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Breast Cancer Caregiver

Defining Your Role as a Breast Cancer Caregiver

By , Caring.com senior editor
88% helpful

What does someone with breast cancer expect, want, and need from a caregiver?

From the moment a loved one delivers the news of a breast cancer diagnosis, a host of questions arise about how your family is going to cope with everything that needs to be done in the days and months ahead. The role of caregiver can encompass a huge variety of responsibilities, large and small, and deciding who's going to do what is a process you and your family need to tackle together. Start by sitting down with everyone involved and making a list of everything that needs doing, so you can prioritize which ones you should focus on.

To get you started, here are some of the most common responsibilities that can come under the "caregiver" job description:

Helping with physical needs

  • Communicating and coordinating with primary care physician, oncologist, and other medical staff
  • Obtaining and helping organize medications, equipment, and other supplies
  • Managing pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and other symptoms
  • Handling grocery shopping and cooking, helping with eating and cleaning up
  • Taking care of cleaning, laundry, and other household tasks
  • Driving to and from appointments and running other errands

Helping with emotional issues

  • Supporting and dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Finding and coordinating membership in a support group or other supportive therapy
  • Being available to talk through sadness, fear, and other emotional issues that arise
  • Supporting her relationship with her spouse or partner

Helping with financial issues

  • Paying bills
  • Getting answers to medical insurance coverage questions
  • Handling other insurance issues
  • Planning long-term financial issues

Supporting her social life

  • Helping coordinate visits with friends, family, support staff, and other community members so she doesn't become isolated
  • Communicating with family and friends about her status and needs
  • Helping her continue with favorite activities and hobbies