Delayed intensification Day 50: Child Life
Cancer treatment is a team effort. The oncologist is the “captain”. But there are so many more members. Social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, financial advisors…and the child life department. It may sound like an unnecessary luxury to have staff to “play” with your child. But they are so wonderful!
Child Life’s most important contribution to Scarlett’s treatment has been making her feel more comfortable. When the nurses access her port, one of the girls is there to distract Scarlett with a toy or movie or game. They stand by her side during LPs, making sure that she is still and calm. They come in and do an art project during every appointment. Most importantly, they take her mind off of what is going on and make her smile. Scarlett is always eager to do projects and make everything pink! She has been asking to do three projects at her appointments so that she can bring one home for Tate and Evie.
But Child Life is important to these “big kids” too. They are always there with advice regarding the psychological aspects of Scarlett’s care. They invite us to bring Tate and Evangeline to make sure that they are coping with the changes in our lives. They offer to visit the schools of their patients and siblings to talk about cancer and its treatment. During hospital stays, they try to spend an hour with Scarlett so that we can get something to eat or just get away for a few minutes.
March is Child Life month. So we want to take a moment to thank Miss Ashley, Miss Kristin, Miss Cat, Miss Becky and all of the other Child Life staff out there. I hope that we can continue to donate toys and art supplies to them every year. They have made cancer treatment a little happier!