Saturday, October 8, 2011

Do's and Don't For Family, Caregivers & Loved One's

As a single mother of a teenage thyroid cancer patient and going through the cancer experience myself I often found it hard to talk frankly to family and friends about what we were going through or how I wish they would help. I knew that some of my friends and her friends couldn't emotionally or intellectually handle the situation and they never called us, and I found that people we hardly knew before become our best friends and helpers. 

Overtime I learned to understand that often family and friends just don't know the right thing to say to or do for a cancer family. The following is a collection of the do's I don't I wish someone had shared with me, my family and friends when cancer came interrupting our lives. 
  • Do let your loved one know from time to time that you are there to help.
  • Don’t call five times a day to remind him or her!
  • Do give your loved one a positive, upbeat face whenever you see him or her.
  • Don’t come across as terrified. It will only bring about anxiety for the cancer patient.
  • Do let your loved one know you are concerned for his or her well-being.
  • Don’t call three times a day to ask, “How are you feeling now?”
  • Do give your loved one “alone time”  he or she needs it!
  • Don’t insist on being with him or her every waking minute, or your relationship may not be able to take it. (Everyone gets a little grumpy when they are not feeling well. Don’t take it personally.)
  • Do take advantage of the many support groups for family and friends.
  • Don’t lean on your loved one alone to help you get through your difficult time with his/her illness.
  • Do bring gifts such as magazines, CDs, books of inspiration, puzzle books, comfort food, delicious treats, fragrance-free candles and lotions, teas, movies, a soft zip-front track suit, loungewear, pajamas, a robe, slippers, and new bedding.
  • Don’t bring anything that has a fragrance or scent it can bring on nausea.
  • And yes!! You can come over and clean the house, do the dishes, cut the grass, walk the dog and keep take the "other" family members out for some fun. God knows they need a break too!
About The Author: Wilma Ariza is the Founder and Development Director of Stevie JoEllie's Cancer Care Fund a Project of United Charitable Programs Inc., a 501(c)(3) Public Charity Tax ID 20-4286082 Progam 102442. In 2008 her daughter Stevie JoEllie was diagnosed with State II Follicular Thyroid Cancer a few weeks after her 21st Birthday

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