Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Ways to Show Support for a Family Member Going through Chemo

Watching a family member endure chemotherapy can feel jarring; as you’re experiencing these emotions, keep in mind the situation that your loved one is facing. Maintaining your own strength is important, but so is offering support to this individual who is undergoing a frightening and physically taxing experience.

Provide Transportation

A relative undergoing chemotherapy will likely need transportation to and from these treatment sessions and potentially to and from appointments with other doctors as well. The knowledge and assurance of a safe and comfortable ride can help your loved ones to check one item off of their to-do lists. Remember that your relative may feel tired and nauseated after the treatments, so you want to offer a high level of comfort in your vehicle.

Offer Spiritual Support

In the event that your loved one is religious or spiritual, infuse these practices into your plan for support. For example, your relative may ask for prayers, good thoughts or meditations where you keep positive intentions in mind. Your relative may request that you participate in these practices together, and doing so can truly offer a strong sense of confidence and security.

Shave Your Head in Solidarity

Another way to demonstrate support is to consider signing up for an event with a child cancer donation charity. Many individuals feel alone or embarrassed when they lose their hair due to chemotherapy. Show your relative that this individual does not need to feel alone in this element of the experience by shaving your own head.

Cook or Send Meals

Your loved one likely does not want to have to think about household chores, especially on days where this relative goes to chemotherapy. Of course, you should chat with your relative about this plan. Some people might feel as though cooking a simple meal offers some relief and acts as a distraction. Furthermore, chemotherapy can cause patients to feel nauseated, so you want to discuss appropriate food choices with your loved one.

Listen to Your Loved One

Sometimes, people going through chemotherapy want to talk and express their emotions. However, they are afraid that they will scare loved ones in providing the details of emotions and of the treatment. Let your relative know that speaking to you is certainly an option. You can even ask this person if speaking about the chemotherapy is a preferred action. Knowing that the possibility exists to talk can offer relief.

Your family member needs your support at this time. In a variety of ways, you can offer this level of support.

Tim Esterdahl

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