Feature Article: Do You Have A Friend Who Is Suffering From Leukemia?

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Featured Article | 0 comments

Leukemia is a cancer of your body’s blood-forming tissues in the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. It is a blood cancer caused by several white blood cells in your body. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Leukemia?

The symptoms of Leukemia are pain in your bones and joints, seizures, weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, bruising or bleeding easily, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, fever or chills, weight loss, night sweats, and repeated severe infections.

What Are The Causes Of Leukemia?

The cause of leukemia is unknown. But high-risk activities might trigger it, like having a family history of Leukemia, exposure to radiation, genetic disorders like Down syndrome, and smoking. 

What Are The treatments Of Leukemia?

The treatments for Leukemia would depend on the kind of Leukemia you have.

Chemotherapy using drugs to kill cancer cells in your blood and bone marrow may be administered through pills, through a shot into a vein or muscle, and into the fluid around your spinal cord. Biologic therapy, commonly known as Immunotherapy, helps your immune system fight cancer cells by using drugs like interferon and interleukins to help boost your immune system. Radiation uses X-rays to kill leukemia cells and prevents them from growing. Targeted therapy uses drugs to block specific genes or proteins cancer cells need to grow. Surgery is needed for your spleen if the spleen is filled with cancer.

How Do You Give Comfort To Patients Who Have Leukemia?

The first thing you will do in caring for a leukemia patient is understand the illness itself. Talk to the doctor about the treatment. Learn about the risk factor of the infection and how you can prevent the infection. Monitor the PICC line, change the dressing, and ensure the part does not get wet. Ask for the signs of infection to be aware of, like redness at the site, fevers, etc.

Help manage the side effects to make his life more manageable and comfortable, drink more water to stop dehydration to prevent the patient from diarrhea, and check his food to see if the nutrients are enough. You must understand your patients. Try reading The End of the Rainbow and caring for them during the treatment. The book talks about how patients are treated and comforted with a family’s love and support, making you feel better that you are not alone in this journey. There will be struggles, especially if the patient is not cooperating, so you must be patient. 

How Can You Help Heal The Patient?

Encourage the patient to exercise to be physically strong and maintain strength and endurance. The patient needs physical activity to boost their mood and feel better about themselves. Since staying in the hospital is long, bring gadgets and keep him occupied so the patient won’t be restless. Patients with Leukemia need a support group from their families and friends. Ask the family or caregiver for permission if it will be an excellent time to visit. Your time should be flexible because you will not know when patients’ treatments are canceled or postponed or are too weak to face visitors.

Laughter is the best medicine. Keep your visits fun. A light conversation or a humorous incident can lift his spirit and make him feel lighter. Talk about all sorts of topics except cancer. Treat the patient the same way.  

Ask if there is anything you can do for him, like taking care of his children or pet or even a meal is good enough, shop for groceries, help chores around the house, walking with him, and spending time with him doing things that both of you enjoy and send him gifts that is useful to him. Keep your friend updated on the news but specifically good news.

Suppose the patient is doing something like writng blog-encourage him. Read the blog and talk to him about it if he is not ill. If the patient wants to share and talk about his illness, let him listen to him. Ask him how you can help. Let him know how you feel and that you are there to support him all the way. 

In These Times, You Will Feel Helpless if You Are Not a Doctor

Don’t feel discouraged because you can help heal a friend. Continue to be his friend. It would make the healing faster, knowing that there are people who care for them, support them, and love them dearly. Relationships or friendships play an essential part in a sick person. You will make a difference in his life.   


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