This section helps with support materials, questions, and conversation starters to continue discussing topics discussed within the book – “The Bug Who Thought He Lost His Buzz -What Happens When the Big Bad Beast Stings”. Please note: The list may not be a comprehensive list of support materials, but is a starter kit derived of materials from my own experience volunteering with children with cancer.
(REFERENCE AND SUPPORT TOOLS): Disclaimer: Although the Watts Bugging You Team recommends the below sites, we are not responsible for sentiments and information contained within the sites. Also, please note your medical provider may be able to provide you additional resources available within your location.
Watts Bugging You Website: www.wattsbuggingyou.com
• St. Jude Caregiver Resources: http://www.stjude.org/caregiverresources
• Comfort Zone Camp: http://www.comfortzonecamp.org/grief-resources/resourcepartners
• GriefNet.org: http://www.griefnet.org/support/sg2.html
(FOUNDATIONS WHICH HELP WITH CHILDREN”S WISHES AND MORALE):
• Kids Wish Network: http://kidswishnetwork.org/wishes/waiting-on-a-wish/
• Make a Wish Foundation: http://wish.org/
• Starlight Children’s Foundation: http://www.starlight.org/
(QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CHILD)
• Did you understand the story? What questions do you have?
• What if I said like Bugsy you have ______ (your child’s diagnosis)? Like Bugsy, does this make you feel
angry, sad, scared, ok, etc? (Show pictures of happy, sad, angry….)
• For 5-7 year olds, you can ask on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being I am minimally ____(ex. scared) to 5 being
I am extremely ____ (ex. scared) – how would you rate how you’re feeling?
• What are you the most scared about? What are you the most upset about? What are you feeling ok about?
• How can I best help you?
• Anything you would like us to pray about?
• Any additional questions or reactions you have?
(COMMON QUESTIONS YOUR CHILD MAY ASK)
• Why are you sad or angry?
• Why am I not feeling very good?
• Why am I not at home or going to school?
• How sick am I?
• What is going to happen?
• How long will I be at the hospital?
• What if I’m scared?
• Where are my brother(s) or sister(s)?
• Why did God let me get sick?
• Why is God not healing me?
• Is God mad at me?
• Has God forgotten about me?
(GOOD THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR SICK CHILD)
• You will always be there for your child. They are not alone. Together you will fight the sickness as a
• Discuss your specific situation with siblings, school, etc. If siblings are visiting or your child will
receive school activities while at the hospital, let them know.
• All feelings are ok. The important part is everyone in the family being honest and open about their feelings.
• It is ok for your child to ask questions. You may not always have the answers, but let them know you can
find the answers through conversations with the medical team, other families, prayer, etc.
• Some days your child will feel sicker than other days. This is expected. The important part is to be there
and for your child to let everyone know when they are having a bad day.
• Let your child know it is ok to pray, ask God questions, and to be angry or scared. God wants to hear
everything your child has to say. God will listen whether your child talks to him, draws a picture, etc.
• You might be in the hospital for a while, but let your child know they will be at the hospital until they
get better and the Dr. says they can go home.
• The medical team wants to help. It is important to listen and do what the medical team tells your child to
do (even if the medicine is at times yucky) so they can get better. Ask for juice or whatever will assist
with the medicine. Most of the medicines now have a better taste to them or are administered through your
child’s port. Please note: it is also ok to ask the medical team questions or share concerns if your child
is not reacting as you expected.
• Tell your child they are sick, but you believe they will get better. You will be there for both the good
and bad days. As a family, you will take the sickness one day at a time.
• Expect there may be changes in your child emotionally, spiritually, and physically and find whatever
assistance they need from counselors, therapists, chaplains, etc. Remember it is human if your child gets
depressed, angry, etc. Don’t have your child mask their feelings. Also, allow your child to grieve how they
personally grieve for having to cope with this sickness.
• Let your child know God has not left them. God restores things; all of history points to a God who can make
good out of bad. Examples include: bringing families together or making them closer, touching lives through
your child’s story, long-term friendships created, building internal strength and tenacity, etc.
