Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer every year. The majority of them survive, whereas others succumb to the diseases. But did you know that among those millions of people, 28,000 are diagnosed with stomach cancer in the United States?
If research is to be believed, it’s estimated that more than 11,000 people will die of stomach cancer in 2023. That’s quite shocking.
No matter how widespread the disease is, a diagnosis of cancer often takes every family member by surprise and changes the roles each one is accustomed to playing. For people living with cancer, emotional support from friends and family is critical in their journey of recovery.
While everyone is aware of the ordeal of a cancer patient, only those who have struggled with cancer can understand what their loved one is going through, both physically and emotionally. That’s why, as a caregiver, you must be patient and kind to your loved one struggling with cancer.
Ahead are a few pointers that will help you support your loved one with cancer through their lonely journey:
1. Listen to Then
The world is full of speakers, so why not become a listener? If you want to do something for your family member with cancer, listen to them empathetically, patiently, and non-judgmentally. When you listen to them, you’d be surprised how quickly they heal.
While listening, they may share feelings or talk about topics that will make you uncomfortable, like dying. Even then, listen to them. Neither should you judge nor interrupt. If your loved one is bringing up such topics, you can be certain that they have been thinking about them for a while. Create a safe space so they do not feel afraid of sharing anything with you.
2. Lend a Helping Hand
Life doesn’t stop for anyone, not even cancer patients. From coping with annoying side effects like fatigue to running to the hospital for treatments, there are lots of things cancer patients have to take care of.
Lending a helping hand will take some burden off their shoulders. Something as simple as cleaning their house, doing groceries, or paying utility bills will be appreciated.
If your loved one has developed stomach cancer due to exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, help them file a lawsuit. TorHoerman Law suggests that evidence like proving residence at Camp Lejeune and military service records with dates and locations served is needed in a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Obviously, your loved one wouldn’t be in the state to gather such evidence. That’s when you should pitch in to help them. Read newspapers to find out about the latest Camp Lejeune lawsuit update and inform them about the same. While it may seem minor to you, helping them with minor chores would make a world of difference in their lives.
3. Respect Their Need to be Alone
Any individual diagnosed with cancer experiences a whirlwind of emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness, and your loved one is no exception. There may come a time when they may want to be alone. Respect their feelings and leave them alone for a while.
When visitors come to meet them, monitor their behavior. Do you think your loved one isn’t in the mood to entertain them for long but doesn’t want to offend them by asking them to leave? If so, you may let the visitors know that they are tired and wouldn’t want to meet them for long. Thank them for visiting, but ask them to leave early.
However, it may also happen that your loved one claims to be alone because they don’t want to bother you. In such instances, refute those claims.
4. Go With Them to Appointments and Treatments
Let’s be honest, doctor’s clinics and hospitals are frightening places because there are patients of all kinds. If you accompany them to hospitals for regular checkups and chemotherapies, they will know how much you love and care for them.
Ask questions to the doctor, nurse, or whoever is attending to them to know how much progress they are making.
A Final Word
Caring for a loved one struggling with cancer is exhausting both physically and emotionally, but Physically, you may experience changes in appetite, fatigue, and struggle with sleep. On the other hand, emotionally, you may feel helpless, frustrated, angry, anxious, sad, or guilty.
But at the same time, being a caregiver is rewarding, as you are privileged to help people in the most difficult times. While caring for your loved one with cancer, don’t forget to prioritize your well-being. Remember, self-care is important, so eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and ask for help from family and friends, if need be. After all, cancer caregivers are the unsung heroes of love and support.