Someone close to you has just been diagnosed with cancer, and you’re trying to figure out how to show your support. Sometimes, you even wonder how you can help out other cancer patients, too, even if you don’t have a career in science or medicine. From helping your loved one stay active with tips from Fit Life Travel to participating in clinical trials, here are a few things you can do if you want to support cancer patients.
Pursue a Career in Nursing
After hearing about your loved one’s diagnosis, you might feel motivated to take your career in a different direction so that you can help cancer patients. Perhaps you’re thinking about pursuing a career in nursing. In order to become a nurse, you will need to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare or nursing. This will ensure that you have both the skills and credentials necessary to best treat your patients. If you don’t think you’ll be able to commute to a local campus for classes, you could always earn your degree online – this will allow you to keep up with school and work simultaneously.
Stay Active Together
Depending on your loved one’s condition, they may still be able to exercise on a regular basis. You could offer to be their fitness partner! Before working out with your loved one, check in to see what kinds of workouts their doctor would deem appropriate. And if your loved one can’t exercise right now, you could always spend time outdoors together so that they can get some fresh air. Just hanging out in your backyard could be a nice change of pace! If they are having trouble cooking for themselves, you could also offer to make some tasty meals that fit their doctor’s recommendations.
Provide Mental Health Support
Your loved one might be struggling to cope with the stress of their treatment. You can certainly comfort them, but you may not always know what to say. If your loved one has expressed interest in talking to a therapist, you can help them find a counselor who specializes in working with cancer patients. Livestrong also recommends looking into support groups – your loved one might benefit from connecting with people who are also living with a cancer diagnosis.
Assist With Logistical Issues
Does your loved one need someone to drive them to doctor’s appointments? Do they ever have questions about their health insurance coverage? When it comes to logistical issues like these, you can step in to simplify things for your loved one. Whether you want to give your loved one a ride or research their insurance questions, getting involved with tasks like these can lighten their burden.
Participate in Clinical Trials
Taking part in clinical trials is one of the easiest ways to further the cause of cancer research. If you’re interested in enrolling in a clinical trial, University Health System states that you should start by looking up nearby pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, universities, and federally funded research sites. These institutions will often run trials and recruit new participants. If you come across a trial you’re interested in, reach out to see if you would be eligible. And if you’ll be taking a new pharmaceutical treatment during the trial, make sure to ask about any potential side effects.
When someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, it can feel like your whole world has turned upside down. Giving them a helping hand can make their day-to-day life easier. And with these tips, you’ll be able to take action to support other cancer patients, too.
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