Helpful Advice For Cancer Caregivers

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					Helpful Advice For Cancer Caregivers
Loving someone who has cancer means going through the disease with them; when they hurt, you
hurt and giving of yourself and strength will see them through the painful and scary ordeal they are
facing. This tremendous burden can be overwhelming despite your actions being motivated by love.
Don't forget to keep your own strength up, and keep taking care of you so that you are free to help
your loved one. Read over the following ways you can enable yourself as a cancer caregiver.

1. Have a team. Get to know doctors, nurses and cancer counselors all very well. Consider yourself a
member of this professional team and be proactive for your loved one. If he or she has a question or
concern, make certain it is promptly addressed. You are an advocate, a voice, an educator and
probably the saving grace for your loved one; being an active member of this capable and caring
team will facilitate your ability to go above and beyond when meeting this challenge.

2. Learn all you can about the caring process, treatments and procedures. Being prepared for side-
effects, knowing full-well what is involved with each element of treatment and understanding the role
you play is vital to your ability to help. By educating yourself beforehand, you can anticipate actions,
supplies and schedules, to make the entire process go more smoothly for everyone involved. Have a
good book on hand that was written by caring people who have already been through what all of you
are now facing.

3. Stay positive but be aware of how you are truly feeling. Even if you are feeling down, you put on a
happy face, but this practice can mask your own feelings from you. Have regular thinking session
where you identify your emotions, their weight and the significant impact they have on your
psychological well-being. Even though you must be strong for your loved one, you still must be self-
nurturing and able to withstand the enormous emotional strain that caring for someone with cancer
puts on you.

4. Communicate honestly with your loved one. Don't make it a habit of withholding vital information
from the person with cancer; they need to know what is going on with their disease and what to
expect from life. Although it can be excruciatingly difficult to be honest under these conditions, your
loved one deserves the truth and the opportunity to prepare for it.
5. Try enjoyable activities far removed from the illness. When possible, take your loved one to a
special dinner, shopping or the recital of a child in the family, for example. Treatment is draining, and
so is the plain fact that you have cancer. Offer as many fun and distracting activities as circumstances
permit. If time is limited for your loved one, make a bucket-list and have the time of your lives getting
everything on it done.

Being a cancer caregiver is both rewarding and draining at the same time. Your cause is noble and
services necessary, but the entire experience can really take a toll on you. Make sure you take good
care of yourself during this time, as well as your loved one with cancer.

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