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 company is invaluable. Allow the person to share their feelings, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that shows you are listening and that you care. Sometimes a simple hug or holding the person’s hands can be extremely comforting. Be ready for the person to talk about their condition if they would like, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.

Learn other ways you can help a person undergoing cancer treatment, from Dakota Home Care’s experts in home care assistance in Fargo, Lincoln, Bismarck, Mandan, and the surrounding areas, and how our in-home care services can make life better for someone with cancer. Contact us online or at (877) 691-0015 any time for more information.

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