Cancer - What to do When a Loved One is Diagnosed
When someone you love is diagnosed with cancer so many thoughts and emotions come at you at once. Your first response is panic and fear. There is no reason to think the worst upon learning of a cancer diagnosis, Cancer is NOT Always Terminal! There are many factors that weigh in when it comes to the prognosis. New treatments have been introduced that improve the survival rate for many types of cancers.
Become Educated-Don't Overdo the Research After being diagnosed many people turn to the Internet to find out all they can on the pros and cons of cancer and its treatment. You can't always believe everything that you read and some of the information can be overwhelming and discouraging. Do research, learn what you can, but find a medical team that you are confident in and rely on their input and advice. Bring your ideas. thoughts and concerns to your appointments and get your doctor's opinions and suggestions on the type of treatment that is best for your loved one.
Be A Support A cancer 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.
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