How to Prepare for Cancer Treatment
No one is ever really ready to begin cancer treatment, but there are steps you and your loved ones can take prior to starting any treatment that can help make life during a little easier. We’ve brought together some tips to help.
Make a list, or two
First, making a list of everything you routinely do daily or weekly will help you assess your needs. Keep a notebook handy to jot them down, so you don’t forget. Some examples are:
- Grocery shopping
- Pack school/work lunch
- Extracurricular activities/child transports
- Walking/caring for pets
- Meal prep
Now create a separate list of things you may need help with which are specific to your treatment, such as rides to and from appointments, or a note taker at appointments. Getting some sort of wall calendar or digital calendar going to track all of your appointments is an excellent visual way to see where you may need help and when. You can overlay your treatment needs within the calendar with pre-existing appointments, activities, and plans to be sure you don’t miss anything.
Organize, organize, organize!
Once you have your list, there are several websites you can use to organize a digital signup sheet for tasks and activities to send out to your loved ones. While reaching out and managing your own calendar manually does work, using an electronic system may make it easier to manage. This type of structure allows people to contribute in meaningful ways that are also within their abilities.
Finally, provide updates
Oncology researchers agree that strong social networks and supports help improve outcomes of treatment by as much as 20 percent. Starting an email chain is another good way to connect your social network and keep them informed of your treatment and progress, so you aren’t continually repeating your story. Weekly updates ensure everyone gets an update, but you don’t have to constantly talk about your cancer every time you see someone.