New Caregivers

When someone we care about is diagnosed with a chronic or disabling condition, family members, loved ones and even friends may become caregivers. At Coastal Cancer Center, we understand how essential caregivers are to our patients and stand strong behind the support they provide.

From initial diagnosis to treatment and recovery, the caregiver role requires encouragement, understanding, patience, and energy. If this is your first time stepping into the role of a caregiver, rest assured these tips will help you provide the critical care and support your loved one needs during this time.

Caregiver Information

Important Roles as a Caregiver

Caregivers often act as the primary support system for patients, providing critical help for patients on a day-to-day basis. Those tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating appointments
  • Providing transportation to-and-from appointments
  • Enhancing communication between the patient and Coastal Cancer Center’s care team
  • Understanding and following through with medical decisions
  • Performing common chores such as cleaning, grocery shopping, running errands
  • Helping to prepare healthy meal options
  • Assisting in bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Monitoring medicine intake and side-effects of the treatment regimen
  • Becoming a treatment buddy

Staying Organized From Day One

Staying organized and informed from the time of diagnosis is critical to alleviate any unnecessary stress and confusion. Learning you have cancer or a blood disorder is overwhelming and we want to make sure your journey through treatment and recovery is as smooth and simple as possible.

Be prepared to receive a large amount of information about your loved one’s diagnosis from our care team. We strongly believe an informed caregiver is an empowered caregiver. The American Cancer Society recommends designating a notebook or creating a filing system to help organize important information you’ll often reference, such as:

  • Diagnosis and treatment documentation
  • Medicine information
  • Lab results
  • Coastal Cancer Center’s Patient Portal information
  • Appointment notes and reminders
  • Insurance and billing information
  • Emergency contacts and numbers
  • Local support group information
  • Questions and answers from your Coastal Cancer Care team
  • Keeping a small calendar on hand can also make it easier to schedule upcoming appointments, scans, and lab work without delay.
Additional Resources

For additional resources on serving as a caregiver, please visit the following links:

American Cancer Society

Learn what to expect as the caregiver of a loved one recently diagnosed with cancer. Information includes tips on how to talk with a loved one who has cancer, how to explain a cancer diagnosis to children and how to cope as a caregiver.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Understanding a loved one’s diagnosis is the first step to becoming an effective caregiver to a loved one with cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network provides useful information on living with cancer and life after cancer.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute’s “Coping with Cancer” provides valuable information on support for patients, caregivers, family, and friends affected by cancer. Online support includes how to help a loved one through treatment, support for caregivers, and guides on effective communication through cancer care.

Coping with cancer, relationships and cancer, emotional and physical matters and end-of-life care are all topics discussed in detail on

CancerCare provides an array of online help for caregivers and loved ones of those diagnosed with cancer – ranging from online support groups, printable booklets, and cancer communication tools.


Caring Bridge aims to provide people with cancer the opportunity to create their own webpage in an effort to keep family and friends updated on their health status.

Coping Together

Coping Together raises funds and supports those affected by cancer in Horry County, SC. Call 502-396-9660.

Look Good Feel Better

This website is for women with cancer, providing information regarding makeup techniques and appearance improvements during treatment. Information on local workshops can be found by calling 1-800-227-2345.

Providing Emotional Support

Standing strong beside a loved one through cancer is an emotional roller coaster – but remember you are not alone. Fighting the battle against cancer is a major undertaking for any patient. Staying positive can dramatically affect their emotional well-being and influence their outlook on their diagnosis and treatment regimen.

Providing emotional support can be as simple as lending an open ear for your loved one to share their feelings, fears, and concerns.

Acting as a Long-Distance Caregiver
What can you do to help a family or friend battling cancer who does not live close to you? It’s a stark reality for many living in transient communities along the Coastal Carolinas. Stepping in as a long-distance caregiver presents a unique array of challenges, but is possible even from miles away.

Below are recommendations from the American Cancer Society on how to take an active role in your loved one’s care and day-to-day life:

  • Be a “point-of-contact person” – updating other family and friends on the health of your loved one throughout the treatment process.
  • Offer to assist in diagnosis and treatment research
  • When you visit the patient check the house for safety issues like cluttered walkways, loose rugs, or bad lighting. Maybe grab bars in the bathroom or a shower seat would be helpful. Help to make improvements or arrange for someone else to do so.
  • Is the house clean? Is the yard cared for? Is there food in the house? Arranging help for chores like these can be a big help to a person with cancer.
  • Get in touch with people who live near the person with cancer. This may be other family members, friends, neighbors, or the doctor. Call them. And make sure they know how to reach you.
  • Plan for a crisis. Who can you count on to check on them any time, day or night?
  • Keep a list of all the medicines and treatments the patient is getting (including doses and schedules), and update it regularly.
  • Make sure the person with cancer can reach you and others who help with care. This might mean buying a cell phone for your loved one or arranging for a long-distance plan on their landline phone. You can also program important numbers into the phones. This can serve as a phone number directory and help with speed dialing.
  • Keep a local phone book that covers the person with cancer. This way you’ll know what resources are available and can contact them if needed.
  • Set up a Web site that lets people sign up for different jobs or tasks.

Remember: Being a caregiver means not only taking care of someone else but taking care of yourself too! If you are a caregiver of a current patient who has authorized you to speak on their behalf, Coastal Cancer Center’s team is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, our nurse navigator and patient representatives are here to support you in this important role.

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Myrtle Beach Center

8121 Rourk Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Conway Center

817 Farrar Drive, Conway, SC 29526

Loris Center

3008 Bayboro Street, Loris, SC 29569

Murrells Inlet Center

4620 Highway 17 South, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Call Coastal Cancer Center to schedule an appointment with our experienced oncology care team.

What Our Patients Say

“I just want to say thank you for all of your kindness. You made a great first impression on my journey through this process.”

– Shannon Booth, Myrtle Beach

"Our quality of life was improved and enhanced due to his caring manner and encouragement."

– Richard G.

"A wonderful place. Very caring. If you have to go through cancer, these people are the ones to go through it with—very caring staff. Dr. Touloukian is a wonderful person. Highly recommend coastal cancer"

– Paula M.

“Our family would like to express our sincere appreciation to you for the concern and care you showed for our mother during the past months as she battled [cancer]. We have watched the effects of aging [and] illness and realize, more than ever, that sometimes the kindness extended to the patient is the most important medicine of all. Thank you for giving that to her.”

– E.S., Pawleys Island

"Excellent care has been given to me during this past year. The nurses are wonderful and very compassionate."

– Martha R.

“After being on-site for a few days and observing how well you all did your jobs and how you interacted with the patients, I could sense the overall spirit of concern and encouragement that flowed from the staff. The people who come through your front door have been given devastating news. Without the hope and encouragement you provide, they would not have the courage or see the need to suffer through treatments. You are all a blessing to your patients and everyone who comes through your door.”

-Tom Newmister, Coastal Structures