What To Do When You Have a Cancer Patient At Home
The word Cancer is extremely common today that it scares me. Having been a survivor, and losing both my parents to it, I am, without a doubt, no stranger to this disease. While I did lose my mother to breast cancer, it was my dad’s battle with stomach cancer that really taught me what I am about to write today.
When cancer strikes, it does not only affect the patient, but also family members of the patient. Dealing with the disease as a family member do not make it easier than dealing with it as a patient. Having fought alongside dad for exactly one year, here is what I have learnt:-
1. Know your stuffs – if not as much as the doctor, enough to let the doctors know that you had done your research on the sickness and you know enough to make sure they do their job well and without malpractice. It saves my dad three times, and prolonged his life span and most importantly, it gave us more time together.
2. Eat healthy alongside the patient – As a patient, he / she are naturally not allowed to consume the yummy greasy food that we are used to. In order to encourage them to stick to the healthy diet provided by the nutritionists or doctor, eat the food that they eat! Trust me, it is a lot of encouragement and you get a healthier, better lifestyle.
3. Enrol in a gym or Work-out – my dad had always been my hero, and I was extremely close and attached to him after losing my mom at the age of 1. He was the only one I always look up to. Needless to say that when he was diagnosed with cancer, it hit me really badly. I enrolled myself in a gym, and I find that working out keeps me sane and focused. Whatever pent up frustrations I had, I lashed it out on the treadmill and in Body Combat classes.
4. Cry, when given a chance – You are sad, and pent-up. Angry at life, at your family, at God. So cry! Crying serves as an instant relief and it lessens the stress in you.
Of course, the crux of it all is:
5. Spend as much time as you possibly can with your love one – Time is of essence here.. There are chances that with the right form of treatment, patient may go into remission. At the same time, bear in mind that at the moment, there are no permanent cure to this disease. So please, I implore you, to try your level best to spend as much quality time as you can with the patient. I tried my level best to be with my dad every single day for the past one year, and even then, I did not feel as though it was sufficient, and every single day, I wished I could turn back time, and spend even more time with him.
These points listed above are by no means my own personal point of view and experience. While I was in a state of depression upon finding out that dad was diagnosed with cancer, I realized I had no where to go to, emotionally. I did not know where to look for assistance. I did not know what to do. Simply put, I was totally lost. Thus, I hope this article, will assist you, if not all, but some, and help you find your footing in dealing with having a cancer patient at home.
Always bear in mind, in order for the patient to believe in living, YOU have to remain hopeful. Take care of your emotions, and you will be emotionally strong enough to support and encourage the patient to keep living. For them to fight the war, YOU need to fight WITH them.