As a patient with cancer or the caregiver for someone with cancer, you may have experienced an abrupt awareness that you are not only dealing with the medical aspects of a life threatening disease, but that you are thrown into an emotional journey lasting months and years. Like so many of us, you quickly surround yourself with trained medical practitioners who give you everything you need to deal with the disease, but unfortunately, you are more often left totally on your own to deal with the emotional journey.
The emotional journey triggered by cancer can be intense. In past, the assumption may have been that the patient was the one dealing with these issues and anguish. However, over time that assumption has evolved, and as life changes, patients, caregivers and even visitors all struggle to find a new normal.
Research suggests that awareness, education and training can help – in fact, cancer outcomes can be improved up to 20% when patients have a strong support community. Often times, however, the medical community simply recommends that you visit your local cancer support center or search online to gather the help that you need. OUR approach, rather, assists you to navigate this “new normal”.
When the patient cannot effectively deal with the “cancer journey”, often the caregiver takes over. This new normal is an evolutionary one which often affects both the patient and the caregiver.
- For the patient: the caregiver becomes the advocate and support system between the four stages of the journey: diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and transition to normalcy.
- For the caregiver: unanticipated stress / coping-related issues / symptoms may arise over time resulting in illness and/or maladaptive coping mechanisms.
So what do caregivers need?
- A supportive and effective community;
- Awareness, education and training to answer questions and learn how to deal and minimize the stress and emotions associated with the disease;
- To find a new normal from who you were to who you are going to be; and
- Information that addresses the issues related to the development of new attitudes, values, and perspectives.
Visitors need direction and guidance.
- When questions arise visitors often struggle for answers. What can I do? Who can I help? What does the patient need?
- These questions often frustrate visitors and create angst for patients.
- Watch “Secrets, Tips & Advice” the Find Your New Normal monthly live video broadcast.
- Patients, caregivers and visitors can build and maintain an effective support community by accessing the Find Your New Normal approach of education and training through access to a monthly online talk-show and video replays supported by an active Google+ and Facebook community.
- Using a live video interview format, we uncover personal “wisdom” that can be used to overcome the stressful challenges of living with cancer. This practical, street-wise guidance will become a library of knowledge nuggets that can be shared with everyone to be used during their own cancer story.
- Find Your New Normal is there when you need someplace to turn!
Review this month's live broadcast here.