SUPPORT DURING CANCER TREATMENT - THE CARE GIVERS
Living with cancer will have its ups and downs with the inevitable healing crisis happening now and then. The healing process oftentimes offers a severe test for even the most committed patient. Compassionate and reliable caregiver support is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of the cancer patient. Many a times, they are the lifeline.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the patient is not the only one whose life will be affected. Life also changes for those who care about and love him/her.
Who are the caregiver(s)?
Normally, the main caregiver is a spouse, partner, or an adult child. However, when family is not around, close friends, co-workers, or neighbors may also fill this role. Unless the caregivers have a medical degree, nursing or other healthcare background, chances are they don’t know how to care for a cancer patient.
How can the caregivers support in the cancer treatment process?
1. Be as knowledgeable as possible
By learning about the type of cancer - its stage, treatment options, and side effects — you will know what to expect and how to deal with it. Sometimes the cancer patient may be too overwhelmed to read up on the disease, therefore it is up to the caregiver to read up as much as possible on the disease and its cures.
2. Build a healing partnership with the patient
Once the patient decides on the treatment options – respect his/her decision. Disagreement within the family about the most appropriate treatment options for the patient can cause excessive stress for both patients and caregivers, resulting in diminished quality of life.
3. Help the patient to live as normal a life as possible
Enable him/her to continue with his/her favorite activities and hobbies whenever possible.
4. Emotional support
Some of the cancer patients can become overly anxious, fearful or depressed. Provide them the emotional support such as listening, empathy, well- focused counseling and simply being available to talk through sadness, fear, anxiety and other emotional issues that may arise.
5. Physical support
Cancer patients often need a lot of physical help during their illness. The amount of physical assistance depends on the stage of cancer, the symptoms, the side effects of the cancer treatment and the attitude of the patient. Some physical assistance includes toilet usage, eating, changing bed position, mobility and use of medical equipment.
Help the patient to obtain the best nutrition intake during healing. These include shopping for fresh organic food and subsequently juicing and preparing the food (these can be extremely demanding for the cancer patient especially if they have to do it themselves).
6. Be with the patient when undergoing treatment
It is important for the caregiver to be upbeat and motivated. Such support helps patient to attain the best possible results from their treatment. By stepping into the role of caregiver, you're offering him/her the incredible gift of having someone to turn to in a difficult time.
Inspiring quotes for caregivers
The love we give away is the only love we keep.- Elbert Hubbard
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.- Sir Winston Churchill
From caring comes courage.- Lao Tzu
The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest meaning and significance. - Pablo Casals
To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. - Tia Walker
It’s not the load that gets you down, it’s the way you carry it - Lena Horne
Love and kindness are never wasted, they always makes a difference. They bless the ones who receive them, and they bless you, the giver - Barbara De Angeles
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart -- Helen Keller