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Cancer Support

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 10, 2019 12:11:43 PM

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According to the American Cancer society, more than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year.  With those numbers, many of us will experience the disease first hand or will be close to someone affected.  Cancer patients often must simultaneously fight serious illness and manage every day demands.  Family caregivers can become overwhelmed with the emotional, physical and financial challenges posed by caring for a seriously ill loved one.

Easing the burden of routine tasks can bring enormous comfort to patient and family members.  Consider adding the services of a highly trained, professional caregiver to your family care team.

Professional caregivers can provide invaluable assistance such as:

  • Run errands including prescription pick-up and grocery shopping.
  • Light housekeeping and laundry service.
  • Transportation to physician and treatment appointments.
  • Monitoring of key vital signs and changes in condition.
  • Preparation of healthy and nutritionally balanced meals & snacks.
  • Assistance with personal care and hygiene tasks.
  • Companionship and encouragement.
  • Respite for family caregivers.

Cancer treatment and recovery can be a little easier with supportive care from the team at Easy Living Services.  We'll match your loved one with a compassionate caregiver dedicated to keeping them safe and comfortable at home.

                              Allow our team to help.  Call Easy Living today, 770-442-8664.

Atlanta Caregivers

 

Topics: caregiver, cancer, cancer support, caring for a loved one, cancer care

How To Support A Loved One With Cancer

Posted by Debby Franklin on Feb 25, 2015 2:35:40 PM

dreamstime_woman_on_sofaA loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer or they are living with cancer.  It can be hard to know what to do or say during these difficult times. How can you best support and lend a hand?  Helping someone with cancer means caring for them physically as well as emotionally.  The best show of support is to be there to listen and care.

Educate Yourself

Many times a person who is ill may not want to talk about the details of the illness. They may not want to think about it or they may not want to repeat the diagnosis over and over to different people who ask about their condition. Educate yourself by reading and learning more about their specific type of cancer.  Be prepared for changes that may occur such as hair and weight loss, fatigue and nausea.

Helpful tips to show support 

Medical care and assistance - Offer to research treatment options and recommend that your loved one seek a second opinion. Volunteer to provide transportation and companionship during treatment and on medical appointments. 

Be flexible - With cancer there are good days as well bad and it is not always predictable as to when they will occur.  You may have established a day to assist your loved one and on that day they are feeling pretty good.  It might be best to check with them to see if it would be best to help on another day when they are not as up to parr.

Deliver meals - Dropping off food that is prepared and picking up grocery items is a great way to be supportive.  Good nutrition is critical during treatment and keep in mind many foods that they use to eat may now bring on nausea.  Find out what food preferences and restrictions apply now.

Talk about the future - Don't be afraid to make plans for future dates.  Keeping positive and having hope is essential to recovery.  Laugh and have fun when its needed.

Do something to bring laughter - As the saying goes...Laughter really is the best medicine.  One cancer survivor said " It was the laughter, the stillness, the keeping things light and normal, that allowed me the freedom to let loose and experience the joy I thought I might never see again.  

Organize a support team - Coordinate task among friends, caregivers and family. Check online communities that offer tools to make the activities sharable.

Help with chores

  • Pick up the Mail
  • Take care of pets
  • Provide assistance with laundry
  • Water the plants or garden
  • Run the vacuum
  • Shop for Groceries
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Drop off food
  • Watch the children
  • Keep in touch - let your friend know that you care
  • Take a walk together

Gift Ideas

  • Magazines, books
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Puzzles
  • Journal
  • Gift certificates for spa treatment
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • A housekeeping service
  • Pajamas
  • Plant or flower
  • Something that involves there interest or hobby

Cancer makes people feel isolated from the rest of the world.  It removes someone from their regular way of life.  They may have to face their mortality and have sleepless nights worried about their fears.  Letting someone know you are with them through every step of their journey is the best comfort you can provide.

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If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own? Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services.  Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care.

At Last peace of mind!  Call us today at 770-442-8664

In-Home Care for Cancer Patients

 

 

 

 

Topics: cancer, cancer support

How You Can Help A Loved One With Leukemia?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 10, 2014 12:41:00 PM

Leukemia, cancer, Leukemia can easily be overlooked because early symptoms may resemble symptoms of the flu or other common illnesses.  Leukemia symptoms can vary depending on the type of leukemia.  People often first go to the doctor because they think they have a cold, the flu or some other respiratory infection that persist and doesn’t go away. 

Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells.  Abnormal white blood cells form in the bone marrow then quickly travel through the bloodstream and crowd out healthy cells.  This increases the body’s chances of infection and other problems.

The goal of treatment for leukemia is to destroy the leukemia cells and allow normal cells to form in the bone marrow.  Treatment decisions are based on the kind of leukemia, its stage, as well as age and general health. 

Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of the two is typically used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma.  Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may also be done under special circumstances. 

Common Signs and Symptoms Include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Frequent Infections
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Rashes or tiny red spots in the skin
  • Sweating (often at night)
  • Headaches, balance problems

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.

What can you do when a loved one is diagnosed with Leukemia?

Be A Support    A Leukemia diagnosis can be very scary making it easy to focus on the negatives.  Your loved one is going to need to remain positive and exert a great deal of effort and energy in order to beat the cancer.  Your loved one will need your help to remain calm, focused, and to have faith and hope that a cancer free outcome is in their future. 

Be Prepared for Schedule Changes    You should be prepared for changes in your daily routine if you are going to assist your loved one throughout the treatment.  If you are working you will need to discuss with your boss about the possibility of having a flexible schedule or about taking time off.  If you have small children you will need to line up temporary back up care assistance.  It will be important to go on medical appointments with your loved one, especially at the beginning.  It may be difficult for them to process all of the information and having someone to take notes and ask questions is important.  Once treatment starts there may be side effects with nausea and diarrhea and you loved one will be weak and need a variety of assistance to remain stable. 

Try to make the main focus of your energy and attention be on the needs of your loved one.  A cancer diagnosis is not the end, it is just the beginning of a fight for which your love, support and hope will be very much needed. 

For more helpful information on cancer treatment and how to navigate through the journey, click on the link below for access to our resource center: 

 

http://easylivingservices.com/atlanta-at-home-cancer-care-resources/

Topics: cancer, cancer support, cancer care, Leukemia

Colon Cancer: What You Need to Know

Posted by Debby Franklin on Nov 18, 2013 3:55:00 PM

colon cancerAccording to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S., excluding skin cancers.  Also called colorectal cancer, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.  This cancer affects both men and women and all racial and ethnic groups. It is, however, more common in older people with 90% of all cases occurring in patients over age 50.  The hopeful news is that with early detection, colon cancer is highly treatable.  Even those with advanced stage colon cancer are living longer with the advent of new treatments. 



Recognizing the Signs & Symptoms:

Colon cancer can be present for several years before symptoms develop. Symptoms vary according to the location of the tumor in the large intestine. The right colon is spacious, and cancers of the right colon can grow to large sizes before they cause any abdominal symptoms. Symptoms of colon cancer can include:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained stomach irritation or pain 
  • Frequent gas or indigestion
  • Change in bowel movement habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Stools that are narrower than normal to you

Caution:  Having any of the above symptoms does NOT mean that you have colon cancer. However, it does indicate that a check-up with your personal physician is warranted to investigate.  Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease,diverticulosis, and peptic ulcer disease can have symptoms that mimic colorectal cancer.  

The majority of colorectal cancers begin as polyps (abnormal tumors) inside the colon or rectum.  These tumors may become cancers over an extended period of time.  The specific cause of colon cancers is not yet known.  However, certain factors may place you at higher risk for developing colon cancer.

Understanding the Risks:

  • Genetic mutations such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) or Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC).  This affects a small percentage of the population but can greatly increase the risk of developing colon cancer

  • Over 60 years of age

  • History of Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or another inflammatory bowl disease

  • Family history of colon cancer

  • History of colorectal polyps

  • History of breast cancer or another type of cancer

  • Consuming a diet that is high in red meat and fat and low in fiber

  • Frequent consumption of alchohol and smoking

  • African American or Eastern European ethnicity

  • Living a sedentary lifestyle and carrying extra weight

  • Diabetic patients

  • History of radiation therapy 

Regardless of the presence of any risk factors, it is proven that deaths from colon cancer are significantly reduced with regular screenings, beginning at age 50. Screenings before 50 may be recommended based on the presence of certain risk factors.

Finding Hope in New Treatment Research:

Conventional treatment for colon cancer depends on the staging of the cancer.  Typical therapy includes surgery to remove the cancer.  The extent of the surgery will depend on whether the cancer is localized and easily removed or is extensive, requiring removal of a portion of the colon and nearby lymph nodes.  Other treatments can include chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy or shrink cancerous cells.    

Researchers are working on a number of fronts to create new, better treatment options for patients battling colon cancer.  Testing for colon cancer treatment vaccines is underway at several research centers. These vaccine potentially work by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against the cancer.  A team at Johns Hopkins University has recently completed the first phase of clinical trials for one such vaccine.  A second study at Hopkins is now planned to test a combination vaccine therapy in advanced stage colorectal cancer patients who have completed their chemotherapy treatments.   If successful, this treatment would give patients a way to keep their disease stable after treatment and could prove to be helpful in earlier stages of the disease as well.  Other colon cancer vaccine studies are taking place at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute announced initial success of their colon cancer vaccine in human trials earlier this year. Their study, published in the January 2013 edition of Cancer Prevention Research, showed that their vaccine is safe and produced the immune response they expected. These are all exciting developments in the race to find new and more effective treatment options. 

Get Involved:

Looking for a way to support colon cancer prevention and treatment research efforts? How about organizing a team to participate in your local "Undy 5000"?  This fun, family friendly event sponsored by the Colon Cancer Alliance is a 5k Run/Walk held at numerous locations throughout the country. The proceeds fund treatment research, patient support programs and development of community colon cancer screening programs.  Visit the Colon Cancer Alliance website for information on the "Undy 5000" www.ccalliance.org. 


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This article is dedicated in memory of Easy Living Services friend, Mr. Alan Booth who fought his battle against colon cancer with courage and grace.  He will be missed by family and many friends who were inspired by his warmth, sense of humor and capacity for love. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: cancer treatment, cancer support, caring for a loved one, colon cancer symptoms

Helping A Loved One With Cancer

Posted by Debby Franklin on Oct 5, 2012 1:27:00 PM

cancer, caring for a love one with cancerCancer can be one of the most terrifying words in our language.  A person who has been diagnosed with cancer is faced with the harsh realities of fighting a difficult battle while knowing that it may be a battle that can't be won.  Unfortunately, cancer doesn’t just affect the person who has been diagnosed, families become victims too.  Over and above the tremendous emotional distress that cancer causes, the family fighting the disease carries other burdens including lost income and medical costs.

Family and friends have the best intentions, but family and friends can be overwhelming to someone facing cancer with their research efforts.  Family and friends can be overly enthusiastic in advocating aggressive treatment without fully understanding the side effects and outcomes.  However our family and friends are crucial to survival.  Numerous studies have correlated cancer survival with social contacts.  Knowing your limits is important.  It is ok to take a rest and regroup.   Set your priorities and acknowledge your limitations.

As a leading provider of experienced caregivers in Atlanta, Easy Living Services has worked with hundreds of families suffering through cancer. As a result of our experiences, we would like to share the following insights:

Managing Cancer:  10 Key Points

  1. Cancer treatment is often invasive, physically and emotionally draining and very scary for the person going through it.
  2. Families can never understand what their loved one is going through, emotionally and physically. You can’t fix their problems, but you can listen and be understanding.
  3. Taking care of a loved one with cancer may involve great sacrifices, such as quitting a job or making up for their lost income.
  4. Families that maintain positive attitudes and steadfast support are the most successful in navigating the cancer journey.
  5. People with cancer don’t want to feel helpless, even when they may be. Treating them as such, even with the most caring intentions, may make things worse.
  6. Families with cancer loved ones need answers as much as the person who is dealing with this disease. Forums, friends and support groups can provide comfort and understanding.
  7. Reach out for help if needed.  Professional caregiver services as well as friends, family and your church or synagogue are valuable resources.
  8. Accompany your loved one to a doctor’s visit. It may be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as it will be for your loved one. They will sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  9. Cancer isn’t pretty.  Make your loved one feel beautiful inside with your thoughtfulness and caring. Never be ashamed to take them with you, even when they may look terrible.  The fight and its appearance should be construed as a badge of courage.
  10. Cancer is everyone’s fight. Participate in walks, events and fundraisers. You never know when this effort may end up helping you.

For more helpful information on cancer treatment and how to navigate through the journey, click on the link below for access to our resource center: 

http://easylivingservices.com/atlanta-at-home-cancer-care-resources/

 

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: cancer, cancer support, caring for a loved one, cancer care