Like with any cancer diagnosis, its very important to have support when you are facing a prostate cancer diagnosis. Building a care team with healthcare providers, family members and close friends can make navigating a prostate cancer journey much easier. Caregivers can help with day-to-day tasks while emotionally supporting a man during this critical time.
If you are a caregiver, here are some quick tips on how you can help during a time when you may feel pretty helpless:
1. Learn. There are lots of decisions to make. Lots of questions to ask and lots of unknown information and unfamiliar terms. This can lead to a lot of stress. Caregivers may be better positioned to research and leanr about all the different available treatment options, than a man who is still processing a cancer diagnosis. Get informed and learn about the pros and cons of all the treatment options. Be able to intelligently discuss the options Being able to and give further information on the treatments.
2. Take Care of Yourself. Find ways to take care of yourself and find support as needed. It can be demanding and emotionally draining to constantly be strong and support someone else through a health crisis. Do what you need to do to maintain your own mental and physical health. Since prostate cancer is so prevalent, there are support groups for caregivers that work to ease the burden of support while providing an open space to discuss treatment ideas and other issues that may occur.
3. Participate. Once caregivers have done their research and have located a support group to join, they are ready to do the biggest part of their duty: participate. Oftentimes, the anxiety of making decisions can hinder a man’s ability to successfully tackle prostate cancer. With an educated voice from their caregiver, a man is more likely to weigh the options and choose based on well-informed data.
Being a caregiver is rewarding, knowing a man’s prostate cancer journey has been alleviated. But it is important for caregivers to take the role seriously while continuing to maintain their own health and happiness.