Helping a loved one through a bone marrow transplant can be equally stressful for caregiver and patient. As a caregiver, you are a vital member of the treatment team, and have much to learn and do. You also are coping with the fact that your loved one is in a potentially life-threatening situation while having to deal with the many demands of your “normal” life, too. And if the patient is your spouse or partner, you are likely burdened with taking on their responsibilities at home while they recuperate.
You may also be spending long hours at the hospital at your patient’s side, which, no matter how comfortable we try to make it for families and friends, just isn’t the same as resting at home. Your focus right now is on helping the BMT patient, and rightfully so — but remember that it’s important to take care of yourself, too.
At the James Graham Brown Cancer Center we offer classes and support systems to help you get through this experience in the best possible way. This includes financial counselors, therapists and other social service providers who will either help you directly or link you with the assistance you need to ease your stress. Often, the people who will be helping you are former patients or their families who know firsthand what you are going through. Their insight and compassion can make it a little easier for you to make it through.
For education and support information
For tips on how to be a great caregiver while taking care of yourself, too: