What can I do to help my cousin who was just diagnosed with lung cancer? I feel I don't even know what to say to her, she is only 54 years old.
Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN OncoLink Nurse Educator responds:
Please stay at the end and watch Donna Lee's video, she talks a bit about how just being there can be so helpful. Sometimes it is just listening that a person needs. If you can be there to support her at appointments, ask questions, take notes and help her make treatment decisions, that is quite useful. During such a time of stress, to have to make decisions is very difficult. Most of all, be supportive of her decisions. Don't impose your beliefs or "what I would do" unless she asks - you just don't really know what you would do unless you were in that situation.
There can also be the issue of childcare or family/household responsibilities that are overwhelming for someone. You can't do it all, but you can coordinate others offers of help. Start a calendar for meal delivery, taking kids to activities, driving to treatments. Websites like mylifeline.org and navigatingcancer.com allow you to set up a page and start a calendar where people can sign up for things to help out. Rally other moms at school, church community, neighbors or anyone who wants to help.
View Donna Lee's I Wish U Knew video to hear the perspective of a survivor.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Lung Cancer Webchat.
Sep 25, 2014 - A test used to diagnose lung cancer may not be as reliable in geographic regions where certain lung infections are more common, according to research published in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
May 15, 2014
Nov 8, 2010
May 23, 2013