A cancer diagnosis affects your whole family, here’s how to cope

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When a doctor says “cancer,” family members find themselves at a loss for how to best support their loved one while grappling with their own fears and anxiety.  Some family members may not feel comfortable discussing their feelings; others may avoid the situation entirely because they don’t know how to act or feel.

Regular conversations are important to help families deal with the changes that cancer is causing within the family dynamic.  Discuss upcoming challenges and how each family member can best contribute.

Research has shown that being a family member or caregiver of a loved one diagnosed with cancer can be even more stressful than having the disease.  People tend to feel guilty for thinking about themselves when their loved one is sick.  However, it is normal to feel grief over how a loved one’s disease is affecting you and even angry of how this is disrupting your life.

If you’re the family member or caregiver of a cancer patient, be sure to take time for yourself.  Though it’s important to be there to support your loved one, it’s just as important to support your own mental health.  Take walks or find your own way to unwind from stressful days.

Also, make sure you’re not the only one who has to bear the burden of taking care of someone with cancer.   Taking all responsibility onto yourself may even cause your sick loved one to feel guilty for their disease if they see it take a toll on you.  A group of people help alleviate some of the pressure and better support your loved one throughout the process.

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  1. I have a daughter who has been mentally and emotionally abusive to me for years . She is now diagnosed with liver cancer. and I’m the only one that can be there while her husband is at work. The abuse from her continues and now alot of guilt and blame thrown at me. Her sister lives in another state and blames me for not just eating the abuse because after all she has cancer. I am trying to be there for her but we only have one car “an old gas hog truck ” at times I ask if they could let me use one of their newer cars to go pick up my 6 year old grandson I’m raising from school while I’m there for helping her. My husband can’t afford to take off work , my grandson can’t miss anymore school . I’m not welcomed at my daughter’s unless it’s to be there for her like babysit, clean extra. I’m not allowed there on Christmas day unless other family comes for Christmas if they don’t then I can just come by Christmas Eve. I’m scared for my daughter having cancer . I wish she was little and I could hold her. tonight I can’t stop crying and feeling guilty due to my 2 daughters blaming me for feeling hurt and upset over everything.

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