Cancer is not yet a curable disease. Early stages are generally cured by treatment, but sometimes those stages can quickly grow into the metastatic stage, which is where the disease spreads elsewhere in the body.
Cancer treatment is both a difficult period for the patient and the family. It does stress them out not only physically but also mentally. Management of such patients is a tough job, especially if the patient is not self-dependent or a child. Nevertheless, here is a list of some basic guidelines on managing the treatment responsibilities of a patient undergoing cancer treatment.
You Are Not Just A Family Member.
As a person responsible for handling the patient’s needs and care, you are not acting as just a regular family member. Instead, you need to be the jack-of-all-trades. You have to show the patient that you care for them. You love them as, amid all this chaos, it is very likely for the patient to feel like a burden.
Not only will you have to act like a nurse at times, too, handling all the daily medications, but you will also have to act like a transport service for them for daily chemotherapy or radiation therapy schedules. Lastly, you will have to act like an advocate and on the patient’s behalf to manage all the paperwork related to treatments.
Education Regarding Each Step Is Important.
You should always keep yourself updated about the current stage of cancer: the treatment they are receiving and the potential side effects. Knowing about all of this will make you prepared for all the upcoming challenges and keep you updated regarding the current status of the disease. You need to stay updated on all the upcoming appointment dates as well, not to miss any.
Invest At The Right Place.
Get the best medical team for your patient, not necessarily an over-the-line expensive doctor will help every time. Sometimes even public healthcare institutes offer great treatment options available. Sometimes going for top-notch treatments results in the expenditure of all the gathered savings with no promising outcome in the end. If you know that your patient is in the end stages, you should definitely opt for palliative care only. As stated earlier, this is not a curable disease yet, so palliative care is the only option available for end-stage cancer.
Learn About A New Treatment before Its Attempt.
Informative clinical studies are conducted for every new treatment option that is available today. Cancer treatment has evolved to great lengths. So if you come across a new option or a new treatment trial that your oncologist suggests, you should always look into the details of it or ask the oncologist about it only. Sometimes the trial is a success for one patient but a failure for another. The detailed study will reveal to you if the treatment is favorable for your patient or not. Multiple tests are conducted for the verification of this purpose.
Consult The Doctor For Any Side Effect.
Do not self-medicate the patient for any minor or major side effects the patient is having. Consult the doctor in case of bowel changes and appetite changes the patient is suffering. The doctor will always suggest medicine for it to control the extremity of the condition. Sometimes there are some common side effects of radiation therapy or chemotherapy that the doctor will inform you about before the treatment.
Never Refrain From Saying Yes to Help.
As much capable you are in handling the patient’s situation, don’t say no to help. You must know all the records better than others, but let others help in taking the patient to the daily radiation or chemotherapy appointments. Juggling between home and the hospital can be tiring for a single person and can result in a burn-out.
Loosen The Rope For Both Of You.
You should definitely take some time out for both of you and take breaks from this whole fiasco. As tiring as this gets, both of you need to relax over the weekend. Spending a normal Sunday at the end of each week will not do any harm for either of you. As important as physical rest is for you both, you need some mental peace too.
In the end, you need to know what is best for your patient, including the hospital, the treatment option, and the type of environment setting.