Cancer affects everyone, including caregivers.

Cancer doesn’t only affect the person with cancer; it affects the lives of the people who surround them as well. Whether you’re a caregiver to your child or partner, a family member or a loved one, we know you have questions and concerns. Communicating with your partner about how cancer has affected you can be difficult. Even strong relationships can become strained under the pressure of managing a complex illness. Taking steps to improve your communication skills can help you to feel more supported and understood.

A spouse, partner or a close loved one can be a primary source of support to a cancer survivor. However, if communication begins to break down, it can be stressful and result in low levels of support for both. While the cancer journey can be emotionally challenging for survivors, it can also be hard on loved ones. In some cases, a caregiver may experience more emotional distress than the one with cancer.

Both partners may have strong emotions such as fear, anger and guilt. Stress is also common. A decline in the physical or emotional status of either may create a “cycle of distress” because one person’s distress also affects the other. High levels of emotional distress can strain the relationship.

Good communication may be the most effective strategy for breaking this cycle. It may also improve the quality of life for both. Click on this link to learn more about ways to improve your communication and lower your distress.

 

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