Courtesy Stewart’s Caring Place
Medical treatment for a cancer patient is only the beginning of a sometimes long journey. Dynamics of the cancer experience may include psychological, social, spiritual or physical factors. As the patient, caregiver, or loved one, it is common to feel overwhelmed.
The following are five ways to help patients and caregivers cope with the effects of a cancer diagnosis.
Learn how to be a good medical advocate for yourself or a loved one and actively participate in treatment decisions. Communicate with your doctor, medical staff and your family and become informed about the diagnosis and treatment options.
Find Emotional Support
Seeking individual or group support from professionals such as counselors, social workers, or clergy is often helpful. Through individual, couples and family sessions, professionals can provide coping techniques or just listen in a caring and non-judgmental environment.
Perform Holistic Self-Care
Taking an active role in caring for your body, mind and spirit are equally important. Find non-medical support services that complement your medical plan. Recommendations include massage, foot-reflexology, Reiki, acupressure techniques, meditation, and relaxation practices.
Practice Healthy Eating and Healthy Living
Moderate exercise such as yoga and light weight lifting has been shown to improve energy levels, physical fitness, and quality of life. A nutritionist can help with questions related to meal preparation, dietary supplements and how to deal with nausea or loss of appetite.
Stay on Top of Finances
Seek professional help when dealing with issues regarding Social Security, Disability, FMLA, or estate planning. Sometimes such legal aid can be offered free-of-charge. Often a social worker can assist with transportation, work related concern, or needs such as paying your mortgage or utilities. Local and national organizations can often help with expenses related to treatment.
Stewart’s Caring Place: Cancer Wellness Center provides support services that complement medical treatment, free-of-charge, to individuals and families touched by cancer. To find out more, become a volunteer, or make a donation, please call 330-836-1772, or visit stewartscaringplace.org.