagnosed with cancer is eligible for any of our caregiving groups, whether in-person, over the telephone or online.

Like other caregivers, grandparents are likely to have a hard time adjusting to their grandchild’s diagnosis. You may need a place to express intense emotions, including fear, anger, sadness or grief in the presence of people who have had a similar experience. A support group can also be a place to exchange helpful information on coping and various other means of supporting oneself and one’s family.

Whether or not you find an accessible support group that specifically matches your demographic, it can be very helpful to connect with other people who care for a person with cancer. If there are no support groups in your area, perhaps you can organize an informal group that meets at a church or community senior center.

This booklet by the British organization The Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, is a useful guide to grandparents of young children with cancer, and includes information on various ways support yourself, your children and your grandchildren in reacting and adjusting to your grandchild’s diagnosis.

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