Cancer doesn't equal a death sentence these days. But it is a life-changing diagnosis that brings up many emotions for both the patient and the family.
At any point from diagnosis to life posttreatment, your loved one might feel
- sad or hopeless about ever feeling fully whole again or that the best of life is over;
- anxious or overwhelmed, wondering what is to come (pain? future recurrence?) or how to face all the decisions;
- guilty about being a burden and a drain;
- angry that life hasn't been fair.
To support your relative, consider these strategies:
- Provide an outlet. "Mom, I can imagine you have a ton of different feelings. No matter what they are, I'm up for hearing about it. Sometimes it helps to just let your feelings out." You might also check for support groups in the Community Programs section of our e-library.