Here are some tips for cancer patient family and friends of a cancer patient which helps them to deal with unforeseen beyond just what to ask the doctor.
Family and friends have a real hard time receiving cancer news for their loved ones. Acceptance of the real situation of what a cancer patient is going through is much harder. Providing mental strength to a cancer patient at the same time is beyond just being sad, agitated and confused.
1. Immediate expression of your feeling or aggression will exaggerate the situation. Instead, try to be calm and assertive in your response.
2. Communicate freely with the doctor when you go on a visit. Go with the goal to have clarity on treatment, medication and patient care.
3. You have to be ready for cycles of mood change with the patient. Discomfort with chemotherapy side effects, stress and slow routine makes cancer patient depress and furious.
4. Find a support group for cancer patient that helps them to be emotionally stable. Feel at ease by sharing and hearing stories about journey of another person. Support group helps bonding patient with each other and keep them going through all the emotional difficulty of therapy.
5. Family members should also enroll him/she in a support group so that they become realistic about their own needs, is energetic to look after themselves as well as patient. It is hard to give help if you are physically exhausted.
6. Positive attitude is a must. You have to be very supportive and accepting to all the new changes observe in patient and defy him from being angry, depressed or passive.
7. Palliative care is very important for patient – do not take it lightly. Leaving patient in between therapy time leaves a long term emotional scar. Many times patient leaves the hope of living so a constant motivation and patient engagement is a must during this period.
8. Eat a balanced meal, stay fit, and exercise regularly to remain stress free. Avoid support of alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
9. If you feel exhausted despite all the efforts, ask help from other family member, they will be happy to help you. Hire a full time nurse if you are struggling between job and home.
10. Interact regularly with patient and their doctor this will help you in learning more and more disease / recovery process and you will be prepared to handle the tough situation if any surfaces.
Before you join any cancer support group for patient, get details about activities, therefore you can see progressive changes in patient, handle routine without frequent breakdown. Support groups provide a friendly environment for the cancer patients to open up about their condition, feel hopeful and manage emotions. Also, support groups do not work for every patient, so be careful about selection.
I know it is better done than said, but all the above tips for cancer patient family will help you in the patient care and see the happiness on your loved ones face.