3 Ways To Help A Relative Through Chemotherapy


If one of your close relatives was recently diagnosed with cancer, there is a good chance that he or she may have to go through chemotherapy (chemo) for treatment of this horrible disease. Chemo is one of the most common treatment options used for many types of cancer, and it is recommended by most oncologists. While it can help stop the cancer from spreading, it can also have side-effects. If you want to help your relative through this tough time, you may want to consider doing the following things.

Be There Without Expectations

The number one way to support a friend or relative that is going through chemo is to be there for him or her without expecting anything in return. Chemo is a huge event in a person's life and can leave a person weak, sick, and depressed. If you want to truly support your relative during this time, be there for him or her as much as possible. Keep in mind, though, that he or she will not be able to give much to you during this time.

When you call and get no answer, leave a message, but don't expect him or her to return your call. If you stop by to visit and your relative is not in the mood to talk, realize that it is probably because he or she isn't feeling well. You could sit with him or her or ask if there's something needed, but don't expect anything from him or her.

Go With To Chemo Treatments

Chemo is usually done at a hospital or doctor's office, and each treatment may last several hours. During this time, your friend will receive the treatment while lying in a bed. If you want to be supportive of your relative, you can accompany him or her to the treatments. He or she will need someone to drive him or her there, so you may want to just plan on staying while the treatment is done.

While the treatment is being conducted, your relative may get bored and uncomfortable, but you can bring things along that might help. Here are some ideas of things to bring that may help him or her get through these treatments a little easier:

  • Movies – Most chemo centers have TVs and DVD players you can use during treatment. If you can, bring along some movies your relative would enjoy. This could keep him or her occupied for several hours during treatment.
  • Music – Headphones and a music player are also nice to have for people that enjoy listening to music.
  • Books – If your relative enjoys reading, bring some books or magazines along for him or her to read.

You could also ask your relative if there's anything else you could bring to make this treatment time a little easier or more enjoyable.

Make Meals

The third important thing to consider doing for your relative is bringing meals. This is especially important if he or she lives alone or if your relative was the primary person in the home responsible for making meals.

Not only will this ensure that your relative is getting nutrition, but it could also be a huge burden lifted off his or her shoulders. As you plan your meals, keep in mind that a person going through chemo will need certain types of foods to eat. The types needed will help the person rebuild his or her strength and immune system. Here are some suggestions:

  • Whole grains – Whole grains contain vitamins, fiber, and minerals and are great for people going through chemo. This can include whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, wheat germ, and barley.
  • Proteins – Proteins are great for boosting the immune system and can include lean red meat, eggs, tofu, and beans.
  • Fluids – You can also provide your relative with an assortment of different beverages to drink. These are important for keeping him or her hydrated. Some options include seltzer water, popsicles, sherbet, and fruit juices.

With the right support and love, your relative may be able to get through this time period a little easier. If you would like to learn more ways to help, talk to the oncologist that is treating your relative.


17 July 2015

learning how to tend to sick and injured kids

My name is Dan and this is my blog. I am a recently singled father of three that is learning everything about caring for my kids as I go along. Before my wife passed, she was the one that took care of the kids when they were sick or injured, so I had a lot of learning to do and I had to do it as quickly as possible. I got together with some of the parents from my kids' school and they helped out quite a bit. I created my blog for two reasons - to keep my facts straight and to help other parents learn what I have struggled to learn.