Sources of Support
Learning you have ovarian cancer can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It is normal for you, your family, and your friends to have many different and sometimes confusing feelings.
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 your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, and other activities. Meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, a social worker can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
Support groups also can help. 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. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
It is natural for you to be worried about the effects of ovarian cancer and its treatment on your sexuality. You may want to talk with your doctor about possible sexual side effects and whether these effects will be permanent. Whatever happens, it may be helpful for you and your partner to talk about your feelings and help one another find ways to share intimacy during and after treatment.
For tips on coping, you may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Time: Support for People With Cancer. NCI's Information Specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp can help you locate programs, services, and publications. They can send you a list of organizations that offer services to women with cancer.