When you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, not only you but your family will also be affected. Your family can give you comfort and strength, but stress and anxiety can occur if family members do not have an appropriate way to deal with it. Therefore, it is important that both you and your family do have some proper preparation to avoid problems in future.
How cancer affects the patient
Being diagnosed with cancer means you will have to go through treatments and suffer from their bothersome side effects. Physical changes, including hair loss, scars from surgery, skin structure changes like rashes or burns, caused by treatments can be temporary or long-lasting. You can also encounter the decrease of your physical skills such as athletic abilities, balance, and agility, weight loss. The consequence of these treatments is considered to affect your emotion, too. You may feel sad, angry, and worried, disappointed about changes of your body. Your mind may from time to time fall in a state of anxiety, depression, and even fear. That is not to mention sexual desire and performance can also be affected by cancer and its treatment.
How will cancer affect my family
First of all, cancer is complicating and can change your family lifestyle.
Cancer has a great effect on even the happiest married couples. Facing the challenges of cancer together can strengthen your relationship and commitment, otherwise, the stress of cancer may create new problems and worsen existing problems.
Cancer means that there will be role changes in your family. You can no longer be the one who takes care of the family. Other members must take care of you now. It is absolutely a challenging adjustment and disrupts conventional habits.
Your children may have some changes in behavior resulting from your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Younger children may become impulsive, whereas older children or teenagers may become angry or distant, thus withdrawing from most of the family activities.
What can the family do to support?
Be active to change roles within your family
Your family will need to change roles and responsibilities. You may feel weak and have no energy due to the treatment and recovery, so it is important that other family members will be responsible for household and cooking. You can ask your children to do more chores. This will help them be aware of your family situation and become for responsible.
Regular family meetings are important for families to understand and keep up with what is going on with everyone.
Family meetings can be held once a week and on special days. Family meetings create chances for family members to share, and talk about anything that upsets them, discuss what needs to be prepared for the coming week. Spending time with each other is one of the most effective antidotes. Such meetings can tie the relationship between family members, help them understand and sympathize with each other. This can give you precious sources of motivation to fight your cancer when you know that your family always stands by your side.
Keep your children’s life as normal as possible
Older family members need to be patient in trying to keep your children’s daily schedules as normal as possible. Sadness can make them isolated from others. On the other hand, you need to encourage children to ask questions and let them know that it is okay for them to share their feelings and fear. And your children should be reassured that you will always love and care about them.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 21, 2017 | Last Modified: July 21, 2017
Cancer and Your Body. http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/young-adults/cancer-and-your-body. Accessed July 21, 2017
Family Life. http://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/talking-with-family-and-friends/family-life. Accessed July 21, 2017