Love is powerful, but caregiving is tough. In fact, it might be one of the most difficult healthcare roles of all. The days are long, the work is often undervalued and underpaid, and our family members don’t always appreciate the emotional and financial toll it takes to provide care for our loved ones.
If you’re helping a family member or friend through cancer treatment, you are a caregiver. This may mean helping with daily activities such as going to the doctor or making meals. It could also mean coordinating services and care. It could also provide emotional and spiritual support.
Coping with Being a Cancer Caregiver:
Giving care and support during this time can be a challenge. Many caregivers put their own needs and feelings aside to focus on the person with cancer. This can be hard to maintain for a long time, and it’s not good for your health. Stress can have both physical and psychological effects. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others. It’s important for everyone that you take care of yourself.
Whether you’re younger or older, you may find yourself in a new role as a caregiver. You may have been an active part of someone’s life before, but perhaps now that they’re a cancer patient, the way you support them is different. It may be in a way in which you haven’t had much experience or in a way that feels more intense than before.
Even though caregiving may feel new to you now, many caregivers say that they learn more as they go through their loved one’s cancer experience. Common situations that they describe are below.
Their loved one only feels comfortable with a spouse or partner taking care of them.
- Caregivers with children struggle to take care of their parents too.
- Parents may have a hard time accepting help from their adult children.
- Caregivers find it hard to balance taking care of a loved one with job responsibilities.
- Adult children with cancer may not want to rely on their parents for care.
- Caregivers may have health problems themselves, making it physically and emotionally hard to take care of someone else.
Whatever your roles are now, it’s very common to feel confused and stressed at this time. If you can, try to share your feelings with others or join a support group. Or you may choose to seek help from a counsellor.
Good communication is just as important now as it was during cancer treatment. Listening to each other, patience, and support can make a big difference.