Caregivers are often the unsung heroes of a cancer diagnosis. Walking alongside someone with breast cancer is a hard journey, but you feel guilty complaining or asking for help. The good news is that Forge is here to support you, too, so that you can be a better, healthier caregiver for your loved one.
Here are some ways to better support yourself and your loved one.
Who is a Co-Survivor? – A co-survivor is anyone who lends support or is a caregiver to someone with breast cancer. And Forge supports you, too.
6 Tips for Co-Survivors – In order to provide the best help possible, you may need some guidance yourself. Here are 6 tips for being a helpful caregiver.
How to Be There for a Friend – Being there for a loved one with breast cancer can take many forms—and there’s no doubt that the help you provide will be needed.
The Mistake I Made with my Grieving Friend – Empathy requires a supportive response. Here is an article that shows how to better respond to your struggling loved one.
Providing Meals Your Loved One Can Eat – Often those going through cancer treatment don’t feel well enough to eat. Here are some tips.
Respecting Your Loved One’s Choices – Helping your loved one maintain a sense of dignity can be one of the most difficult aspects of caregiving. Here are some tips.
How to Ask For and Accept Help – Asking for help is not easy, especially when you aren’t the one with a cancer diagnosis. But co-survivors need support, too.
Self-Care for Caregivers – Taking care of yourself replenishes your body, mind and soul to fulfill an incredibly demanding role. Here are some self-care suggestions.
Accepting Your Loved One’s Diagnosis – Caregivers who can accept a loved one’s breast cancer are better able to cope with whatever unfolds. Here are some tips.
Feelings of Guilt and Shame as a Caregiver – Feelings of guilt or shame that you aren’t a good enough caregiver are typical. Here are some ways to help you feel better.
Life After Caregiving – Some caregivers find they’re not quite sure what to do with themselves when caregiving ends. Here are ways to deal with that.
Strained Marriages – Being a caregiver can put a strain on your marriage, whether you are caring for your spouse or someone else. Here are some strategies.
Talking to Children About Cancer – Telling children about a breast cancer diagnosis often falls to the co-survivor. Here are some tips on how to discuss with them.
Genetics and Breast Cancer – Unsure what you need to know about your genetics and risks? Here is some information.
Managing the Costs of a Cancer Diagnosis – Breast cancer is expensive, even if you have health insurance. Here are some tips for managing the costs.
Caregiving While Working – Being a caregiver while working can be especially difficult. Here is some information about missing time from work.
Organizing Your Loved One’s Financial Documents – Organizing financial documents for your loved one can be difficult, but it’s essential help. Here’s how to start.
Advanced Care Planning – Through honest talks with your loved one, they can explain what’s important to them and what kind of treatments they do and do not want.
Advance Directives – An advance directive is a legal document that explains how medical decisions to be made if your loved one cannot make them. Here’s more.
Powers of Attorney – A power of attorney names a person who can act on someone else’s behalf. Here’s basic information for you to consider.
Living Wills – A living will is a written, legally binding document that informs doctors about preferences for medical care at the end of life. Here’s more information.
Palliative Care – The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for patients and their family, including caregivers. Here’s more information.
Hospice Care – The word hospice might trigger the notion of giving up on life, but the goal is to give a person the best possible quality of life. Here’s information.
Nutrition – Nutrition is important for co-survivors, too. Eating well can help you feel better, have more energy, and be a better caregiver.
Yoga – Research shows yoga can help improve physical functioning, reduce fatigue & stress, and improve sleep. Here’s how and some classes.
Meditation – Practicing meditation is believed to calm the mind, increase alertness, and bring a person into psychological balance. Here’s how to start meditating.
Exercise – Being a caregiver can be physically draining. Regular exercise is an important part of being as healthy as you can be.
Relaxation Techniques – Some who have had breast cancer feel that relaxation calms and quiets the mind and muscles. Here are some techniques you can use.
Maintaining and Fostering Hope – When caring form someone with breast cancer, it’s easy to lose hope. Here are some tips to help you get back hope as a co-survivor.
Managing your Fears – There are a lot of unknowns about your loved one’s treatment and outcomes and anxiety about the future. Here are ways to manage.
Keeping a Journal – It Can Help! – Many people find writing their thoughts and feelings down in a journal helps them cope. Here are tips to get started.
Get Matched with Someone Who Understands – Forge has trained volunteers who have been caregivers, too. Let us match you with someone who understands.
Finding a Support Group – Support Groups can be a great way to connect with others who are also caregivers. Here’s a list. Find one that’s right for you.
How Can Forge Support You? – We have lots of ways to help co-survivors and caregivers. This link will tell you how.
Spirituality and Religion – People who have been faced with cancer often have questions and concerns of a spiritual nature. Here are ways to incorporate your spirituality.
Connecting with Healthcare Chaplains – Chaplains are available to provide counseling and support to patients and family members throughout their journey.
When Someone You Love Dies – There’s a grace to being at the bedside of someone you love as they transition out of this world. Here’s a thought on taking it in.
A Resource for Prayers – This website gathers great prayers written by spiritual visionaries in an online database representing all life affirming traditions.
If you have any questions or concerns about breast cancer, treatment, diagnosis, side effects, or need help with any obstacle that stands in the way of your love one’s healing, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205)990-5367 or [email protected]. We’re just one phone call away.