Family Functioning Research Program (FFRP)

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When Mommy or Daddy Get Cancer: A Cancer Parenting Program

You have cancer.  In addition to questions you have about your health, you may also be wondering about the best way to handle the cancer with your children.  When Mommy or Daddy Get Cancer is a program designed to assist you in helping your 5 to 12 year old with your cancer.

The program includes ways you can:

  • Enhance communication with your child in talking about your cancer
  • Draw out your child’s feelings and concerns about your cancer
  • Support your child and decrease stress related to your cancer

This program was created in response to parents telling us about the challenges they experienced in responding to their child during treatment for cancer.

We are offering this program in two ways: in person at one of our clinic sites.  If traveling to one of our sites presents a commuting hardship for you, this program can be delivered by telephone.

The When Mommy or Daddy Get Cancer Parenting Program is offered through the School of Nursing at the University of Washington.  Patient educators are nurse clinicians experienced with working with families. 

The When Mommy or Daddy Get Cancer is available at no charge and offers:

  • Five 1 to 1 ¼ hour sessions at two week intervals with a patient educator.
  • A Parent’s Workbook to lead you through carefully developed skill-building activities.
  • A specially designed interactive booklet for you to read together with your child about your cancer.
  • Access to your patient educator 12 hours a day, 7 days a week during the program.

The When Mommy or Daddy Get Cancer is available to parents who have a 5 to 12 year old and who are:

  • Diagnosed with early stage cancer of any type, including melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia, prostate or colorectal or breast cancer.
  • Within 7 months of diagnosis
  • Living in the Pacific Northwest

For more information about this program, please call:

Mary Ellen Shands, RN, MN at 206 685-0837 or email ffrp@u.washington.edu.

(Please remember that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail.)