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Many of you are caregivers of cancer patients. You are the family and friends helping someone you love as they go through the journey of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of cancer care.
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as a caregiver — it's just something you do naturally as you take care of someone you love.
Caregiving can mean daily things such as traveling to doctor visits, making meals, running errands, picking up prescriptions and taking on new and extra roles at home. There may be difficult emotions and feelings to cope with.
As a caregiver, it's normal to put your own needs aside for a while. However, it's also important to be aware of your own health and wellbeing during this time. You need to take care of yourself so that you can continue to care for others.
Mayo Clinic has a new study open to cancer caregivers that is researching interventions to improve quality of life and prevent burnout by addressing multiple areas of concerns including physical, mental, psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing.
This cancer caregiver intervention will be delivered by a team including a chaplain, social worker, physical therapist, psychiatrist and psychologist.
You may be eligible to participate if:
The study requires only one in-person visit for enrollment. All other study visits (total of 8 visits over a period of 4 weeks) will be conducted through videoconference sessions.
After you complete the 8 video session visits, additional follow-up assessments studying the impact of the intervention will be completed online once a month for 5 months.
For more information, please contact Deb Schott at (507) 538-1521.
I'd love to have you share your thoughts on caregiving. What's been your experience? What are some of the strategies that helped you?
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Everyone from the doctor to drop in nurses advise to "take care of yourself". However the real work needs to be done and very few organisations provide just what you need.
I would be interested in participating. I live in lower Bucks county, PA. I have been taking care of my husband who has metastatic renal cancer in the spine and metastatic prostate cancer in the spine, as well. Our lives have been totally altered because of this. He has been in hospital five times since July, 2013. There are days when I believe I can handle the situation by myself and other days when I feel too guilty to admit it is extremely difficult to keep my sanity.
Unfortunately I live in Canada and cannot participate ...although I would love to.
I have been caring for my husband with stage 4 colon cancer for nearly 2 years. My cat died suddenly last week and that seems to be have been the catalyst for not coping at all any more.I am totally burn't out and no have no one to turn too
People have no idea how the care givers life is affected too..
My husband was diagnosed with a second cancer six months ago and decisions related to the second cancer (lower gum) are difficult to make because the first cancer (myelofibrosis) has debilitated my husband mentally and physically, requiring more attention to his welfare/decision making from me than ever before. What helps me cope are: (1) chatting and walking with a neighbor whose husband also has a chronic cancer, (2) any physical activity outdoors such as hiking, gardening,, (3) online and local support groups.
Best wishes with the study -- I live to far away to participate. SS
My husband has end stage lung cancer. Caring for him has been the most challenging job i've ever had. The physical needs are doable but the emotional toll is huge, especially because of how close we are. every day it seems i am staring death in the face. I think i am too far away for your study but...i would like to see an organized (by the oncologists) respite program for caregivers as well as counselling and perhaps alternative care - massage, meditation, etc. keeping in mind that often we can't just leave to go and "do something for ourselves". Last year, because I was so focused on hubby, I missed symptoms of pneumonia in myself that led to 12 days in hospital. An illustration of how caregiving consumes you.
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