Focus on Family—Caring For a Loved One With Cancer
Tips to Help Look to the Future With Hope
If someone you love has cancer, it can feel like you're doing double duty—helping
them and nurturing a family.
Some women face the challenge of cancer themselves. But many women also share the
fight that their husbands or other loved ones are going through. A cancer diagnosis
can change a family, but change doesn't always have to be for the worse.
Focusing on family can continue to reward and inspire. Here are a few tips to consider
when caring for a loved one with cancer:
- Get the facts—and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Understanding more about
what you're fighting and what treatments are available may make a difference. This
can also help you feel more in control of a tough situation
- Keep communicating. Besides talking with friends and family, remember to meet your
loved one's doctors and nurses. Keeping track of simple things like appointments,
medication refills, and what's going on with others in the family can help your
loved one feel connected and encouraged
- Remember to look out for your own needs. You deserve space and time to yourself.
You can't nurture others if you're feeling down or tired all the time. Once a week
at least, go out for an hour and do something you really want to do. During that
time, don't feel the need to dwell on a difficult situation. Clearing your head
can help you stay focused on the future
- Write it down. When you or your loved one has a question, be sure to write it down
so neither of you forgets to ask for the guidance you need. Also, writing out your
thoughts and feelings can help you look at a situation from a new angle
Finally, remember that a family is there to support one another. If you need to
spend more time helping a loved one as they face a cancer diagnosis, someone else
in the family—a sibling or even an older child—may be able to help look after some
of the day-to-day concerns.