Caregivers Can Help Cancer Patients and Survivors Stay Healthy
If you are a cancer caregiver, you have spent time and effort tending to your friend or loved one with cancer. You have probably driven them to chemotherapy or radiation, provided meals or childcare, and sent gifts to help them endure the aftermath of cancer treatments. You have likely been a much-needed source of emotional support as well.
If all goes well, one day, your friend or loved one will get better, enter remission, or even be completely free of cancer. Reaching this goal is a milestone. But as a caregiver, you have a lot invested in their recovery and want to ensure they take proper care of themselves when the opportunity arises. When you are no longer a hands-on caregiver, how can you help keep your friend healthy and happy?
The American Cancer Society Offers Healthy Living Tips
One thing you can do is share some tips offered by the American Cancer Society. These suggestions can help a cancer patient, and, with any luck, a cancer survivor stays healthy.
- Achieve/Maintain a healthy weight – It is vital that patients undergoing cancer treatments maintain a healthy weight. During recovery from cancer, consider speaking with your doctor about achieving a healthy weight and/or maintaining it. Whether you need to lose weight or gain weight after cancer, do so under medical supervision so you can reach your goal safely.
- Be active – Physical activity is essential to maintaining health. Ask your doctor if you may exercise safely and how. Regular exercise can help ease the physical and emotional side effects of cancer and treatments. The American Cancer Society states that “Physical activity after diagnosis is linked to living longer and a reduced risk of cancer returning among people living with breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancer – among other forms of the disease.”
- Eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet is connected to a reduced risk of many cancers. Diets of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, fish, and poultry are good. Cancer patients and survivors should avoid eating processed meat, fried food, red meat, and high-fat dairy products. Taking vitamins and supplements may not be suitable for cancer patients or survivors. Checking with the doctor before consuming them is best.
- Go to the doctor – it is surprising how many cancer patients in remission or recovery do not go to regular screenings. Make sure your friend goes to appointments recommended by the doctor. Follow up is essential to making sure any recurrence gets caught early. Also, people who survive cancer can get other forms of new cancers and be examined like everyone else.
- Create a survivor plan – creating a plan with the doctor can help understand what to do and where to go after finishing cancer treatments. Get medical records or a summary of treatments and determine where to go if you need medical attention.
- Take care of emotional health – spend time doing ordinary things with family and friends. It might take time to feel normal. A support group of cancer survivors, people in remission, or those getting treatment can be beneficial.
Don’t Stop Caring When Your Friend of Loved One Finishes Cancer Treatments
If you have made it this far, it shows that you are the best of caregivers. You have made sure that your friend or loved one has tackled cancer and treatments with support, courage, and compassion. But don’t stop now!
Now that you know what it takes to battle cancer think about other people in your life who could use a boost during treatment. We all know multiple people with breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. Many of them are getting chemo and radiation to help eradicate the disease. Consider reaching out to offer help to one of them. You can make a difference in many lives.
Let Rock the Treatment Send Them a Cancer Gift Box
If someone you love has cancer, send them a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.