Caring for a loved one with melanoma brings its own set of both practical and emotional challenges. We often don’t know what questions to ask, how best to support our loved one, or where to get help.
Cancer Caregivers’ Guidebook This free publication from Novartis takes you through the stages of caregiving and provides lots of good information, including lists of questions to ask your loved one’s doctor, checklists for yourself, and links to other resources. Available as a .pdf booklet or in audio book format.
Our over-all message to melanoma patients and caregivers is one of hope--hope that is justified by the great strides being made in melanoma research, Unfortunately, hope is dashed for some of us and we are left to deal with the grief of losing a spouse, child, parent, or loved one.
Books on Grief
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed A classic work on grief, this is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss after his wife’s death.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss In her book On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross introduced the world to the now-famous five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On Grief and Grieving applies these stages to the process of grieving and weaves together theory, inspiration, and practical advice, It is filled with brief, topic-driven stories. It includes sections on sadness, hauntings, dreams, coping, children, healing, isolation, and even the subject of sex during grief.
David Kessler, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief Kessler, Kubler-Ross’s collaborator, builds on her work to introduce an additional stage of loss: finding meaning.
Hope Edelman, After Grief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss Drawing on her own encounters with the ripple effects of early loss, as well as on interviews with dozens of researchers, therapists, and regular people who’ve been bereaved, New York Times bestselling author Hope Edelman offers profound advice for reassessing loss and adjusting the stories we tell ourselves about its impact on our identities. With guidance for reframing a story of loss, finding equilibrium within it, and even experiencing renewed growth and purpose in its wake, she demonstrates that though grief is a lifelong process, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle.
MAC is partnering with the Melanoma Network of Canada to organize a virtual Bereavement Group for melanoma caregivers and loved ones. Watch this space for more details.