This site is for US residents 18 years of age or older.
 
 

Help your loved one face these potential obstacles

Lung cancer can present challenges for patients that don't necessarily have to do with their health. These challenges can cause extra stress for all concerned. They could also potentially cause treatment delays. Here's a list of some situations that could come about—and ways you can help keep them under control.

Is your loved one having difficulty getting information about lung cancer or treatment options? Are the materials written in a language you and your loved one are comfortable reading?

Help your loved one read up on lung cancer and all the available treatment options. If you need help finding information on your loved one's disease or treatment plan, ask your nurse, oncology social worker, or doctor for guidance. It's important for a patient to be an active participant in his or her care. Your involvement may also make a difference. The goal is to make informed decisions about all that you can.

Feeling like lung cancer controls you, too?

Write it out >

Want valuable lung cancer information—delivered right to your inbox?

Sign up now >

Will your loved one have any transportation issues? Is the distance from home to the treatment center a problem? Does your loved one even drive or own a vehicle?

Getting to and from appointments is critical to good medical care. If you can't help with transportation, there are charitable organizations that can. Ask them how they can help coordinate transportation to medical care. The patient navigator or oncology social worker you're meeting with may even be able to help you arrange transportation.

Is your loved one avoiding scheduled scans, afraid of what they may show? If this sounds familiar, he or she could be experiencing a very real fear referred to as "scanxiety," common among cancer patients.

Think about going with your loved one to appointments. Take notes. You can also help by scheduling the next appointment for your loved one and then following up so the appointment is not missed or delayed.

Is the financial aspect of fighting cancer greatly impacting the one you love?

Make sure you or your loved one is working with an oncology social worker to talk through financial issues for cancer patients. It's critical that financial issues not get in the way of sound medical decisions. There are questions you should be asking and financial assistance programs you could be learning about. Start now.

Is your loved one experiencing ongoing emotional stress? Do both of you need help dealing with it?

Healthcare professionals often recommend we prioritize our thoughts and ask ourselves, "Can I control what's happening right now?"; "Can I make an impact on this situation later?"; or "Is this out of my control?". Attention to things beyond our control simply drains energy from where our efforts really can make a difference. Writing your thoughts down is also something an oncology professional may recommend. You or your loved one could start with this personal journal.

Coordinating all the aspects of care can be overwhelming. Have you had time yet to meet with a patient navigator?

Managing different doctors and facilities can be confusing, demanding, and time-consuming. Look into getting a patient navigator or cancer care coordinator. Their job is to help you and your loved one coordinate doctor appointments, schedules, and other areas of concern.

Is your loved one getting enough help at home?

Remind your loved one that others want to offer support and just need to know how and when they can help. And remind your loved one that he or she is not alone and simply needs to ask for help.

 

You can be an invaluable ally in your loved one’s battle with lung cancer. Visit our community of links, PDFs, magazine articles, infographics, etc. for a wealth of information on lung cancer and support.

NEXT: The Road Ahead

NEXT: The Road Ahead

 
 

Feeling like lung cancer controls you, too?

Write it out >

Want valuable lung cancer information—delivered right to your inbox?

Sign up now >