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Hey Caregivers...question for you


KatieB

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What advice would you give to a new caregiver? (Think back, what helped or what would you have wished someone said or explained to you when your loved one was first dx. with lung cancer?)

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Get a 2nd opinion.

Get a 3rd opinion.

Join a support group, on line is great. LCSC saved my sanity on many occasion and answered many of my questions. Thank you Katie.

Take other family members or friends to every drs. appt. Tape what the dr. has to say. You will not remember it all, I guarantee that.

Tell the person with LC that you love them everyday.

Encourage a normal life as much as possible.

Liquids, liquids, liquids.

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well, you know I don't have to think back very far - so I'm not sure how much value I will add but 'ditto' to everything ginny said, and:

* accept help. make a plan for it. i think everyone who asks can help in some way.

* allow yourself your own time and space to keep your sanity (***and check in with your gp and get some medicinal help if needed - respecting this is a personal choice***)

* if you are working a FT job while also being a caregiver - have a core group of 'back up' folks. hopefully employers will be supportive and understanding (I couldn't ask for more from mine!!) but be sure that someone can help you out if you have an unexpected absence.

* be kind to yourself - accept that you are mentally taxed, preoccupied and distracted. you will forget things, disappoint some people and perhaps withdraw from less important tasks - and it is all OK.

for me, accepting that my Mom has this illness has made me grieve to a degree and we all know that grief is very personal and unique. i have given myself the latitude to cry when I want, be alone when I want, be direct (harsh) when I want and do what I need to get myself - and my Mom - through this with no regrets or second guessing (as much as that is possible).

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1. Get lots of opinions until you are comfortable.

2. Be pushy (but polite b/c you get more bees with honey). You are the advocate!

3. Research, k nowledge is power

4. As Ginny said, HYDRATION is key.

5. Join a support group and ask quesitons. NO question is too silly!!!!!!

6. Anti-depresssants can be a blessing.

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NEVER and I mean NEVER believe or allow your loved one with cancer to believe that they are just another statistic. Do not allow your doctors to place a timeframe on their life. You have to believe and encourage them that they are going to make it through their toughest fight of their life. Without that drive in them, it would be that much more difficult for them to fight. And damn it, we need all of our loved ones to fight.. dont we?

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