The time after a child or young adult is diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder is undoubtedly filled with strong emotions, questions and worry for the entire family.

You, your child and family members may experience a wide range of feelings. There may be fear one minute and anger the next. Or maybe your child is too young to comprehend what is happening. That is difficult, too. There are many things you can do, however, to work through the initial shock, fear and concern, and there are many places you can turn to learn and prepare for the best possible outcomes.

At first, you may find yourself searching for a cause of your child's cancer or blood disorder. Exact causes, however, usually prove elusive and often, there are no clear medical answers to explain these diseases.

You might look back and question whether you could have done anything differently to prevent your child's cancer or blood disorder.

Rather than expend energy on such tough questions, it may be helpful to focus your energies on what you can do from this day forward to support the health and mental wellbeing of your child, yourself and your family.

Most importantly, know your child and your family are not alone. Your thoughts and feelings are normal and reflected in those of other families who have faced cancer.

Try to lean on your own family members and friends for support and know there are many community and medical resources at your disposal.

In addition, The American Cancer Society has a wide variety of resource materials on cancer topics.

Call toll-free to 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit:

Contributing sources: American Cancer Society, Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.