What You Can Do To Extend Support To Cancer Patients?
January 9, 2020
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A cancer diagnosis can be a nerve-wracking and life-changing experience. It is not just the family but also the family and friends who go through this change of mental setup. Family members may feel unsure of what to do to care for someone with cancer. Friends may be concerned about saying the wrong thing. It is only by supporting the patients in their journey that they alleviate a loved one’s anxiety.
The changes are physical as well as mental. The type of cancer treated and diagnosed by the cancer specialist in India is different, just like each person dealing with the diagnosis is different. Some cancers may be curable. The others may only be declared as chronic. Hence, the intensity of the treatment may vary. As a result, the physical changes which might be found depending on the treatment, physical changes can occur such as hair loss, changes in taste and smell, weight loss, poor concentration and more. On the other hand, the emotional changes may lead to anger, sadness, guilt, uncertainty and more. Emotions change over the course of the day.
Ways with which you can provide supportive care in cancer
Listen- The patients must be given the opportunity to express their emotions like anger or sadness, they can move on from them. It may seem obvious and easy to simply listen to our loved ones. But consciously listening and not attempting to solve the situation is important. Listening is a skill wherein you need to lend ears to the patient’s agonies without judgment, interruption or dismissing negative emotions. This shall encourage the patient to speak their mind unequivocally. Constantly encouraging positivity should be avoided as it may feel as though the person’s concerns and fears are not valid. When you speak, speak from the heart
Keep things normal- It may be helpful, initially, to offer help or perform tasks your loved one typically performed, but after some time it may make the person feel helpless. Continuing to cook or work can make life seem more normal for some people living with cancer, as does engage in conversations that do not involve cancer. Keep in mind that cancer treatment takes time.
Encourage participation in cancer support group- Your help in supporting a loved one for cancer treatment in India is invaluable. But you can’t do it all, and there are some aspects of support you can’t provide. For example, there can be instances wherein a patient may feel that he/she is not able to express properly to the family members or even get a sense that they are not being understood well. In such cases, a support group of other cancer patients might be an excellent resource to fall back on for the patient. Hence, the family members, at the time of getting stuck, should look for such support group.
The treatment of cancer has to be comprehensive. Much as there is a need of oncology treatment hospitals in Delhi, the onus lies on the patient’s family as well.