Remember Your Needs

As you try to support and help the person you love, you must also think about your own needs. What helps you get through bad days? Are you able to throw yourself into your work? Do you enjoy sports or a hard workout at the gym? Are movies or good books an escape? How can your friends and family best support you? 

Remember: It is not selfish to think about yourself. In fact, it is vital that you do so. Caring for yourself is one of the most important parts of being a caregiver.  

It is likely that you and your loved one have a long, sometimes bumpy, road ahead. Living with recurrent or advanced cancer is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will take all of your emotional energy to keep you both focused and moving forward. Unlike the first time, you will now be dealing with cancer and cancer treatments on an ongoing basis. There will be good times and, unfortunately, there will be hard times. No one can tell you how long your loved one will live with metastatic cancer. Statistics refer to a large number of people, and you are worrying about just one. There are always people who do much better than expected, and hopefully, your loved one is in that category. 

Remember that there are a lot of people who are eager to help you both. Learn to say “yes, thank you” to some of their offers, and resist the temptation to do everything yourself. You and your partner will benefit from the collective affection and energy of your family and friends.

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