IMPACT
03/31/2016 02:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cancer Caregivers: It's Time to Take Control

2016-03-31-1459437791-2928397-March16_Facebook_CoverImage_noMonth.jpg I think we all can relate to feelings of anxiousness and frustration when we don't have control over a challenging situation. Especially when the situation involves someone we love and deeply care about.

I remember the feeling when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I often hear this sentiment when speaking with cancer patients and their loved ones -- there's an overwhelming sense of not having control.

This month, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network dedicated stories and tips on regaining control when faced with cancer. The stories and resources inspired me.

They also reminded me how critical it is for every cancer patient to have a caregiver (or two!) in their lives.

Jane Hanna, BSN, RN, OCN, a patient referral liaison and member of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, explained it best.

"Being a caregiver is one of the most, if not THE most, important roles in a patient's life."

For Vic Luna, his journey as a caregiver started 14 years ago when his wife Roberta was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Their story, told in open love letters to each other, is a beautiful example of living out the wedding vow: "In sickness and in health."

Though there's beauty, strength and admiration in each caregiver's story, the uncertainty can result in sadness, doubt, exhaustion and anger. These are understandable emotions.

So, in an effort to help cancer caregivers regain control of their own health and well-being, while being the best caregiver they can be, we're sharing the tips below.

Pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers can access additional resources and comprehensive disease information by calling the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's one-on-one Patient Central support service at 877-272-6226 or emailing patientcentral@pancan.org.

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