How Does a Colon Cancer Diagnosis Affect My Family?

A colon cancer diagnosis can change everyone’s roles, not just the patient.

colon cancer diagnosis

So much changes after a colon cancer diagnosis. Not only is there a mountain of difficult information to process, but also emotional and familial changes to try to digest and accept. From parent to patient, spouse to caregiver, with a multitude of nuanced adjustments within those particular dynamics, a single diagnosis can result in what some may feel as drastic changes. These changes can be very difficult, confusing and painful for many. Luckily, families are resilient, and can be a great support system.

At Colon Cancer Answers, we’ve seen this exemplified time and time again through our audience, who share with us via social media that family has been their rock throughout the colon cancer process. After the initial diagnosis, the most uplifting and supportive people in a colon cancer patient’s life are often members of their own families. For more on how a colon cancer diagnosis can impact family dynamics, watch Dr. Beverly Yoches in the video below:

Beverly Yoches, PsyD:  Family systems are very resilient, so anytime there is a shift in dynamics within a family, often times not just one member of the family, but all members of the family are resistant to change, so for example if you are a mother and you are used to making dinner everyday and you are going to, you know, you are doing your treatment, so after treatment you come home and the kids are saying, hey mom, where is dinner?

You know, the mother moving into the patient world can be very frustrating because she may come to doubt her abilities to care for her family and then from the other side, the family members may seem to be inconsiderate of her illness because they don’t want her to be sick, they cannot cope with her to be in being sick.  So, they will keep trying by pushing her into a role, this is a side note, but I had a lady who was undergoing extremely intense chemotherapy and as she was leaving the building, her husband send her a text and said honey can you step at Costco for dog food. So, as much as that hurt her, it was his way of trying to keep her in her position.  So, just as much as she went to Costco and got the dog food feeling awful because she wants to hold on to that position, the husband was also doing the same thing.  So, on the positive note, families are very resilient, but at the same time, it’s difficult for everyone to adjust.

Dr. Beverly Yoches
Dr. Beverly Yoches, a graduate of Argosy University, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, AZ. She specializes in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, anger, bereavement, depression, mood disorders, trauma and those with serious mental illness.


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