How to Help a Loved One Suffering from Throat Cancer

Dealing with throat cancer can be difficult and troubling. Treatment cycles can lead to trips in and out of the hospital, making things hard to manage. When a loved one is suffering in this way, you most likely want to help in any way possible. While you won’t be able to help directly to relieve their suffering, there are other ways to be of service. Here are a few ideas.

Helping Around the Home

When a person receives treatment via radiotherapy or perhaps cycles of chemotherapy over time, it can be extremely debilitating. They’ll likely be suffering from frequent trips to the bathroom, lack of motivation, or feeling lethargic. Semi-frequent trips to the local hospital and extended stays can mean the home isn’t being kept up. And when they return home, they will have no energy to spring clean, re-stock the refrigerator, or maintain the backyard. If this is the case, try to offer your help with chores around the home. Also, if there are long overdue home maintenance issues, then see what can be done there. It’s one less thing for them to worry about.

Do Some Shopping for Them

If they’ve been stuck in bed or at the hospital, they’ll be returning to a refrigerator that’s filled with out-of-date food and not much else. Talk with them about what they can eat. Their throat, lymph nodes, and tonsils may all be flaring up. They may also be having trouble swallowing large chunks of meat. So, see what types of foods they can eat comfortably and keep down. Their diet may noticeably change partly because they’re feeling rough but also to reflect having a harder time swallowing. Let them guide you on what they need now and pick it up for them.

Accompanying Them to Doctor’s Appointments

While they may still be physically capable of driving themselves to the hospital, their mind may not be fully focused on the road, other vehicles, or pedestrians. Also, it’s unclear how bad they will feel after being discharged and their car is waiting in the hospital’s parking lot. It’s better to drive them to the hospital and make arrangements to collect them once they’re discharged again. This is one less thing on their mind.

Seeing If There Are Treatments That Might Ease Their Discomfort

Discomfort comes in many forms with throat cancer. If they suffer from dysphagia, this means they will be having trouble swallowing. Getting large bits of food down is difficult for them. Liquids are much easier to consume with dysphagia. Using a thickening agent like SimplyThick can help to resolve this problem on days when they have it.

Massage therapy to ease away some of the aches and pains that they’re experiencing is a good idea too. Laying in a hospital bed for days can make their back hurt and cause their joints and muscles to seize up. A little therapy for the body will reduce this discomfort while distracting them from their throat pain.

It’s always difficult to see a friend suffering. By following some of the suggestions above, it’s possible to be useful to them. They’re sure to appreciate it.

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