Do have a spouse, family member, or friend that has been diagnosed with illness? It’s a whirlwind of doctors, tests, more tests, treatment, surgeries, ect. And between all of the things you are watching your loved one go through, you feel helpless and clueless as to how to help. Then you feel like you are just in the way and not helpful. But know, just your presence means the world to someone faced with the C word. Don’t disappear on them now, when they need you the most!
Here are some things you can do to help.
1. Take Charge! (or find someone that is a good leader)
Take the burden off the patient by taking the initiative. Start a group calendar on Google or a group text, anything you normally use. This will be used to keep everyone in the loop as to what is needed, and they can volunteer as they are able. This way, you will not need to keep everyone on task, because we all get busy and forget.
2. Ask for Help!
Ask friends and family to help delegate other responsibilities such as rides to appointments, treatment, pick up scripts, ect. Someone could help the patient by taking notes at the appointments, I know I needed to do this because chemo brain is evil! Someone can ask for donations such as gift cards for grocery, or services like house cleaning. If you know someone who is a stay-at-home parent, they are great candidates for these types of errands. It’s only a few hours of their time!
3. Assign treatment helpers!
These people would come to the patients house on treatment days to help with household tasks such as patient care or in my case, childcare for the patient. They can also help with meals, cleaning, errands, and ask for donations. Also, freezer meal workshops are a great way to make a bunch of meals at once to bring to the patient.
4. Love them, hug them, hold them.
Cancer patients are just as scared as you would be if you were personally diagnosed. No matter how big of a smile is on their face, or how strong they seem. Help them get through this by holding their hand, talk to them like they are still your friend and not a dying cancer patient. Be their cancer family, even if you can only stop by for 15 minutes. We live a fragile lifestyle, so try to include them like you always have. It feels more like death, when you watch everyone living around you.
5. Keep them healthy!
Right now their body needs every nutrient it can get because your body only has what you give it . Treatment is tough, and for a patient it’s very easy to start wondering if it’s all worth it. It’s hard on your body and your mind. So make sure you try to keep them healthy by keeping them organic and by staying away from genetically modified foods such as soy and wheat. Also, essential oil help with nausea, pain and mental well being. Remember to try and eliminate extra pills by looking for the natural way to help the ailments caused by cancer treatments.
Sometimes when things get overwhelming, you don’t know where to start. Just getting these few things implemented will help the patient tremendously! Also check out 5 ways to be their biggest fan when they are diagnosed.