br We family members understand each
“We family members understand each other. To be honest, life is not easy for anyone in my family. It is extremely tiring for my mother-in-law to care for my little daughter and older grandmother at home. I also feel tired caring for my hospitalized son and cannot sleep well at night. Therefore, we all appreciate each other.”
Maintaining optimistic thoughts
This theme, maintaining optimistic thoughts, refers to coping strate-gies of parents to maintain mental stability through optimistic thinking. This involves taking a favorable view of events or conditions, and expect the most favorable or positive outcome. About 24% (5/21) of parents chose to be optimistic regardless of the events encountered in their lives. Notably, a mother attempted to strengthen her optimistic view using the successful treatment experiences of other children with can-cer. In addition, a father maintained his optimistic by comparing their situation with those of Jasplakinolide having children with incurable diseases. He considered that they were much luckier.
“What I wish is that my husband's leg will recover soon and I can take good care of my son. Being alive is better than anything. Some-times I am quite optimistic. It is useless to worry every day. Some children who are younger than my child can be cured; my child also can be cured.”
Participant characteristics (n = 21).
No Interviewees/age (Y) Family structure Child's diagnosis Total days of all admissions (ds) Number of readmissions (ts) Age of child (Y)
ALL: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
“The most fortunate thing is that my child still has a chance to be cured…… We are much luckier than others. There is a silver lining that my child can be cured. Every family has its own problems, no exception.”
Seeking external support
The theme, seeking external support, describes the efforts of families to actively seek external professional and social support to cope with the challenges during the hospitalization of their children. External sup-port alleviated, to a certain extent, the psychological and financial bur-dens of families.
The subtheme, professional support, refers to supports provided by medical professionals (e.g., doctors and nurses), including informational (i.e., related to cancer, treatment, childcare, and resources) and emo-tional support.
“The first day I came here, the nurse told me that the child should eat less fatty food and fully cooked vegetables and not to eat too much fruit during chemotherapy and provided guidance for childcare. That really can relieve a lot of my burden. I talk with XX (a nurse) when I am in a bad mood and she always says something that can comfort me. Then I feel relaxed.”
“A nurse told me, ‘There is a child whose situation is similar to your daughter's, and his treatment course has almost been completed. You can talk to his parents and gain some experiences from them.’ The nurse was so kind. I appreciate what the nurse has done for my family.”
The subtheme, social support, refers to received support from rela-tives, friends, and other families in the hospital. Relatives and friends could be instrumental in childcare, financial assistance and emotional support for families during the hospitalization of children.
“I like to talk with my sister and friends. This allows me to feel re-laxed. My sister helps me a lot. I do not have to worry about prepar-ing food, renting a unit, and so on. My sister manages all these things for us.”
“My friends call me frequently. I told them my child was receiving chemotherapy. They showed concern for my child and me. They also provided financial support to my family.”