How to Best Support Parents through Cancer Treatments

Cancer occurs when cancerous cells in one area of the body reproduce rapidly and invade surrounding cells, tissue, and organs. Occasionally, these cells can spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms, treatments and the prognosis will depend on the type and stage of the cancer.

Give them emotional support

Your parent is probably as confused and overwhelmed as you are, if not more. Offer them a comforting ear and allow them to talk through how it is affecting them, their concerns, their treatment options, and their wishes.

Offer assistance, but don’t force it. Being too helpful could end up with your parent feeling a loss of control or independence. Organize what type and level of support you can offer, sustainable to their wellbeing, and yours.

Offer spontaneous and scheduled companionship to help them to feel a sense of normalcy and provide opportunities to spend time together. If you both decide you should accompany them to their physician’s appointments and treatments, take notes, and don’t be scared to speak up if you have a question.

cancer-chemotherapy-cancer-treatment.jpegTry to understand what they’re going through

Take the time to understand the individual symptoms that they are experiencing and suggest proven solutions to relieve and manage.

For example, the symptoms of mouth or esophageal cancer will be very different from that of any other part of the body. Namely, these cancers can cause loss of the ability to chew and swallow (medically referred to as dysphagia), which are alleviated using a thickener in food and beverages. In contrast, individuals suffering from cancer of the spine are more likely to have trouble mobilizing, which would be improved by a walking aid.

Managing conditions like cancer begin with a full understanding. Read about the origin of SimplyThick Easy Mix and see the value in understanding health conditions from a patient perspective.

Take time off work

It’s not always easy to talk to your superiors about personal issues, but they may be able to support you with time off or in-house counseling. The Family and Medical Leave Act doesn’t specify any guidance when it comes to your parent’s condition; however, communicating the situation to your boss should make it easier for them to understand your hardship.

Seek help for yourself

Access some professional support and talk through your issues with a counselor. This will help you to deal with your feelings as they change, prepare for changes out of your control, and best support your parent. Placing the focus on your own wellbeing can be a guilty refreshment when you’re spending a large amount of physical and emotional energy taking care of someone. Try not to feel guilty for setting time aside for yourself to process and accept this news.

In conclusion:

Cancer is amongst the most difficult and dreaded diagnoses to deal with, but understanding and taking the appropriate time out to accept this is happening to a parent can help you cope in the long term. To provide the best support and care to your parent, be sure to look out for your own mental health and wellness.




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Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD