Having a Friend With Cancer, How to Cope
Having a relative or friend who has been diagnosed with chronic or terminal illness is not easy. Many people who see their loved one suffer may feel sympathetic towards them, but often caregiver or friend may be secretly suffering themselves. It is tough work to be a rock and close with someone who is terminally. When one person has a chronic illness, it affects not only them, but everyone around them. There are a few steps that can be taken to help you in this difficult time.
First, always remember to take care of yourself. This may sound simple, but it is much harder when put into practice. Before you are capable of taking care of anyone, you must be both emotionally and physically ready. There are a few ways of doing this, such as eating properly. By eating healthy meals, three times a day, you are ensuring your strength, which may be necessary if your loved one requires heavy lifting. Also, get eight hours of sleep. This may seem like a difficult task, especially with anxiety that may be present surrounding your loved ones illness, but it is imperative.
Also, just as your sick loved one needs an emotion support system (hence you), you need one as well. By help caring for a loved one, you are exhausting yourself both emotionally and physically, and support system can be a life-saver. Sometimes people do not realize strain that is put on loved ones of the chronically and terminally ill, and that is why you should not hesitate on asking for help, especially from friends and family.
When one is diagnosed with chronic or terminal illness, things in their and your life will be changed forever. When the diagnosed is found out, everyone involved needs to recognize the challenges that lie already. Once these issues are acknowledged and accepted, it will make day-to-day management smoother. Also, recognize your attitude in the mist of all this chaos, even though you may not be saying your feeling out loud, you body gestures and facial expressions maybe saying them for you.
Next, is anger, which is a healthy human response. Getting angry that this happened to you and your loved one is very common, because it may not be fair. You may be thinking that you loved one is a good person, and that someone else may deserve this illness, but not your loved one.
Bargaining is the third stage, in which a person may make a deal with God. You may say that you will be a better person if they get better. This stage is followed by depression, in which you may not care anymore. This stage is one that many people spend a lot of time in. It can be hard to come out of depression, but with the right support group, it is possible.
Last is acceptance. When one comes to accept that their loved one is ill, they are more likely to be productive and truly help their loved one. Even though a person has gone through the acceptance stage, this does not mean they cannot backslide into the previous steps.
Even though you did nothing to provoke this illness on your loved one, you may feel bad, and this is healthy. It is a necessity for you to get involved with a support group, whether it be formal or just your friends. However, this is not the time to be alone. With the right attitude, you can get through this, even though that may not seem possible right now. Just keep in mind you love for your friend or relative and make every moment count.