It is hard for those of us who are used to being the caretaker to become the one in need of care. I had 5 months of chemo and then a stem cell on 12/12/12 so I know what I needed people to do for me during that time.
First, I needed to be able to continue to be in control. I wanted to work when I felt like I could and take care of all the things that I wanted at home when I could. I did not want to be treated like an invalid at any point. However, I did need more help than I ever needed before.
The chemo was not terrible but for me eating was not the best. I had to stick to a very bland diet during chemo weeks or I would not feel good at all. And, I needed more rest during those weeks. In the off weeks, I felt pretty good and wanted to be normal for a few days.
As the transplant grew near, there were a lot of uncertainties and I wanted to talk about those a bit with the people closest in my life. I wanted to keep a positive attitude and wanted those around me to do the same.
The time after the transplant is the hardest. One feels very, very tired and, perhaps, not at all interested in eating. Sitting around and doing nothing for hours on end happens for a number of days. If you are used to always being on the go, this is a pain. But, it is temporary. It took me about three weeks to feel any better but after that, things accelerated quickly. I worked from home three weeks after transplant but since mine was during the winter and flu season was not allowed back to the office until March. I enjoyed people coming to see me at that point. Early on, I really did not have the energy to spend visiting.
However, maintaining my independence was very important to me even during the worst of times. I wanted to push myself as much as possible.
In summary, let her take the lead--if she wants your help, provide it. If she wants to do things on her own, allow her to do so as long as they are not damaging. Help her with what she wants you to help her with.
You and she will get through this. Once about three months go by, you feel almost back to normal. I will be honest that my full energy has never quite returned. I was used to sleeping about 4 hours per night and working about 75 hours per week. I now need to sleep about 8 hours per night and work about 40 hours per week. But, I am alive and happy to be enjoying life.
Does she have faith in her physicians? That is the most important part. The relationship that I have with my doctor and his staff is very important to me--they have been there for me all along the way.
Does this help? Please let me know what else I can tell you!