What Does it Mean to be a Cancer Caregiver?
Being a caregiver involves many roles and responsibilities, benefits and challenges.
Caregiving can be a rewarding job and has many benefits. Caregiving shows your loved one that you are committed to providing as much support as you can for them and often makes a difference in the quality of life and well-being of the person with cancer.
Caregiving sets the tone of respect and admiration when caring for your loved one, and provides an opportunity to develop and renew relationships. Although cancer is a tough disease, caring for a loved one with cancer can renew relationships and bring family members closer as they endure the process of cancer with their loved one.
Caregiving can be a challenging job and requires a lot of strength and compassion. A caregiver is usually a family member or friend who provides important physical and emotional support to a person with cancer.
Caregivers of those with cancer feel the pressures and stress of the disease just as much as the person with cancer. Caregivers often suffer in silence and try to be strong for their loved one with cancer. Getting support from fellow caregivers is important in coping with this extra stress.
It’s Important to Take Care of Yourself
It is important when caring for loved ones with cancer that you take care of yourself as well. It can be stressful and demanding watching your loved one endure a cancer diagnosis so taking the time to renew your mind and body as a caregiver will help you better care for your loved.
Here are some helpful tips to take care of yourself as a caregiver:
- Keep up with your own health and learn stress reduction techniques
- Be willing to ask for help
- Nurture your spiritual health
- Maintain supportive relationships in your life
- Protect yourself from isolation by keeping in contact with friends and or by joining a support group
Cancer Services offers many services free of charge that can assist you as a caregiver which include Healing hands, Reiki, and Massage therapy. To sign up for a class please call Cancer Services at 336-760-9983.
When caring for a loved one with cancer, remember not to let cancer control every aspect of your loved ones life or your life as a caregiver. Cancer can prove to be demanding, but in order to cope with the disease, you must educate yourself about cancer and find a good support system.
Cancer Care has online and telephone support groups. Find out more here.
Be dedicated to face cancer together and know that being there for your loved one is the most important gift you can give.
– Article by Kristen Scriven, intern at Cancer Services.
Check Out These Pages for Additional Helfpul Tips & Resources:
- 25 Tips for Caregivers from UCSD Cancer Center
- Caring for Your Loved One With Cancer – from Cancer Care
- Coping With Cancer for Family and Friends – from the National Cancer Institute