Make patients feel part of Ramadhan

The holy month of Ramadhan could give a tough time for patients suffering from cancer and others with heavy medication. Lots of unverified information is fed to the patients and this is the area where family members should take extra care. It is also that time of the year when the entire family gets an opportunity to come together. According to Dr Zahid al Manthary, senior consultant, oncology department, Royal Hospital, who has been working with cancer patients for years, “What I have seen in cancer patients or even with their family members is that they feel like an outcast where the community cannot include them during the month of Ramadhan.”
In fact, he added, “We should take this opportunity to get closer to these patients and support those suffering from the disease. It is not the time to be extra cautious and instead support them morally, physically and sit with them while reading Holy Quran. So, it is basically a time where we can do things jointly and build up that courage and support. It is also a month where a lot of supplication (Duaa) is made and a lot of Duaa is actually accepted during the month of Ramadhan and sitting together praying for the patients is a good opportunity.”
Dr Manthary said, “I find patients go through unnecessary stress from general conversations about the treatment and the things that they hear from WhatsApp and other messengers. I encourage most of my cancer patients and people who have friends, colleagues or family members suffering from cancer not to let them make their own decisions or not to interfere in their treatment-related decisions. Also everything that they hear or read on WhatsApp or they find on Google applies to their friends or their colleagues.”
He said, “I know the intentions are great and they are doing their best, but at the end of the day it creates confusions and unnecessary stress on the patients suffering from cancer. You can imagine on one day you talk about a particular type of fruit and the next day some other food or a cocktail.”
Dr Manthary feels it becomes very confusing and may start thinking “they may not do this right or I should do more…etc. “It creates unnecessary stress to a patient suffering from cancer. Let them read if they want to read. But don’t send information that most of the time could be irrelevant for the patients, apart from putting them under stress.”

Hammam al Badi