When Cancer Affects Families with Children

Patients often post on our bulletin board about their family members’ issues surrounding mesothelioma, which can differ greatly from the patient perspective. Though we remain sensitive to the needs of the patients, caregivers and bereaved, during this year’s symposium we will also address the impact of mesothelioma in families with children (defined as being under the age of 23, including those away for college).  This session is meant for patients, their caregivers, and those who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma, who wish to explore the effects cancer has on the emotional well-being of children in their family.

The session will begin with a slide presentation, and an interactive discussion addressing concerns and questions. I have listed below a few select studies about the topic. You can review the most up-to-date Symposium agenda here and you can register for the Symposium here.

The 2010 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma will take place June 10-12, in Washington, DC.

1. Stress response symptoms in adolescents during the first year after a parent’s cancer diagnosis.
Huizinga GA, Visser A, van der Graaf WT, Hoekstra HJ, Gazendam-Donofrio SM, Hoekstra-Weebers JE.
Support Care Cancer. 2009 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 19894067 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Related articles
2. Parent-child communication patterns during the first year after a parent’s cancer diagnosis: the effect on parents’ functioning.
Gazendam-Donofrio S, Hoekstra H, van der Graaf W, van de Wiel H, Visser A, Huizinga G, Hoekstra-Weebers J.
Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;115(18):4227-37.
PMID: 19626654 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Related articles
3. Brief report: A pilot study of a web-based resource for families of children with cancer.
Ewing LJ, Long K, Rotondi A, Howe C, Bill L, Marsland AL.
J Pediatr Psychol. 2009 Jun;34(5):523-9. Epub 2008 Sep 10.
PMID: 18784185 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Related articles

Sympsoium 2009

On Friday I met up with Jeni at the Omni Hotel in Washington DC, the site of our upcomming symposium.  It is absolutely gorgeous and situated 1.5 blocks from the metro stop.  The hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool, lovely grounds to wander around and has bicyles available for guests.  The zoo is a few blocks away and as with most Washington Cultural Sites there is no admission charge.

Jeni was brimming with excitement as she was meeting with many on the hill paving the way for our visit on Advocacy Day.  She had quite the busy schedule while in DC but I am sure when she comes up for air she will tell you all about her work ont the hill and how much your advocacy day attendeance will mean to getting this legislation passed.

We have a full agenda planned for all three days and there is sure to be something for everyone.  We have leading experts from many areas and they are excited about the opportunity to share information with you as well as answer your questions regarding treatment options and latest advances in the field of mesothelioma research.

Support groups for those that have lost loved ones as well as for caregivers and mesothelioma patients will begin on Friday.  We will have a lovely ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives to this disease.  We will have an area where you can gather and socialize with old friends as well a make new ones in the mesothelioma community.

Friday will also have our first hot topics in mesothelioma roundatable discussion.  We will seat a variety of discliplines and will have an open forum to generate discussion and disceminate information that we hope will make your lives more manageable.

The Gala Dinner will take place on Friday evening a wonderful evening event to celebrate the work we have done as well as an opportunity to come together as a community and share a meal and pleasant conversation. It is an opportunity to “break break” and cement bonds with those that you have met in the past or are just recently acquainted with.

Saturday will be our more traditional science day where we have surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and an immunologist present to you the latest advances in the treatment of mesothelioma.  We will also discuss some of the exciting new national as well as multi national trials that are available to mesothelioma patients.

Hope to see you there,

~Mary Hesdorffer, NP

Click here to contact Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner or call 877.363.6376