Prostate cancer impacts not only the man diagnosed with it, but also his friends, family, and caregivers. Caring for someone with prostate cancer can be challenging, but there are things you can do to help and support your loved one, while also taking care of yourself. What follows are suggestions on how to do just that.
One of the scariest things when finding out that your loved one has cancer is not knowing what to expect and what you and your loved one will be facing on this journey. Therefore, one of the best things you can do after a diagnosis is to do your research. Understanding as much as you can, from diagnosis to treatment options to post-treatment, can help you support your loved one and ease some of your anxiety about the unknown. When you do your research, be sure you’re using reliable sources, such as official medical organizations and reputable doctors. When it is time to make a decision about treatment, having done your research will help you provide your loved one with valuable knowledge on the pros and cons of each option. This can help ease your nerves and the nerves of your loved one.
Become a Team
The greatest thing you can do for your loved one who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer is to be there for them. Face the cancer head on, as a team. You can attend doctor’s appointments and take notes or go with him for tests and treatment. You can help by asking the doctor important questions. Be there for each other, even if it’s as simple as listening to his concerns or offering a shoulder to cry on.
When someone we love is sick, tensions can sometimes get high because everyone is nervous and may be holding back their emotions. This is why it is very important to keep the lines of communication open rather than bottling up our feelings. Be available and willing to talk and to listen. Hear his feelings without judgment or interruption. Don’t demand that he talk about his feelings but if he does open up to you, be there for him.
Join a Support Group or Get Counseling
As a caregiver, you will find that you have a lot of built-up emotions as you take this journey with your loved one. Just knowing you are not alone can help. Discussing your feelings with other people who are going through a similar journey can help. There are several support groups or even internet chat groups that can help by allowing you to share your experiences and hear from others who are going through or who have been through it before. Finding a therapist or counselor with whom you can share your feelings can also be beneficial.
The best way you can help your loved one is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. After all, the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is so true. It is vital that you are getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Take some time out of each day to do something that relaxes you like talking a walk, doing yoga, reading a book, taking a bubble bath, or listening to music. Also, learn how to accept help from others. If a friend, neighbor, or co-worker offers to bring you dinner or watch your children, take them up on it. They’re offering their assistance because they want to help you. Let them. Sharing some of your many responsibilities can help to relieve stress and give you a much-deserved break. Do not wear yourself thin to the point where you can no longer care for your loved one. To be at your best to support your loved one, you have to make sure you first take care of yourself.
The board-certified doctors at CyberKnife Miami are here to help you and your loved one through the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Our medical experts are happy to explain why patients who choose CyberKnife experience fewer side effects and a faster and easier recovery than with traditional treatment options. To schedule an appointment, call (305) 279-2900 or online and visit our website www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com