For Caregivers: Tips Before Planning that "End of Treatment" Party

CURE, Winter 2013, Volume 12, Issue 4

Whether it’s anticipating a trip or a personal splurge, observing treatment goals can help some patients withstand the rigors of cancer therapy.

Whether it’s anticipating a trip or a personal splurge, observing treatment goals can help some patients withstand the rigors of cancer therapy.

But it’s also important to account for the patient’s physical and emotional stamina, as well as any personal and medical situations, and adjust accordingly.

> Consider the patient’s personality: Not everyone wants to be the center of attention, cancer or not. And some people might worry about “jinxing” a promising prognosis.

> Avoid surprises: Ask what the patient would prefer, to avoid party planners projecting their own preferences onto the patient. Perhaps instead of a big party, the patient would prefer to gather with close friends and family at a quiet venue, have a quiet dinner at a favorite restaurant, enjoy a spa day or take a walk in the woods.

> Think of the patient’s age: Children and teenagers have a different perception of time. To help it speed past, more frequent gifts or markers might be in order.

> Stay flexible: Someone’s bucket list could change during the course of aggressive treatment. There’s no harm in postponing or downsizing plans until the patient’s energy or taste buds have improved.