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Parenting at a Challenging Time

Your entire world shifts when you have children. The same is also true when you receive a cancer diagnosis.

At Rush, we recognize that cancer patients who are parents have unique needs. We see how you balance taking care of your health with the physical and emotional demands of parenting. We know that you often make medical decisions based on what’s best for your children. And we want to partner with you to help navigate certain challenges that could affect your family while you seek treatment.

Rush’s Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT) program provides free consultations to parents who have cancer and are concerned about how a diagnosis and treatment may impact their children.

Our team of clinical psychologists and a child psychiatrist will work with you and your family to promote healthy coping skills during this time of stress and change. While you may not be an expert on cancer and its effects, you are an expert on your kids. That’s why PACT is a partnership — a resource specific to your family and your treatment.

Support tailored to your family

Just as no cancer patient is the same, no child of a cancer patient has the same reactions or needs — even within the same family. Through PACT consultations, we’ll get to know your children’s individual personalities, strengths and challenges.

Based on conversations with you, we’ll personalize a plan for communicating with your children about your cancer. We’ll also discuss how to continue honest and open communication during your treatment, help children cope with potential difficulties that could occur, and recognize signs that more help may be needed.

Care when you need it

As the only PACT program in Chicago, we can meet you during any point of your cancer journey. While many families are made aware of our services shortly after diagnosis, we also recognize that needs can change throughout treatment and unexpected challenges can require additional support.

You may email or call us at (312) 947-PACT (7228) to set up your first consultation, or a Rush provider may refer you. Consultations are free and the number of meetings will be based on your and your family’s needs.

Our PACT providers are sensitive to the schedule demands of both parenting and cancer treatment. We are flexible as to when and where consultations occur, coordinating with your ongoing care schedule. We offer consultations over the phone or in person at the Rush University Cancer Center, including during treatments at the infusion center.

There’s no rule book to parenting, especially if you’re parenting with cancer. It’s our goal that you’ll be empowered and equipped to parent confidently during this challenging time.