Cancer Affects More Than Just The Patient
As with most serious illnesses, cancer affects more than just the patient who receives the diagnosis. When someone you love gets diagnosed with breast cancer or colorectal cancer, there will be changes in your life too.
When your family member must have surgery or chemotherapy, the two most common treatments of cancer, the impact on you is also difficult. You might be in the role of caregiver for the first time. You might have trouble navigating your own feelings of loss, fear, and sadness while tending to the needs of your loved one.
Some Tips on Preparing to Support Your Loved One With Cancer
Web MD offers some suggestions to family members who are supporting someone undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer, breast cancer, or any other cancer.
Be prepared for your loved one to change
They might become moody, angry, or depressed. Your loved one might also exhibit behavior that you would not normally associate with this person.
A diagnosis of breast or colorectal cancer can be distressing and the prognosis uncertain. Chemotherapy, surgery, and other treatments can cause pain, sickness, and discomfort. All of these things can result in changes in mood and behavior.
Encourage your loved one to be independent
Help them to be active and support their wishes to make decisions and complete tasks. It is important to allow your family member to feel some sense of confidence and self-reliance, even when they depend on others for help.
Don’t forget about your own needs
You can’t be of help to your family when you are not caring for yourself. Helping someone through breast cancer treatments or colon cancer treatments can take a toll on even the most reliable caregiver. Be sure to get sleep, eat well, and take a break when you need to.
Never hesitate to ask someone else to step in for a bit and help. Ask a friend or another family member to fill in for you on a specific day or delegate some tasks to others. It will help you to recharge and stay strong, and they will likely appreciate the opportunity to be of service.
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You need to care for yourself, but, in reality, your goal is to help your family member through a tough time. Radiation treatments and chemotherapy can tax the body and mind of a cancer patient.
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