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Who is a Caregiver?

If you picked up this book and have read this far, you’re probably a caregiver.

Right now, someone you care about has lung cancer. This may be a close or distant relative, a friend, a neighbor, or someone else in your social circle. Regardless of the exact nature of your relationship, if you are taking a supportive role in helping someone with lung cancer, then you are a caregiver.

The diagnosis of a serious condition such as lung cancer can be stressful, frightening, and overwhelming. Such news often causes the person with the disease to shut down or to freeze in place. In such cases, the role of caregivers is essential. While it may not be your place to make decisions that will impact another’s health, you can do everything possible to help the person you are caring for make their own choices. You can help organize and prioritize the decisions that need to be made. You can help provide the best information. You can take over smaller tasks that can get in the way of bigger decisions. You can motivate and inspire. You can help your loved one get moving again or just be there to listen and respond.

Living with lung cancer is not easy, nor is acting as a caregiver for someone who has lung cancer—caregivers can become overwhelmed, too. We hope that this guide, Caregiver Choices, will help you navigate the road ahead.