Cancer: How To Comfort Your Loved One
Cancer is a terrible disease that causes its victim, and their loved ones quite a lot of grief. For a lot of people, the worst moment is actually hearing those words from their Doctor – “You’ve got cancer.” Because we see it constantly talked about on TV, on the radio, and in magazines, it seems ‘famous’ in a sense. So to find out that your loved one has it just seems impossible. Expect them to immediately feel like their life is over – but this isn’t true. Just because they have cancer doesn’t mean they are going to die at all, so take that out of their head right now.
Cancers and Stages
There are many different forms of cancer like breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and more. They also come in different stages through stage one (early stages) to stage four (has started to spread). This by no means, means that if your loved one has stage four cancer they’re not going to make it – it just means there will be more to treat, as a pose to stage one.
There are a range of different treatments out there from chemotherapy treatment, radiotherapy treatment, a combination of the two, and the operation itself to remove the cancer if need be.
Chemotherapy works by putting drugs into your body that are toxic to the cancer cells. The dosage and type of drug all depend on the type of cancer you have. Many people associate chemo with hair loss and vomiting – while those can be the side effects, this doesn’t happen to everyone.
Radiotherapy is the use of X Rays or similar forms of radiation that are pointed at the area that needs to be treated, and then targets the cancer through your body by damaging its DNA.
When your loved one hears all of the information about treatments, it may or may not have yet sunk in properly. If it hasn’t – do not force it. They may be dealing with it in their own way by taking little bits of information in at a time. It’s not your job to ‘make them feel something’ if they’re not ready.
It can be a very confusing time, but it’s important to be there when they need you.
They may not want to talk about it at all, and in that case – don’t. Put on your favorite tv show, order some takeout, and chill as you normally would. If they’re not making it a ‘thing,’ neither should you.
Or, they may take it terribly. They might cry, and scream, and be angry about the whole situation. This isn’t easy for anyone to deal with, and although you’re looking after your loved one, it’s important you find some time to soak it in too.
All you can do is be there for them, and give them whatever they need. You are bound to feel useless, but you’re not.
Listen when they want to talk. Talk when they need to listen. And be their rock when their emotions are all over the place.