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Post-traumatic stress isn't just a problem for soldiers returning from battle. It can also affect family members of cancer patients - even more so if the patient is young.

When Sammy Bradly began falling asleep at baseball practice, he knew something was wrong.

I just, like, wasn't feeling the same. I didn't feel like me, Sammy said.

The diagnosis: AML leukemia.

Honestly I pretty much fell to my knees and blacked out, said Annie Bradly, Sammy s mom.

Sammy had six months of chemo.

I met a lot of people in the hospital and I was the only one to walk away alive, Sammy said.

He lost his best friend Noxah to cancer.

He's the only person I knew that would understand how I felt, said Sammy.

Four years later, the scars remain.

I know that these guys don't know, but there's days where I can just start crying for no reason at all, said Annie.

Intense fear still plagues her.

What do I do? We're okay. But are we okay? You know, she said.

Pediatric psychologist Dr. Anne Kazak says these symptoms are more common in parents than people know.

It might be bad dreams, nightmares. It might also just be that you're walking down the street and all of the sudden you are back in that moment, said Dr. Kazak.

One study of 171 mothers and fathers of cancer patients found all but one had symptoms related to PTSD, something Dr. Kazak says affects about one in three parents.

Her best advice: focus on what you can control.

It's almost never helpful to worry too much in advance, said Dr. Kazak.

Find support.

Sort of reflect on the fact that you are in a war, you know, against cancer, Dr. Kazak said.

A fight Sammy's family accepts.

It's just a huge part of who I am today, said Sammy.

For parents dealing with traumatic stress symptoms, relaxation techniques such as visualization, deep breathing, yoga and meditation may be helpful.

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