I can do this privately!

As John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” This quote speaks to our interdependence on each other. Numerous studies have shown the importance of a support system for those fighting cancer. According to ACS, “Many studies have found that cancer survivors with strong emotional support tend to better adjust to the changes cancer brings, have a more positive outlook, and often report a better quality of life.” I say again that a positive outlook and HOPE are essential for this journey. Cancer patients NEED emotional support to improve their quality of life. The impact of support in a cancer patient’s life is why I’m writing about this twice.

We understand fighting cancer is a physically and mentally trying process. There is no way around the emotions you will experience. However, getting support will help you cope with your experience. Allow others to help and support you. There are many support groups offered. More than likely there is a support group at the hospital where you were diagnosed. Talk with your oncologist to find support groups, exercise and yoga programs for breast cancer patients. These groups are where you can find support and resources from other patients.

Of course, talk to your family. Initially, I was very protective of my diagnosis and didn’t want to share it with anyone. I researched and found out how beneficial it was for me to add others to my support crew. I involved my nuclear family, my in-laws, and adult cousins into my crew. They were happy to help, and I was open to allowing them to provide helpful emotional support for me!

Woman giving hands to the camera, help and self help concept, mental health

I was 10-20 years younger than many other breast cancer patients in support groups at the time. Through reaching out I found the Young Survivors Group. Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is an organization committed offering support to the critical issues facing young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC provides resources, connections, and outreach so women feel supported, empowered, and hopeful.

Another resource is your church. They may have breast cancer support groups or affiliations to other organizations. Talk with your pastor and church friends to find support. This takes a level of transparency you may be not ready to share. Weigh the benefits!

Staying positive is crucial to this journey. Practice CBT techniques that I’ve covered in the other posts like negative thought-stopping, reframing, imagery, positive thoughts, and surrounding yourself with positive supportive people. Let others do the heavy lifting. Included is the Chemo Care Package that everyone who receives chemotherapy needs.

Please put these items on your checklist and share these gifts with yourself or cancer patients to show support.

Pamper Them! They Need Your Support!

Chemo Care Package diagram