When people are diagnosed with cancer, it’s easy to overlook the toll the disease also takes on the cancer caregivers.
Cancer can dramatically alter relationships, it forces parents to depend on their children and independent people to rely on their loved ones. But those who support cancer patients — such as spouses, partners, siblings, children or friends — tend to put their own needs on the back burner.
Across the UK today, 6.5 million people are carers.
Carers UK is a charity that supports carers, many of whom are stretched to the limit. Carers UK are there to listen, to give expert information and advice tailored to the situation. They champion the carers’ rights and support them in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever they are.
Cancer caregivers also need to take care of themselves and here are some suggestions which can help
Don’t feel guilty
Don’t let the illness of the person you are caring for make you neglect your needs through guilt. You can’t help someone else if your levels of energy and patience are low.
Make a happy list
Write down some of the things that help you feel joy and make time to do them, such as
- playing a good song
- going for a walk
- taking a bubble bath
It’s very important to keep up healthy sleep habits.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Be sure to recognize your stress and take steps to help you ease this strain.
Ask for help
If you are finding it hard you could reach out to an oncology social worker. This is a professional who can devise a personalized plan to help you cope with your role as a caregiver.
Dr Cohen started her working life as a research scientist and lecturer with over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
She followed a classical scientific career until she left mainstream science in 2000 (which coincided with the birth of her first daughter) to establish the Life Science Communications company, Euroscicon Ltd.
Euroscicon Ltd was her first company (which she sold in 2016).
In 2013 Dr Cohen was diagnosed with Cancer and set up Cancer Care Parcel which provides appropriate gifts for people with cancer.
Dr Cohen is the lead scientific advisor at Optimised Healthcare. A medical profiling company which provides advanced disease prediction, prevention and wellness optimization services.
She also works with and establishes businesses and charities which benefit local, national and international communities.