Category Archives: Cancer Caregivers

You Must Take Care of Yourself While Caring for a Cancer Patient

When you’re caring for a loved one who is undergoing cancer treatment, it’s easy to put them first while losing sight of your own needs. While that feeling is understandable, taking care of yourself benefits both you and the patient.

What Is a Caregiver?

Many cancer patients receive treatment on an outpatient basis, meaning they still spend significant portions of time at home. “Caregiver” is generally used to refer to an unpaid friend or family member who tends to a patient’s day-to-day needs.

Caregiving can include anything from feeding, dressing and bathing a patient to providing transportation, handling finances and attending cancer treatment appointments. For many people, these duties are over and above the needs of themselves and other family members they may be responsible for.

Tips for Self-Care 

Caring for a cancer patient can be deeply fulfilling, but it may also be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Here are some helpful ways to maintain your energy and spirits.

*Be sure to schedule time for personal activities you enjoy. This could include lunch with a friend, reading a good book or taking a walk.

*Don’t be afraid to seek support. There are a number of peer groups for caregivers, as well as counselors who specialize in this issue. If you’re religious or spiritual, this can be another avenue for support.

*Ask other friends and family members for help when the load gets to be too much. It’s neither feasible nor advisable to handle everything on your own.

*Keep up your strength and morale by eating a healthy diet. Plan regular meals with balanced nutrition.

First-Class Immunotherapy Programs from Issels®

At Issels®, we understand that cancer treatment involves more than just fighting the tumor. Contact us to learn more about our individual immunotherapy protocols and read patient testimonials.

Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Hands-On Therapies

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, “the human touch” is more than just a figure of speech. Hands-on therapies can help reduce stress, boost your spirits, and reduce physical pain.

How “Healing Hands” Boost the Fight against Cancer

There is scientific research to back up the positive claims of touch therapy. One widely publicized study involved a group of married women who were threatened with a mild electric shock, but their anxiety levels dropped instantly with a touch from their husbands’ hands.

Chronic stress and depression inhibit your body’s immune system, making it more vulnerable to invading cancer cells. Touch therapy can improve your overall wellness so you’re better equipped to fight the disease.

3 Popular Touch Therapy Techniques:

  • Body psychotherapy goes beyond talk therapy, helping you tune in to bodily sensations that uncover deep emotional traumas. Methods focus on various elements such as muscle contraction, breathing and posture.
  • Physical therapy addresses pain and limited movement in muscles, joints and other tissues. According to one study, women who had undergone breast cancer surgery and worked with a physical therapist had less pain and better quality of life than others who exercised on their own.
  • Massage therapy may seem like a luxury, but it actually triggers brain activity that increases serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: An Integrative Approach

At Issels®, our innovative immunotherapy for cancer uses a comprehensive mind-body approach to attack cancer cells while restoring your natural immune response. Visit our website for more information about our non-toxic, personally tailored treatment programs.

Are You New to Cancer Caregiving?

If you’re not careful, becoming a cancer caregiver can become one of the most stressful experiences of your life. However, it doesn’t always have to turn out that way. What might have been a frustrating time can become one of the most rewarding times you have ever experienced. Here at Issels®, we want nothing more than to equip you for what lies ahead. To do that, we want to provide you with some essential cancer caregiver tips.

What to Expect as a Caregiver for Someone with Cancer

If you’re caring for someone with cancer, it’s important to know what you can expect. Many people find it to be a pleasant experience. Spouses, siblings and other close relatives often find themselves as caregivers for family members with cancer. However, others may fill this role too. For example, neighbors and even co-workers can also be cancer caregivers.

On the other hand, you may feel as though this role is being forced upon you. It might not be something you’re willing to take on, so it’s important for you to be clear about your boundaries from the very beginning.

The Best Cancer Caregiver Tips

As a caregiver, you need to set healthy boundaries and take care of yourself too. These cancer caregiver tips will help you to do that. You should always:

• Look for signs of depression within yourself

• Find your own support system

• Get plenty of exercise

• Eat a health diet

• Consider getting personal counseling

• Take some time for yourself

At Issels®, we take care of our patients’ caregivers too. If you need more information about our immunotherapy services, please contact us.