• Sometimes the devil attacks and bad things happen on this Earth, but God is always there. He cries when we
• God is the only one who can answer the question why, but he has an answer for everything. We may not like
his answer, but have to trust in God and God’s plan.
(GOOD THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH SIBLINGS)
• They are loved just as much as the sick child
• You will try to make their lives as normal as possible (It is important as caretakers you make an effort to
accomplish this – make sure they still attend activities, you go to performances or games, try to spend 1:1
time with them, let them spend time with friends, etc.)
• The sick child will receive gifts from family and friends. When possible, buy small tokens for siblings such
as candy, movie tickets, etc. so they also feel important.
• Remind them their lives remain important to you. You want to know their progress in school, homework
questions, about practices, etc. (This is tough to accomplish, but know families later on who regretted not
being present for their non-sick children during their other child’s illness)
• Communicate to them like you communicate to the sick child – it is ok to ask questions, you want all of your
children to be open with their feelings, let them know God hasn’t left, etc.
• It is no one’s fault this happened. The important part is to handle the situation together as a family.
• Don’t make your child quit anything they’re good at or want to do. Ask for help or let people help with
carpooling to practices.
• Also, ask for help if your child needs help with school or tutoring.
• Remember, this is difficult for siblings and they are also scared of what is going to happen. Try to not
keep siblings in the dark and get them counseling help if they need it.
• Expect there may be changes in personality, school, activities, etc. Keep up with coaches, teachers, etc. to
make sure everything is ok. If there are behavioral changes, work with the proper resources to help. Allow
your children to have different feelings and to grieve how they grieve.
(ACTIVITIES I SAW FAMILIES DO WHICH HELPED)
• Create a cheer against the terminal illness
• Decorate the hospital room. Do something cool such as glow in the dark stars or a collage.
• Select a prayer verse or an inspirational quote everyday
• Celebrate holidays or events even if they are not on the exact day (ex. Dress up, sing songs, give gifts,
• Plan various celebrations and milestones from a month of recovery, completing the surgery, etc. (actually
celebrate with a cupcake, noisemakers, etc.)
• Create regular activities to look forward to (game or movie night, etc.)
• Allow people to help (ex. Cut your grass, be part of a car pool, make dinners, help with homework, etc.) and
talk about it as a family. It will give you something positive to talk about. Most families told me they
hated asking for help at the beginning, but it was truly a blessing
• Place count-down charts on the wall (ex. The # of days until you get to leave the hospital)
• Participate in an activity as a family (Some of the examples I saw at the hospital: Writing notes to other
families, making blankets or hats for babies in the NICU, creating care packages for new families or care
jars for the children, etc.)
• Allow different practitioners to work with your child and their siblings – art therapists, care dogs, etc.
Some of these non-medical treatments help with morale, expression, etc.; which helps with the road to
• Get involved in events at the hospital (go to the arts and craft room, attend family lunches, participate in
support groups, create care jewelry, etc.)
• Sign up for wish programs such as “Make A Wish”. Again, something to look forward to.
• Attend camps – there are camps for both siblings and the terminally ill child. I’ve heard great things about
camps and the support they provide both the sick child and his or her siblings.
• Join support groups and find appropriate support groups for everyone in the family.
• Lie in bed with your sick child and cuddle. Touch is an important part of emotional and physical healing.
Also, allow siblings to lie in bed with the sick child.
• Try to do silly activities (ex. Mad Libs) so everyone can laugh or have everyone in the family talk about
big dreams outside of the sickness. Both laughter and positive visualization helps with healing.
• Keep normal routines as much as possible. If as a family you watched a certain television show or you did
certain things at bed time – continue the routine. Your child will appreciate the normalcy.
• If your child is well enough, it is good to exercise their minds. Talk to the hospital about the floor
educator partnering with your child’s school to keep up with school work. If they are not ready for school
work, you can still do things to make them think such as watch and talk about the news, do crossword puzzles
together, read books together, etc.
• If your child is well enough, it is good to exercise their bodies. Even if it is minimal exercise, roll a
ball to them, dance (you can still dance in bed), make baskets on a door hoop, etc.
(BIBLE VERSES TO CONSIDER BY TOPIC AREA)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our pain, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any pain, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or walk away from you.
