Every year over 1,600,000 people receive a cancer diagnosis. Discussion of this diagnosis often concerns questions about treatment options, side effects, and cure rates–questions asked by not only patients but also their caregivers. A cancer patient’s caregiver is someone who has taken on the responsibility to care for their loved one through the cancer journey. As they serve in this way, caregivers can often become overwhelmed and many times consumed with the duties of taking care of their loved one. Increased stress and exhaustion are frequently the result.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) provides several helpful tips just for caregivers on their website www.cancer.org. The following advice from the ACS is provided in the hope of helping decrease stress in the lives of caregivers and helping them stay healthy:
Make use of supportive family; do not be afraid to ask for help.
Save time at least once a week for just yourself.
Set priorities every day with your to-do list. Decide what has to be done and what can wait for later.
Pursue an outside project or hobby with your church or community, such as Relay For Life.
Try to keep your weight in a healthy range by eating well balanced meals and exercising at least 2 ½ hours a week.
As we enter the holiday season, everyone’s stress level tends to rise. For some cancer patients, this holiday might be the last one. Thus, to make the most of the time you have with the ones you love, try to follow some of these recommendations from the American Cancer Society to enjoy this holiday season as stress free as possible. For more information please visit www.cancer.org or www.fsro.net.
My staff and I wish for you a safe, happy, and meaningful holiday, as well as a healthy new year.