A cancer diagnosis can be devastating for your friends and family. This diagnosis can come at a time when you are establishing your independence from family and redefining your connections with parents, family members and friends. It is important to surround yourself with people who support you in this trying time. Allow your family and/or friends to be involved in your cancer journey. In fact, studies have shown that young patients who have support throughout treatment are less likely to suffer from depression and isolation.
Choose one or two people to be your caregiver throughout your treatment. These people can help with your everyday tasks like paying bills and getting you to appointments and can be your best advocates throughout your treatment. It is also helpful to have someone attend doctors appointments with you, as there is a wealth of information being thrown at you. Having someone tag along to take notes can be helpful.
Questions a caregiver can ask of your health care team
- What can I do to make my child/friend comfortable during treatment?
- Which side effects should I look for that may be abnormal?
- What can I do to keep their immune system strong?
- When will we know if the treatment is working?
- What will we do if the treatment stops working?
- Will you explain what each number represents when you are looking at blood work?
- How can I connect with other parents who have children with this disease?
- May I have access to other parents who have had children battle ovarian cancer or other gynecologic cancers?
- Are their specialists you can recommend, such as a nutritionist, to help guide us through treatment?