When any serious issue falls on a family like cancer or breast cancer the entire family life, roles and responsibilities are bound to change. The female detected with cancer often needs to focus on treatment and recovery and may not have time or energy to run the household or go out to work. This may affect roles within the family as wage earners, homemakers, child caregivers, or caregivers for an aging parent.
This calls upon other family members to take on new roles and responsibilities.
By incorporating better management skills & keeping one self fully informed about the progress of your loved one you can go a long way to help them.
1. Be an Active listener: Regular family meetings (once or twice a week) is a good way for families to keep up with what’s going on with everyone. Take out time to talk about anything that’s bothering them, to prepare for the coming week, to plan or to spend time with each other, especially when family members live elsewhere.
2. Plan some special time you will spend together as a family.
3. Talk about anything that affects family life, not just cancer.
4. Be prepared for changes in your loved one’s behavior and mood. Medications, side effects from treatment, and stress may make her feel depressed, angry, or tired.
5. Accompany your loved one, with her permission for doctor’s appointment and ask the doctor about questions that bother you. Dot them down so that you do not forget. Inform your family know what you’re going to ask before you go. Often, it’s tough to accept information provided by the doctors and nurses and having a friend there can help gather information and ease anxiety.
6. Watch Your Words: Lack of sensitivity or knowledge about cancer can cause a scene. Before you talk to the person in question, ask yourself about cancer and review your past experiences with others who have been diagnosed.
7. Plan an evening out to share moments like birthday, anniversaries, Christmas etc just like old times. For Spouse continue holding hands and hugging to laughing together just like old times and saying, “I love you.” And yes, even sex.
8. Don’t ever Compare: Everybody who’s detected with cancer will not have the same experience, which is why you shouldn’t compare one person with cancer to this person. After all, everybody has different medical histories and different life experiences, and comparing illnesses does nothing to help your friend or family member. Be an encouraging partner.
9. Encourage her to be active and to do as much for herself as possible. It will help her feel a sense of control.
10. Last but not the least, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Be sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and take some time off for yourself. If you stay well, it will be easier to help your loved one.
By moving in the right direction, you can make things easier for your loved one and yourself after her diagnosis and during treatment.