Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eight Awesome Tips To Help Cancer Patients

Acts of Kindness To Help Make Life Easier for A Patient Undergoing Cancer Treatment
By Margot Malin     

It may be an awkward moment when you learn that a friend, loved one, or coworker has been diagnosed with cancer. You may initially be at a loss for words and yet you want to offer empathy and comfort. Here are 8 Tips and Helpful Gifts of Kindness so you can create your own plan to help the cancer patient you know along his or her journey.

Food – Go grocery shopping – stock the refrigerator with fresh, healthy and easy to prepare items. Cook dinner for the family and deliver it.

Childcare – Cancer patients get tired, sometimes very tired. You can offer to baby sit for young children. Offer to arrange and take older children on play dates. If you know the children well, take them on a little outing – to the playground, to a movie, to a show or museum. During this stressful time, school work might suffer. Offer to tutor, or arrange for a tutor for those subjects that are particularly challenging right now.

Laundry and other daily chores – Laundry can be easily postponed when someone is not feeling well. Offer to do the laundry – at your home or theirs – or take it to a wash and fold service. Helping with other daily chores and activities can be a great way to relieve the patient of some activities which might be repetitive, tiring and stressful.

Chemotherapy and Radiation sessions – Offer to drive to radiation oncology sessions and chemo appointments. Sitting and receiving an infusion can be cold and lonely. Stay during chemo to help the time pass – you can write letters, read aloud, listen to music, or look at poetry during these sessions. Bring a warm and cozy blanket with you. Other things you can bring to pass the time: an ipad, a laptop, a Kindle, craft supplies.

Doctor appointments – Offer to drive to a doctor appointment or accompany the patient on public transportation – and if the patient is open to the idea – be present when the patient speaks with the doctor. A second set of ears is a welcome addition during this stressful time. Maybe you can think of questions that the patient might be too overwhelmed or nervous to consider. You can also take notes about the visit to be sure that the important takeaways are remembered.

Medical record keeping and medical research – You can help by doing medical research about the patient’s diagnosis as well as research into complimentary and alternative therapies. Personal health record keeping is especially important during treatment and beyond. Consider purchasing either a special loose leaf / workbook to keep track of paper records, or the Minerva Health Manager, electronic personal health record software.

Side effect solutions – There are many products to help unpleasant and uncomfortable physical side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. For example, you can find products to help radiation dermatitis, radiation burns, hair loss, dry mouth and mouth sores, nausea, and more. To learn about products that can help reduce and relieve cancer treatment side effects visit www.LotsToLiveFor.com.

Books, CD’s and Music – There are many inspirational books written by, and about cancer patients. Just two examples are: From Incurable to IncredibleCancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds written by Tami Boehmer, a cancer survivor and When Cancer Hits – A Complete Guide to Taking Care of You Through Treatment authored by Britta Aragon, also a cancer survivor. There are rest and relaxation CD’s. Breast Cancer Yoga has created a CD for breathing and meditation and a DVD for gentle yoga. Recovery Fitness also has an Exercise for Cancer Patients DVD. There are also CD’s and DVD’s available to reduce stress and enhance relaxation.
A little thought and creativity can help you come up with many other helpful ideas. You can even ask the patient to give you a wish list of what kind of help they might appreciate for their situation. Some of the best expressions of support are inexpensive and some are free – but they are all priceless to the patient receiving your kindness.

Margot Malin is the CEO, President and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc. which sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Lots To Live For, Inc. was founded after the passing of Margot’s mother and grandmother who both fought courageous battles against cancer.

To find products to help reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment please visit: www.LotsToLiveFor.com
Visit our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/LotsToLiveFor for information and inspiration!