What’s On Your Mind? My Partner Has Cancer
Posted 2 years ago
Cancer can affect a family in all sorts of ways, and it’s not only the person with the diagnosis that is affected. Loved ones often don’t know what to do for the best. Allan Reid, Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist has advice.
A good listener.
* People can respond to a cancer diagnosis in different ways. Even if you think you know someone well it’s hard to predict how they may react.
* When you offer to listen or to help you shouldn’t expect an answer straight away. Men in particular often find it hard to talk about their needs or feelings. Research has shown that people do appreciate such offers, even if it takes them days or weeks to respond to it.
* Sometimes it’s easier to give practical support, for example offering to go with your partner to hospital appointments. This type of sharing can strengthen a relationship and lead to more sharing of hopes and fears.
* Take time to think about what you can manage to do and what you can’t do when you’re offering help. Remember it’s important to look after yourself if you want to be at your best when caring for someone else.
Prepare for change
* Don’t be surprised if your partner’s mood varies. There’ll be good days and bad days. It’s normal for most people to have days when they feel sad or even depressed.
* Any interest in sex or food or hobbies may change from time to time. Always remember that lack of interest isn’t a sign of lack of affection.
For more info on caring for someone with cancer, visit www.macmillan.org.uk
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