December 16, 2008

NAGS HEAD, N.C.—Individuals whose lives are affected by cancer often depend on more than just their physician for treatment and recovery. Many cancer patients also seek the support of a spouse, a family member or a close friend—a caregiver—to help them cope with the many life changes a diagnosis of cancer brings. But what is often overlooked is that caregivers of cancer patients also need someone to help them cope with the overwhelming job they have taken on.

To help cancer patient caregivers, the Cancer Resource Center at The Outer Banks Hospital is forming a Cancer Caregiver Support Group. The group, which will begin meeting in January, will connect caregivers with others in similar situations and allow them gain knowledge, share experiences, enhance coping skills and develop a greater sense of control as they help their loved one with cancer. The group will also provide the opportunity for caregivers to feel cared about, helped and comforted.

If you are someone who provides care to a patient with cancer, you may know that in addition to being rewarding and fulfilling, care giving can also be sad, exhausting and confusing. Good care giving takes emotional, spiritual and physical strength, and research has demonstrated that caregivers need care too. If you are feeling a loss of control, hopeless, exhausted, or even as if you have put your life on hold, consider joining the Cancer Caregiver Support Group.

For more information about the Cancer Caregiver Support Group, or to learn more about the Cancer Resource Center, please contact Betse Kelly by calling 252.449.7350. The Cancer Resource Center is located on the second floor of the Medical Office Building adjacent to The Outer Banks Hospital and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.