Doing The Best You Can
How can you help as a caregiver?
So what can you do? As a caregiver, there is so much to be done and every little bit helps. Below is a list of some things that may be useful.
Cooking may be tough - the smells, nausea, and fatigue may make it hard for them to make meals for themselves. If they have family, make enough for everyone. Cancer is a family disease. They will all be appreciative.
Helping with laundry
For all the reasons above, doing laundry is helpful. Additional help would be changing their sheets. I used to always make sure my daughter's sheets were changed before chemo and after her reaction to the chemo was over. It helped to make her more comfortable and who wouldn't appreciate getting into a nicely made clean bed?
Getting them out of the house
This doesn't have to be a big outing, just sitting in the backyard, and having the company helps. My daughter used to get so lonely. I always felt guilty about having to leave for work. You could also give them a call to ask how they are doing - concern goes a long way.
Take them to their treatments
Nobody wants to ask for help, but help is often needed - start by offering a ride. There was no way my daughter would have been able to drive herself home from her chemo appointments, I'm sure other people struggle with this too. It's also nice to be there to offer support and company. The chemo room is a lonely place.
Keep track of appointments and be their emergency contact
The doctor visits are always overwhelming so being the second set of ears is helpful. You could also act as their emergency number they can call if needed. Sometimes emergencies come up and help is needed. Knowing someone is there for an emergency is comforting.
There are so many more ways to lend a hand and none are wrong. The important thing is to always ask. There may be certain foods to take into consideration and times when there shouldn't be visitors, but overall, all help is appreciated. Just the thought will be comforting.
Care for yourself too
As you help your loved one remember to care for yourself too. Cancer affects the whole family. Keep yourself healthy, exercise, eat right, meditate, and pray. You can only do the best you can.
Wishing you health and happiness.
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?