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Can Being A Caretaker To A Loved One Fighting Cancer Change The Dynamic Of Your Relationship?

When you hear that life changing news “it’s cancer” from a physician, typically the first thing you do is turn to your support system, whoever that may be in your life. It can take even weeks just to process all of what is to come for most, and it certainly is a massive concern to your friends and family hearing the news. When the time comes for the actual treatment to begin, it can be grueling for all involved.

After weeks of radiation and/or chemotherapy you are exhausted, as are the folks taking you and holding your hand throughout the treatment appointments. From start to finish it can be a 24/7 operation administering medications, to getting up all hours of the night to help them when pain or nausea arises.

This exact constant need for support was recently displayed on the Bravo Network series, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” for cast members Nene and Gregg Leakes. Essence revealed that Gregg has been battling stage 3 colon cancer, and it has been the center of the season during the show. Some fans have criticized Mrs. Leakes for voicing her story on social media, as she’s mentioned that her husband can be “grouchy” even when she’s making an effort to help him.

The thing is, caring for someone you love fighting this awful disease can be trying on your time, your own physical and mental health, and your own home life just trying to keep up your prior routine before cancer. Many can’t afford to just take a lengthy leave of absence to care for someone and it becomes way too much pressure on one person trying to keep the family afloat financially on top of the medical treatments.

Best case scenario is those that have a back up plan with a savings account, or some type of panning where the financial piece would be covered should a devastating illness such as cancer arise, but for millions of working class folks, that just isn’t feasible. Going into treatment with a healthy attitude that there will be ups and downs is ideal. Trying to see both sides of what the other is experiencing is also worth a daily “Hey, how are you holding up”, or a “Thanks for everything you do”. It’s the smallest things that can brighten someone’s day just by being present and showing that support. You’re in this together so always remember you’re on the same team.

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