Living with leukemia

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Learn about challenges you and your child will face during their leukemia treatment.

Key points

  • Children being treated for leukemia face emotional challenges, but their diagnoses can also affect their siblings, parents and caregivers.

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will face similar emotional obstacles, but their treatment duration and intensity can impact them and their family differently.

Taking care of a child with leukemia has a huge impact on everyone in your family: your child who has leukemia, their siblings, you, your partner and other caregivers. It can also affect relationships between family members and with those outside the family. It is important for you and your family to know that there is nothing that you could have done to cause or prevent your child from developing leukemia.

Once your child is diagnosed, many different feelings may come up during the course of treatment. All children face similar emotional challenges while being treated for leukemia. However, your child’s leukemia experience may vary depending on whether they have acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This is because of differences in the length and intensity of treatment, and time spent in and out of the hospital. For ALL, your child receives a longer treatment as an outpatient. Children with AML receive a shorter, more intense treatment while in hospital.

Whether your child has ALL or AML, eating healthy foods is part of their treatment plan. During this time, your child may face particular eating and nutritional issues, among other new obstacles. Members of your child’s health care team can help you and your child overcome nutritional, emotional, and other challenges you come up against.

Last updated: March 6th 2018