One of the common childhood cancers currently affecting those under the year of 21 is the one that presents with a Wilms tumor. Unlike other childhood cancers, these kinds of tumors usually does not occur before the age of three, yet because of its strategic location in the kidneys treatment must be immediate, radical, and often supported by dialysis.
Since at this age group of the involved children the family dynamics are already put in place, quite often the sudden need for various appointments, surgeries, extended hospital stays, and also dialysis greatly impacts a familys schedule.
Starts with a Normal Checkup
The whirlwind of activity usually begins when a first hard mass is detected during a normal checkup and further tests are ordered. From there the roundup is underway and the parent will have a hard time returning to work or even provide the kind of care other children in the family require.
Respite care is a must have in this situation even when the prognosis is excellent for the affected child. Such kind of care enables the parent to be at the childs bedside while at the same time meeting the needs of siblings and also just getting a bit of a breather.
Respite Care for Parents
Respite care for parents of children undergoing Wilms tumor treatments is sometimes complicated by the kind of care the patient is receiving. Although surgery is the accepted form of treatment in all cases, there is sometimes the need for a surgery that is combined with chemotherapy. Depending on the childs age, this needs to become an inpatient procedure.
Since usually the entire affected kidney is removed, the need for round the clock care is imperative. Even after the child comes home, the appointments which must be kept quite often include radiation, especially when there is a chance of spreading. In such instances the parent will not only deal with the time constraints but also the in home care of a child sickened by the treatments.
Although respite care cannot address the medication issues involved in this tumor therapy, the respite care worker for this kind of eventuality is usually well trained in dealing with young cancer patients and their reactions to the medications involved.
This expertise frees up the parent to leave the home for brief periods of time and know that the child is in the best hands even though it is not a parent caregiver who is providing care at that time.
When early detection of the cancer did not happen, surgery is not indicated and instead of treating the Wilms tumor with kidney removal, chemotherapy and also radiation treatments are indicated.
It is then that the side effects threaten to wreak havoc and a parent must enlist the help of a respite worker to retain her or his sanity and also continue to keep up the schedule of treatments and the tending to the child.
The respite worker is trained to interact with a child in this stage of cancer treatment and without overstepping the boundaries will provide care that outwardly may resemble babysitting, but when properly examined is actually a lot more nursing although that is not truly an aspect of respite than simply watching the child.