If you have a loved one that was recently diagnosed with leukemia, you may be understandably shaken and worried. You might also feel unsure of what to expect from the situation and therefore also unsure of what you can do to provide them with care and support through this difficult time. Get to know more about what you can expect if a loved one is diagnosed with leukemia. Then, you can be there and be the best possible support system for them going forward in the treatment process.
Expect Things to Move Quickly
Leukemia is a serious form of cancer. Because it affects the blood, it can have numerous effects on the body and can spread and grow rapidly. Many forms of leukemia are quite aggressive. As such, treatment needs to be aggressive as well.
Expect things to move quickly following your loved one's diagnosis. They may begin treatment within a few days of their diagnosis and typing (determining what kind of leukemia they have). This is a typical reaction to the diagnosis of leukemia, so do not be alarmed by the rapid response. Instead, be comforted that your loved one is getting the care they need right away.
Expect Them to Receive Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the first-line treatment protocol for leukemia. As such, it is best to assume that your loved one will be going through chemo. A great way that you can support them through the cancer treatment process is to go with them to their chemotherapy appointments. You can entertain them and keep them company. This is especially good for those first few chemo sessions as they are the scariest for patients.
Expect Them to Need Blood Transfusions
Blood transfusions are often a form of maintenance treatment for people with leukemia. They can improve energy and help the patient to feel better temporarily.
If you want to support your loved one with leukemia, you could find out if you are a matching blood type for them. If you are, you could make a targeted blood donation to them. If not, you could always still donate blood to help other people that may be going through the same struggle your loved one is going through.
Expect There to Be Ups and Downs
Cancer treatment is rarely a straightforward process nor does in progress in a straight line. There are going to be ups and downs and good days and bad days. Be prepared for that. Some days, your loved one will feel almost normal, and on other days, they will barely be able to get out of bed because of fatigue, pain, or nausea (mostly caused by the cancer treatments).
The best thing you can do is to be there with and for them no matter what. On the bad days, bring them food and drinks and sit with them to let them know you are there. On good days, enjoy your time with them and try not to dwell on any upcoming treatment sessions or what their test results or numbers might look like. This is the best way you can support them as they go through the ups and downs of leukemia and cancer treatment.
Now that you know a bit more about what to expect if your loved one is diagnosed with leukemia, you can be sure you are the best possible support for them now and in the future. For more information about treatment, visit websites like http://swoncology.net/.