Caring for a loved one and yourself

If you’re a caregiver, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Caregiving is a team effort. Family members, friends, volunteers, and the healthcare team work together to help patients throughout their treatment experience.

Below are some suggestions for you as your loved one gets started on treatment, as well as some helpful tips for navigating through this difficult time.

After diagnosis

  • Consider going to doctor’s visits with your loved one to learn about their treatment experience 
    • Record important information, such as the doctor’s contact information, in a notebook or mobile device

Caring for the person with cancer

The most important part of caregiving is clearly communicating with your loved one. That can be hard when the person you’re caring for is dealing with difficult feelings.

Some tips for open communication

  • Choose the right time to talk, when it’s convenient for both of you 
  • Assure your loved one that she/he will be included in all discussions and decisions related to her/his diagnosis and health 
  • Be honest about your feelings, while remaining sensitive to your loved one’s feelings 

Remember to take care of yourself

Taking time for yourself can help you take better care of your loved one.

Some ways to make time for yourself:

  • Have lunch or dinner with a friend 
  • Be as active as you can. Try and make time for regular exercise 
  • Let others help—make a list of tasks you could use help with. When others ask what they can do, assign them a task