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all who are stressed and sad, and I will give you rest. Take my burden upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will guide you.
Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may build you up and glorify you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 …Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything give prayer with thanks and let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which is above all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds.
Psalms 18:6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. He heard my voice and my cry reached his ears.
Psalms 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust him. Let your love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain.
Hope in God’s Plan:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven
Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:17 We suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God
(PRAYER EXAMPLES BY TOPIC AREA)
As a parent, it is difficult to watch your child suffer with _____. Please God wrap your arms around my child and our hearts as we continue to fight against _____. We know it is a difficult road ahead of us, but please let us know you are here. Please give us comfort in your plan no matter what your plan may be. Of course, we ask for healing and recovery, but we want what you know is best for our child. Please give us the strength to make it through another day. We love You. Amen.
(Surgery or Treatment)
As you know today, ___, is going through surgery (or ___ treatment). We ask that you watch over ____ and with your grace (he/she) makes it through this surgery (or ___) and is headed towards recovery. We realize this may only be one more step towards healing, but we ask you are holding my child’s hand and you don’t leave (his/her) side. We also ask you are here for us with patience and comfort to be the rock ___ needs right now. We Love You. Amen.
_____ is really sick right now. Please give him/her the strength they need to battle the pain and come out victorious. Please give us peace to help ___ through (his/her) pain. I know with you all things are possible. We Love You. Amen.
Unfortunately, we do not always have all of the answers. ____ is fearful right now and I want to comfort (him/her). God, can you give me the knowledge and wisdom to provide my child with the comfort they need? We Love You. Amen.
Right now I have a lot of fear of the unknown. Can you help me in this time of need? Can you help me find the answers? Can you help me be strong for my child and my family? Thank you God for your never-ending love. We Love You. Amen.
As you know, we did not receive good news today. Our hearts are broken, but know we can lean on you for support. Please God keep us really close and give us the hope we need to keep moving forward. Give us a sign of your never-ending love. We Love You. Amen.
Lately, the burdens have been tremendous, but we have also seen your blessings through the darkness. There have been victories, although small at times, there have been victories. We thank you for every victory. We also thank you for those who continue to support us on this journey. We Love You. Amen.
With so much happening, I don’t want to miss what is important for my family. Please God keep my eyes and ears open to hear the needs of all my children and my spouse. Give me the time and energy which is needed to provide light into their lives. Let me be there when they need me. Don’t let me walk away or ignore them in their time of need. We Love You. Amen.
I don’t want to be sick. Can you help me get better from _____? Thanks God.
I don’t know what is happening and I am scared. Can you help me? Thanks God.
Can you help my family not be so sad? I want this all to be better. Thanks God.
(Not Feeling Good)
I feel really, really sick and I don’t like it. Can you make me feel better? Thanks God.
(Not Able to Do What I Love to Do Right Now)
I miss many things I use to do. I miss _, _, and __. Can you help me not be sad and to get better soon? Thanks God.
(Leave the Hospital)
I want to go home. Can you help me get well soon? Thanks God.
I don’t like my medicine. It tastes yucky. Can you make my medicine taste better? Thanks God.
(Day by Day)
Can you help me with what’s happening today? Can you make me strong to fight the ___ and do what I need to do to get better? Thanks God.
Thank you for loving me and being my friend. Thanks God.
(BIBLE STORIES TO READ AND DISCUSS WITH YOUR FAMILY ABOUT SICKNESS OR BATTLING LIFE’S BATTLES).
In each of the stories, ask how the story relates to you, what you’ve learned, and what are your take-aways?
• 2 Corinthians 12:7-12:10
• Isaiah 53:4-53:5
• John 4:46-4:54
• James 5:13-5:16
• John 9:1-9:7
• John 11:1-11:10
• 2 Kings 20:1-20:11
• Luke 17:11-17:19
• Mark 5:25-5:34
• Matthew 8:1-8:10
• Matthew 8:16-8:17
• 1 Peter 2:11-2:25
• Philippians 2:25-2:30
• Psalms 6:1-6:10
• Psalms 46:1-46:11
• Romans 8:24-39