Sources of Support
Living with a serious disease such as cancer is not easy. You may worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities. Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are also common. Doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities. Often, a social worker can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support. Meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns.
Friends and relatives can be very supportive. Also, many people find it helps to talk with others who have cancer. People with cancer often get together in support groups. In these groups, patients or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. It is important to keep in mind, however, that everyone is different. Ways that one person deals with cancer may not be right for another. You may want to ask a member of your health care team about advice from other cancer patients.
Information Specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp (https://livehelp.cancer.gov) can help you locate programs, services, and publications. Also, you may want to see NCI's list of organizations that offer support services.