Caregivers provide invaluable support to breast cancer patients. This support can be practical (keeping records, making and attending appointments, remembering medications), or it can be emotional (listening for the feelings behind the patient's words, paraphrasing their words, sitting quietly and holding the patient's hand and just being with the person). Commonly, a caregiver is someone who has a close relationship with the person receiving treatment; whether that be a partner, a child, a sibling or a friend.
Many caregivers have other responsibilities like work or children and it can be difficult balancing these roles. Being a caregiver can be stressful and creating time to focus on yourself may help you cope with the demands of caring for another person. Acknowledging your own physical and emotional needs may help to relieve this stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed, asking for help is ok.
For some, accessing help from others may not be an option. Luckily, there are resources available to help support caregivers. If you are experiencing added financial pressure you might be eligible for assistance through Service Canada. You may be able to receive emotional support through community based programs, like Wellspring, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, or Family Caregivers of BC. The cancer centre or a social worker may also provide support for you or may help you find a caregiver support group in your community. Finally, you can access support resources online through The Caregiver Network and Cancer Chat Canada.