Support

There are many sources of support you can draw on. Here are some of the most important:

Doctors and nurses

If you have questions or worries about your cancer treatment, talk with members of your health care team.

Counselling professionals

There are many kinds of counsellors who can help you express, understand, and cope with the emotions cancer treatment can cause. Depending on your preferences and needs, you might want to talk with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, sex therapist, or member of the clergy.

Friends and family members

Talking with friends or family members can help you feel a lot better. Often, they can comfort and reassure you in ways that no one else can. You may find, though, that you’ll need to help them help you. At a time when you might expect that others will rush to your aid, you may have to make the first move.

Other patients

Many people find it helpful to speak to other people in their situation. Strike up a conversation with another person in the waiting area. You may be surprised to find how similar your thoughts are. It helps some people to feel that they are not alone.

Many people do not understand cancer, and they may pull away from you because they’re afraid of your illness. Others may worry that they will offend you by saying “the wrong thing.”

You can help ease these fears by being open. Talk with others about your illness, your treatment, your needs, and your feelings. This way, you can correct mistaken ideas about cancer. You can also let people know that there’s no single “right” thing to say, so long as their caring comes through loud and clear. Once people know they can talk with you honestly, they may be more willing and able to open up and lend their support.

Support groups

Support groups are made up of people who are going through the same kinds of experiences as you. Many people with cancer find they can share thoughts and feelings with group members that they don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else. Support groups also can serve as an important source of practical information about living with cancer.

Here are a few Support Websites to check out:

CANSA Support Group
Cancer Buddies
People Living with Cancer
Reach for Recovery (Breast Cancer Support)
NIH National Cancer Institute