Hearing the words “I have cancer” from a close friend or family member can cause our hearts to skip a beat. It can be challenging to know how to respond, and we may be nervous about saying or doing the wrong thing – unfortunately, often resulting in distancing ourselves from the individual with cancer as a result of our own distress.
Naturally, what someone with cancer will need more than anything is a strong network of support. Grace Home Care’s expert Topeka caregivers share the following ideas to relieve the difficulties surrounding providing care for those with cancer, enabling you to feel more confidence, less anxiousness, and to develop a stronger bond with your loved one.
Permit Yourself Time to Adjust
A diagnosis of cancer can be life-altering, and although it goes without saying that the individual who was diagnosed requires time to process this news, his/her loved ones also will need adequate time to prepare and empower themselves to be able to offer the best level of support. First and foremost, learning as much as possible about your loved one’s particular type of cancer is very helpful in knowing what he/she will be facing in the weeks ahead, such as treatment plans, side effects, and changes in appearance and mood. Next, try to place yourself in your loved one’s shoes. You may not have ever been diagnosed with cancer, but remembering a time when you were sick, injured, or afraid can help you figure out what might have brought you the most comfort.
Deciding what to say to a loved one during this time may be one of the most overwhelming roles for friends and family members. Bear in mind that it’s completely acceptable to let the person know you’re at a loss for words, and oftentimes your presence is more than enough. Letting the person know you care and that you’re readily available to listen and provide help in whatever way he or she needs is a wonderful place to begin, and let your loved one describe what he or she needs from there.
How to Help
Apart from serving as a compassionate presence for your loved one with cancer, try making specific suggestions of tasks you’d like to assist with when needed, like picking up groceries, helping with household chores, preparing meals, or providing transportation to medical treatments and appointments.
Providing the assistance of a skilled in-home caregiver, such as those at Grace Home Care, is a helpful solution as well, allowing your loved one time to rest and spend quality time with loved ones, while remaining safe and well cared for at home. Our dedicated, professional Topeka caregivers are here to care for individuals struggling with cancer, and we’re on hand for as much or as little help is needed. Contact us at 785.286.CARE to learn more.