As a healthcare provider, I caution patients on getting on the internet and diving for information. First and foremost it must be from a reputable site. It is important to talk to the medical team to see what is available and what is in fact a reputable site. Having said that, it still remains that deciphering all the information can become a daunting task.
As a caregiver, you need to understand what the the wishes of the patient is and how aggressive they want to be in treatment or what their thoughts on quality of life is for them. It is also important for all team members to understand the patient's capabilities of deciphering all this information. Hopefully, there has been a conversation about advance directives and informed medical decisions prior to this diagnosis but if not, it is the proper time to discuss the information at hand. In the midst of all this confusion is still the basic needs of every day life. Understand a patient's perspective and what words they are hearing as it may be interpreted different by the patient as well as the caregiver. Now having said that, I have been married over 25 years and I can tell pretty much my husband's thought process when we are facing something together. I can see from his facial expressions, his tone and his body language what is going on and then determine how to discuss what needs some decision making.
Financial constraints during treatment can be an added burden and I know that my husband often avoids talking finances in order to not get me nervous about what we are doing but it is something that needs to be discussed and get the social worker involved and discuss what the needs are. It would be difficult for me to jump in and handle all the bills if the situation arose but it is something that we are both aware of and working to solve things together so if the day ever does arrive (Praying that it won't) that we can step into each others shoes and continue on. The division of responsibilities can change drastically when there is a life threating diagnosis has been made.
Understand what the patient is facing and trying to interpret and look at the family and the roles that are now on them due to this diagnosis and the volumes of paperwork that comes streaming at them including bills and EOB's and treatment information and options and coverage and so much more. As a family facing these changes, seek help and don't just keep trucking through as there is help to be found. As healthcare providers, connect these patients to the sources that can provide the support need and in the long run you will make it a better day for all involved . Hopefully no onw w