Category: Cancer

wife and daughter hugging father with cancer

How to Support a Loved One Through Cancer Treatment

If a person you love is battling cancer, they may be going through some troubling side effects from the treatment they are receiving, and you will want to do what you can to help relieve these symptoms. While just being there as a friend to offer companionship and support can be very helpful, there are other ways to show up for a loved one undergoing cancer treatment. What Can You Do to Help Reduce the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment? These are common challenges that come with cancer treatment, along with ways you can help: Skin Irritations: People undergoing cancer treatment are at an increased risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin concerns. You can help by encouraging the person to use sunscreen, helping to guard the impacted areas of skin from bruises, bumps, or other trauma, and making sure the skin is always clean and dry. Hair Loss: Help the loved one explore wig options before starting treatment (to best match their natural hair color to the wig), if they are feeling anxious about losing their hair. Hair loss can also be minimized by using baby shampoo (and washing hair less frequently), and using a soft hairbrush. Depression: If you pick up on signs of depression in the person, share your concern right away with their doctor, who can evaluate medications being taken for depressive side effects and decide on the best course of action to take to help. Stomach Upset: Nausea and vomiting are normal side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea meds, steering clear of greasy or spicy foods, and eating smaller meals more often throughout the day. You can help by preparing light, healthy meals that are more tolerable for the person. With all of this said, just being in their

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diverse group of women supporting breast cancer

Learning How to Help a Loved One Living with Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is life-changing, and making sure you have a network of support is vital. You may feel uncertain about how to best assist someone you love living with cancer without breaking boundaries or making them feel uncomfortable. What can you do to best assist someone you love through a cancer diagnosis? Our experts in home care have some guidelines to get you started. Determine what specific things they need. Oftentimes, a person living with cancer or any other chronic health condition will hear from well-intended family and friends, “Let me know if I can help!” It’s then up to the person struggling with their diagnosis to figure out what’s needed, and to contact those who offered with ways to help. You can be proactive and find out exactly what will most help the person. On one day, they may wish for help with doing dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, while another day they may really need some healthy meals prepared or just someone to talk to for a welcome distraction. Offer appropriate meals. Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can bring on fatigue, so preparing meals can be challenging. These treatments can also impact how food tastes. Ask the person what types of foods might be appealing, and then prepare meals for them accordingly. Recognize that it may take some trial and error to find what is most palatable. Be present. Being there to talk, listen, or even offer a joke when appropriate can be beneficial to somebody who wants to live their life as normally as possible regardless of their diagnosis. Advocate. Help the person organize any questions and concerns in advance of their next doctor’s appointment. If they wish, attend the appointment with them and help make sure each issue is resolved. Learn as much

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