The thing about cancer is that it affects the carer too. A cancer diagnosis not only changes the life of the person with the cancer, but also the lives of those close to them. When caring for someone with cancer, you may be very focused on supporting the individual and forget about your own emotional and physical needs as a carer.
In episode 10, “Cancer Affects the Carer Too”, Julie and health psychologist Dr Ben Britton look at the experience of caring for someone with cancer.
Who is a carer?
During this podcast, Ben talks about what defines a carer and whether carers see themselves as carers or just someone helping their loved one. Ben discusses some of the tasks carers provide, which are, and not limited to:
- Coordinating medical care, such as managing medicines, helping control pain, monitoring side effects, and physical care of the patient.
- Providing practical support, such as preparing food, accompanying the person to treatment, managing finances and making legal arrangements.
- Offering emotional support.
- Communicating with family and friends.
Carers can sometimes feel sidelined, even though, just like the person with cancer, their lives are often turned upside-down after a cancer diagnosis. Carers and the person with cancer need strong support systems to help them strike a balance between their caring duties and the rest of their life.
“One of the common things that people do is completely withdraw from their social circles and just become a patient and a carer and not anything else. What you’re always aiming for is to be a whole person, so you’re a carer and a tennis player and a librarian – be as whole as you can be.” Ben Britton, psychologist
Listen to Cancer Affects the Carer Too podcast, or find more episodes here.
Other podcasts include:
- Coping with a cancer diagnosis
- Sex and cancer
- How to help someone with cancer
- Explaining cancer to kids
- Making treatment decisions
- Appetite loss and nausea
- New cancer treatments – immunotherapy and targeted therapy
- Genetic tests and cancer
Call one of our experienced and understanding cancer nurses on 13 11 20 if you would like further information for supporting carers.