The world is threatened by the deadly disease in its various forms. The C word sends shivers down the spine and fears in the heart thinking about the pain, trauma, treatment and survival fears. Today, Cancer has become more common and its various types effect lot many of us due to the life style habits, genetic disorders and for no reasons as well.
The requirements of cancer patients are taken care by the medical treatment and the families and caretakers who stand by them during the days of turmoil. However, in this journey, the care-givers are also equally effected, being emotionally, physically and financially drained.
Few tips for Cancer Care Givers
1. Take the much needed 'me' time.
It is ok to take sometime with your rest and hobbies and keep yourself occupied with other things than the responsibility as care giver. It will help you handle things much better.
2. Learn about the disease.
Internet made information handy to every one of us. Try to ask as many questions as you want to the doctor. Based on the reports, try to understand the disease by learning more about it. It gives you strong advantage on handling the symptoms and its reactions while handling your loved one suffering from Cancer
3. Show empathy and not sympathy
Do not be sympathetically inclined with the patient. It is good to show concern and care. But do not blame the destiny of the patient or yourself and try to gain sympathy from everyone around for the patient or yourself. The world will not be able to help other than yourself.
4. Handle emotions with care.
The cancer patient will already be dealing with their own pain and anxieties. So avoid talking about the disease to the patient often. Try to spend time with them as much as possible, taking them for short walks, watching a light movie, going to a restaurant where the food will not effect the patient. Handle their emotions of self-burst, cries, sadness and anguish with soft and spiritual approach
5. Do not discuss finances
Finance would be the most crucial thing while dealing with patient's treatment. Sometimes insurance will not be enough and self-financing will be the only option. So the ways of debts taken or managing finances should not be discussed with the patient unless otherwise they are the only people to control that part. This may make them feel totally vulnerable and helpless.
6. Keep the environment conducive
Educate other family members and close friends on the do's and don'ts at home. Take turns to take the patient for the chemo sessions, radiation treatment and regular check-ups. Engage everyone with small responsibilities so that thing get manageable at home. Seek external help as needed. Do not hesitate to discuss
7. Take ample rest and sleep
With the anxiety that comes with cancer patients condition, it is highly disturbing to the care-giver. It will result in restlessness and may effect your sleep. Try to talk to a oncology counselor or a family doctor on how they can help you stay calm and focus on the care. Keep a regular pattern of sleep and food habits so that you will not be drained of the physical energy required for a care-giver
8. Do not blame anyone
Do not blame destiny, God or anyone for your destiny and situations. You never know what others are going through. Probably you have the courage and will to manage these situations better than others. Acceptance is the first step towards a proper care-giving
9. Join Support Groups.
Identify similar care-givers in your locality or through the doctor treating your loved one. Talk to them openly and try to discuss on your issues and concerns. They will be able to guide and extend mutual support as they will be experiencing similar situations. Support groups also help you to swap care-taking at times, which will make you feel having the required consolation.
10. Prayers and Meditation
When it is beyond you, look upon God. You will hear answers. Prayers will keep you hopeful and faith will restore health of the loved one quickly. Keep the routine of giving medicines on time. At the same time, spend some time in calm meditation that will give you energy of the mind to stay calm, stay hopeful and healthy.