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1. What to expect

  • A range of feelings such as fear, anger, frustration, resentment, helplessness, loneliness, guilt, sadness, loss and/or grief. Try not to be critical of yourself for feeling this way – most people in your situation feel like this too.
  • The way you feel may change rapidly. This is also okay.
  • Significant changes to your routine – particularly if the patient needs to travel to access treatment.
  • Simple, practical tasks such as picking up children from school can suddenly become very challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask for or accept help.
  • Feeling as though you want to ‘fix’ the problem. It can be difficult to accept that this is outside your control. Feeling as though you should be able to solve the problem can be an additional burden.
  • The cancer journey is a like a rollercoaster ride. One day the person with cancer may feel good, the next day they may not. You may feel as though you’re one step behind them. This can be challenging and frustrating for everyone.
  • As a carer/family member/supporter, you may feel left out of conversations with medical professionals. If the person with cancer is happy to allow it, don’t be afraid to ask health professionals questions on their behalf.
  • It can be upsetting if the person with cancer chooses to attend appointments on their own (without assistance). However, it’s important to recognise that they have the right to do so.
  • Be aware that the person with cancer may experience changes in their behaviour and attitude, just as you do. For example, they may become more assertive. This can be difficult to adjust to and may affect relationships.
  • When the patient’s treatment is finished, reminders of cancer may be distressing for them. You may need to be careful to treat this with sensitivity.
  • Be aware that seeking out additional sources of support may be particularly important when treatment is complete and the person with cancer has reduced contact with their treating team.
  • For further information on what to expect with various types of tests/imaging, visit http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/ct_medicalprocedures?open&cat=Medical_procedures_-_Diagnostic_imaging.
  • Click play below to let John show you how to catch a Cancer Council SA bus from either Cancer Council Lodge (Greenhill) or Cancer Council Lodge (Flinders) and what to expect along the way.