Cancer in the Family

There is nothing positive about cancer. It is an insidious, destructive, and cruel disease that destroys lives. From diagnosis to cure or death, it is not only the patient that is affected. For every person with cancer, there is a mother, a father, a sibling, a child, a spouse, etc., that feels the pain. While there is no magical cure, there are ways to ease the pain and burden on your loved ones.

The first thing you will go through is shock. Life as you know it has ended, and you are entering a new world. Take the time to acclimatise yourself. Don’t expect to immediately know the right way to do everything. Everyone will be learning as they go, so go through it together.

Caring for someone with cancer can take a lot of time and patience. There are doctors visits, regular medication, side-effects, and the list goes on. If you are a carer for someone with cancer, helping keep track of these things is part of your job. Create a schedule a stick to it. Write all important information down so you don’t forget.

Chemotherapy and other treatments can alter taste-buds, so use this as an opportunity to try new meals and ingredients. Turn it into something enjoyable.

It can be common for those caring and living with someone with cancer to belittle their own feelings. It’s OK to feel afraid, stressed, and tired. Express yourself; don’t hold anything in. Seeing a therapist can be beneficial, freeing up your mind to deal with your new responsibilities. Being a carer, especially for a loved one with cancer, can be very lonely. Consider joining a support group where you can share your experiences. Depending on where you live, there may be local events that bring sufferers and loved ones together, helping them take their minds off of their struggles for a day.

Learning about the disease can also be a big help. There are many cancer websites that give detailed information. They explain the intricacies of the disease and the assorted medicines and treatments. A general online search will deliver hundreds – if not more – results, so take care in choosing which links to read. Not all articles are factual and helpful. Ask your doctor to refer you to a site with quality information and take the time to read through it.

Diseases like cancer can also negatively impact you financially. Appointments, medication, and treatments can all add up, giving you yet another thing to worry about. If you are the carer for someone with cancer, you may be eligible for a pension. This can not only help to cover these new costs, but lessen the pressure if the patient can no longer work and contribute an income.

While there are ways to ease the pain and burden, it is still going to be a rough time to get through. There are a lot of places eager to help, so don’t be afraid to use them.