Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Cope When a Loved One Has Cancer


Cancer is a horrifying disease no matter what part of the body it attacks. When a loved one is diagnosed, life seems to come to a standstill. Helping her cope becomes a top priority, but to do this you'll also have to find a way to cope.


Difficulty: Challenging



Step One

Learn as much as you can about your loved one's cancer. Knowing what to expect will help you be better prepared even if the diagnosis is bleak.

Step Two

See the doctor with your loved one. Be there to hold her hand and help her remember later exactly what the doctor said. Cancer can be overwhelming and the details sometimes get overlooked.

Step Three

Take care of yourself. This sounds impossible, but you'll do a better job handling the stress and coping if you're well rested and get some exercise.

Step Four

Accept help from friends and family. Housework doesn't seem so important when you're coping with cancer. So lean on your friends to help you out around the house so you can spend time with your loved one.

Step Five

Don't be ashamed of your feelings. Cancer affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed. Talking about your feelings with friends and family will help you cope.

Step Six

Seek professional help. If you can't seem to handle everything on your own, there is no shame in contacting a professional to help you cope when a loved one has cancer.

Tips & Warnings

  • While you may want to spend every moment with your loved one, always ask if he wants visitors. Don't be offended if he says no. Your loved one will need times of quiet contemplation to help him cope.
  • Get your loved one's permission before accompanying her to the doctor. She may not want you to know all the details about what's going on and you must respect her privacy.

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