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When Someone You Love Is Being Treated for Cancer

  • Updated: 05/16/2014

Who Is a Caregiver?

There are other booklets available that talk about how to give care to a loved one. But the purpose of this booklet is to focus on you and your needs.

This booklet is for you if you're helping your loved one get through cancer treatment. You are a "caregiver." You may not think of yourself as a caregiver. You may see what you're doing as something natural - taking care of someone you love.

There are different types of caregivers. Some are family members, while others are friends. Every situation is different. So there are different ways to give care. There isn't one way that works best.

Caregiving can mean helping with day-to-day activities such as doctor visits or preparing food. But it can also be long-distance, coordinating care and services for your loved one by phone or e-mail. Caregiving can also mean giving emotional and spiritual support. You may be helping your loved one cope and work through the many feelings that come up at this time. Talking, listening, and just being there are some of the most important things you can do.

Giving care and support during this challenging time isn't always easy. The natural response of most caregivers is to put their own feelings and needs aside. They try to focus on the person with cancer and the many tasks of caregiving. This may be fine for a short time. But it can be hard to keep up for a long time. And it's not good for your health. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of others. It's important for everyone that you give care to you.

"I think you can be the best caregiver you can be by taking care of yourself, by trying to get as much information as possible, and by letting yourself lean on the people who are willing to help you." - Leneice