If you know someone who needs cancer treatment, we encourage you to send them a link to our website at https://issels.com.

Cancer Caregiver Tip: Talking about Cancer with Your Loved One

Are you a cancer caregiver who’s tiptoeing around your loved one because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing? Use these tips to guide your conversations in positive and helpful directions.

Tips for Talking to a Cancer Patient

  • Don’t stress about coming up with the perfect words. This is a new situation for both of you. If you don’t know what to say, be honest about it. Your loved one will let you know what he or she needs.
  • Keep the focus on the patient. You’re there to help them, not the other way around. Talk to another friend or family member if you need a sounding board.
  • Avoid clichés or dismissive comments like “You’ll be fine” or “At least you got the ‘good’ cancer.” Of course you don’t want to be a source of doom and gloom, but minimizing the situation doesn’t make the patient feel any better.
  • Every case of cancer is different. Don’t bring up friends, family members or acquaintances and compare their situations.
  • Don’t ask for details about their cancer treatment such as blood test results or possible side effects. Let them share information if they like, but respect their personal boundaries.
  • Sometimes no words are necessary. Your loved one might want you to provide a sympathetic ear, or may prefer a period of silence. Be willing to graciously accommodate their wishes.

Personalized Cancer Treatment from Issels®

Your experience with cancer is unique, so your treatment should be also. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines and other individually tailored and integrative immunotherapy for cancer treatments.

Tips for Coping with a New Cancer Diagnosis

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your mental and emotional adjustment can make a difference during your course of immuno oncology treatment. Unfortunately, most people have no frame of reference for coping with such news.

The American Cancer Society offers helpful tips for coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis and continuing to live life to the fullest.

Follow Your Own Path

Your situation is unique. Others may offer ideas of what has worked for them, but don’t feel obligated to follow them to the letter. View these tips as suggestions and try out different methods to find your own best solution.

Learn About Your Cancer

Knowledge is power. The unknown is often more frightening than the reality, so take time to educate yourself about your type of cancer and the various treatment options that are available.

Stay Active

The link between exercise and mood is well-documented. Physical activity stimulates production of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. Consult with your doctor to make sure you’re not overdoing it.

Let Your Feelings Out

Many people believe that fear, anger and other negative emotions must remain hidden, but that can make your situation even harder to bear. Talk to friends and family, join a support group or try an artistic outlet such as writing or painting.

Be Kind to Yourself

Make a point each day of doing something that makes you happy, whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch or simply meditating for 15 minutes.

Issels®: Immuno Oncology Personally Created for You

Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs are individually designed to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about the Issels Cancer Treatment.

Living with Cancer – the New Normal for Some Patients

Living with Cancer - the New Normal for Some Patients
Living with Cancer – the New Normal for Some Patients

Not so long ago, a diagnosis of cancer was the worst news a patient could hear. Flash forward to today when, thanks to remarkable improvements in cancer treatment, patients are learning to live with the disease as their “new normal.”

Liz Burke: One Woman’s Story

In TheJournal.ie, an Irish news website, a woman named Liz Burke shared her experiences in honor of Daffodil Day, a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. Liz was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.

After a lumpectomy, Liz underwent a course of chemotherapy followed by another of radiotherapy. She demonstrated her sense of humor by relating a story about purchasing a wig to cover her baldness and finding it one day in the mouth of her Jack Russell terrier.

Two years later, Liz’s doctor discovered that breast cancer cells had metastasized to her liver. This triggered another nine months of chemotherapy followed by two years of maintenance, but the good news is that the tumors became inactive.

Finally, one more blow. After five years, the breast cancer metastasized again, this time resulting in a brain tumor. Liz had surgery to remove the tumor and radiotherapy treatment afterwards.

“People Survive Cancer”

These days Liz follows a regular schedule of MRIs, CT scans and weekly infusions. Her message? “People can live quite happily alongside cancer.” Liz believes we’re lucky to live in a time when so much progress is being made with new and effective cancer treatment.

Issels®: There IS Life After Cancer

Many of our patients at Issels® have similar stories of hope and recovery. Visit our website to read and hear their testimonials.