Until recently, cancer had been considered a terminal illness – people who were diagnosed with the disease were expected to die. Fortunately, with advances in science and new medicines, many people survive cancer.
Cancer is now seen as a chronic illness that people cope with over long periods of time. As a result of these changes, research and other interventions have focused on improving quality of life and survivorship. Given the family’s important role in the patient’s well being, it is essential to understand the impact of cancer on family life.
The diagnosis may leave some families broken because of the shift in the family structure. For instance, if a breadwinner gets diagnosed, the finances and family dynamics change dramatically.
Most families find it hard to talk to the diagnosed person, because they do not know how to deal with a disease of this magnitude. Cancer should not bring heartache to families, but should be used as a tool to glue families together. It is not a contagious disease – so do not be afraid to touch your loved one… they need your love and support now more than ever!
I appreciate the people in my life who, despite my illness, still treated me like a human being. Those are the people that kept me sane. Reach out and touch someone today – you won’t know what a difference you will make.
Your Buddy For Life