Ways for Families to Cope with Cancer
We all know that when cancer attacks, the patient's entire family has a difficult time coping, for obvious reasons. The family has to be strong enough to be a solid support system. It isn’t always easy, particularly with hospital errands, bills, a new daily routine and incorporating work. After all, life can’t come to a standstill. In such a trying situation how does a family manage? Are there methods or ideas that can make navigating a loved ones cancer easier?
In fact, there are various things one can do, and multiple resources from which to find support.
We know that patients and their families have different ways of reacting to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It is absolutely natural for family members to feel troubled, sad, angry, anxious, and/or helpless when someone close is affected by a severe illness. And some seemingly more stoic or action-oriented people have an opposite reaction, feeling charged by crisis and determined to take control of the situation.
Since there is no sure shot way or guide to cope with the emotions involved, given that every person and every day is different, it is best to know your options. Don't shy from working through it. Attend either individual or family counseling sessions. They aim to personally identify the problems and needs of specific patients and thereby suggest effective solutions. They can help you understand your current journey, as well as help you deal with it. Counseling can also provide useful advice for what's to come. Jump in to counseling as close to the date of your loved-ones diagnosis as possible, so that as much collateral damage as possible is avoided. Counselors can help you to cope with side effects, of the trauma like insomnia and fatigue, which could otherwise cause a lot of stress and unpleasantness for the family as a whole.
You can also opt for group support sessions, commonly referred to as dedicated support groups. Some people find it therapeutic to interact with others who are sailing in the same boat. They get confidence from knowing that if someone can else fight the diagnosis, then so can they!
Sometimes social workers and online forums have a profound influence on the patient and family. Their guidance and emotional support (sans emotional ties or ulterior motives), can hep those whose suffer, to realize that there truly is hope. Lastly, the participation of the patient is important, if possible. It can be extremely helpful for both the patient and their family, to cope with the situation together. Obviously, for this to happen, one must consider important variables such as that individual's health, energy, and time.