Families who is experiencing a parent with breast cancer goes through difficult changes in their lives. During this difficult time there are many role changes. In most cases the child takes on the parenting role and the parent takes on the child role, becoming the needy or dependent family member. Task that are usually performed by the parent (cooking, cleaning, laundry) are now not done at all, done by someone outside the immediate family, or done by the child. Every family, like every patient is an individual unit with its own way of living and dealing with difficult situations, which can become dysfunctional (Harpham, 2001). Emotions are very abnormal in a household that is dealing with cancer. Sometimes the parent that is suffering from cancer emotions varies from day to day; sometimes having bad days and sometimes having good days. Also, the children that are taking care of the parent become stress out and their emotions vary as well. Even though, a disease like cancer brings trying times for all, the amount of stress level this sickness conveys is very high. Cancer brings a lot of confusion, anger and resentments to families that may have appeared to be “perfect” before the disease arrived.
It is definite that cancer can turn a family’s life and world upside down. Most people, especially women move through life thinking there in control of their destiny. However, a diagnosis of cancer can dramatically disrupt our attitudes and lives. Not only the cancer patient, but also the whole family can feel vulnerable because cancer often forces a family to take a hard look at itself. The strength and weakness of a family shows themselves in the way family members get along with each other, communicate, confront life’s difficulties and help each other (Goldman, 1999).
Impacts of the Family Life Cycle 3
The family life cycle is impacted by six different stages. The first stage is leaving home: single young adults. Young adults who are ready to leave home may not do so because they are too worried about the cancer stricken parent. Leaving the home would do them no good because they may drop by the house two or three times a day or may be obsessed over what mom is doing or how she is feeling, that they would not go on to lead a healthy life. Also, they may be such a big contributor to the household, paying bills, maintenance the house, or keeping up with lawn service they may fear these things will go undone if they are not around. It also impact the child from leaving home because he/she may be so worried about what will happened to the “parent” if they do not have twenty-four hour access to the home like they did before moving out. Some of those worries can include, who will make sure mother takes her medicine, who will cook for mother, what happens if mother is home alone and she gets sick; thoughts like that can consume someone thoughts.
The second stage is joining of families’ through marriage: the new...