You might need some care and support at home due to cancer or its treatment. A lot of practical and emotional support is available to you.
GP and community nursing support
Your GP manages your healthcare when you are at home. They can help with any medical problems that come up. They can also make referrals to a community service for you. The availability of the different community services may vary, depending on where you live.
Community or district nurse
These nurses work in different places in your local area and may visit you in your home. They can:
- give medicines or injections
- check temperature, blood pressure and breathing
- clean and dress wounds
- monitor or set up drips
- give emotional support
- teach basic caring skills to family members where needed
- get special equipment, such as commodes or bed pans
Community specialist palliative care nurse
Community specialist palliative care nurses include Macmillan nurses and hospice nurses. They specialise in symptom management such as pain control, sickness, and other cancer symptoms. They also give emotional support to you and your carers.
Marie Curie nurse
Marie Curie nurses give nursing care to people with advanced cancer in their own homes. They can visit during the day or spend the night in your home to give your carers a break.
Social workers can help to support you with your situation at home. They can arrange:
- home helps to help with shopping or housework
- home care assistants for washing and dressing
- meals on wheels
- respite care
Your social worker can also help with money matters by checking you get all the benefits you are entitled to. Or they can advise you about charity grants for things like extra heating costs or special diets.
Contact a social worker yourself by getting in touch with your local social services office. Or ask your hospital nurse or your GP to refer you.
As part of your treatment you may need to have a limb amputated. You will need specialist rehabilitation to learn how to use an artificial limb (prosthesis). This will happen soon after the surgery and can help to give you confidence to use the prosthesis when you leave the hospital.
Soft tissue sarcoma and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. These changes can be very difficult to cope with and may affect the way you feel about yourself.
Treatment for sarcoma may cause scarring. It can be especially difficult if you need to have a limb amputated. Such body changes can affect your self esteem and the way you relate to other people, especially close family and friends.
Counselling can help you to deal with these changes.
Local support services
There is usually other help available but services can vary from place to place.
Sometimes local voluntary groups offer sitting services. Someone comes to stay with you while your relative goes out.
Good neighbour schemes offer befriending or practical help with shopping or transport.
Local cancer support groups often offer practical help. And they are a good source of information about services in your area. Ask your doctor or nurse about local groups.