Once the battle against kidney cancer begins, everything changes. Instead of family gatherings and vacations, your schedules and routines begin to revolve around things like oncology appointments and treatments.
Kidney cancer is a test for the person receiving treatment and for his or her support network of family, friends and caregivers. As a member of that support system, you may be looking for ways to provide comfort through what could be a long and difficult journey.
The more you learn about things like helping your loved one manage treatment side effects, how to communicate with the cancer care team and more, you can create a plan to support your friend or family member, and you.
Support during kidney cancer: The emotional side
Lending emotional support to your loved one — who is experiencing emotions they often feel no one else could possibly understand — can be draining. He or she will likely go through different phases, from despair and sadness to guilt and anger. Physically, there can be appetite changes, rapid weight loss and hair loss. Many caregivers report that treatments can fuel depression and cause sleepless nights for their loved one, and for them.
Support your family member during kidney cancer treatments by taking care of yourself
Studies show that caregivers are at high risk for depression, drug and alcohol abuse; even physical illness. For you, the caregiver, it is crucial to stay healthy and focused. Here are some tips to help:
- Be a kidney cancer “expert” – Learn everything you can about the disease and how it can affect your loved one. The internet is a great source for accredited information and caregiver support groups. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest treatment options so you can ask the oncologist the right questions.
- Don’t go it alone –Lean on friends and other family members. Ask them for help for things like errands or housecleaning. Be sure to find out if your hospital or community offers services such as adult day care, transportation assistance and home nursing. Home meal deliveries may even be available.
- Take care of yourself– It’s essential to support your physical and mental health by eating right, getting adequate sleep, exercising and talking to someone about the stress you’re feeling. Taking care of yourself will let you take care of your loved one.
Advanced, compassionate kidney cancer care for the people of Central New Jersey
If your loved one is facing a kidney cancer diagnosis, know that a team of experienced oncologists and hematologists is close by, ready to provide world-class cancer treatment in Central Jersey. With six locations, we make your care as convenient and accessible as possible. And not only can you count on cutting edge, yet personalized treatment plans, you can rely on a “full-service” cancer team. From palliative care to relieve pain and stress, to financial advocacy and more, we strive to manage every aspect and detail of your loved one’s care.