How it affects you

One minute life is carrying on as usual. The next your child is diagnosed with cancer and your world has turned upside down. Parents often say it's as though their old life stops and a 'new life' begins.

How it affects you

You may still be struggling to take in the news. Some parents talk about everything being a 'blur' to begin with. They talk about feeling swamped with information and yet unable to take any of it in. Others describe the shock of seeing a children’s cancer ward for the first time.

When you meet with the consultant for the first time you can’t retain anything but the fact that your child has cancer.

On a practical level, life is likely to feel like an endless round of medical tests and procedures. If your child is an inpatient, you are probably still getting to grips with ward life. And, if your child has been referred to a specialist cancer hospital, you may be miles from home and family.

Each family's experience of childhood cancer is unique – from how the illness affects your child to the way family life is changed. But, whatever your experience over the coming weeks and months, you'll find there is plenty of help and support available when you need it.

Reviewed November 2015, next planned review 2016.