Building relationships during cancer


Beary good friends image credit: Good Search

Talking things out helps many women, especially during cancer treatment, when emotions are stirred and hormones are effected by treatment, medication and surgery. You may not have family or friends who understand cancer or what you’re going through.  Even if someone you know once had cancer, they may have experienced it differently than you.

Maybe you find your strength at a spiritual center, through a friend, family, a support group, or one-to-one counseling. No matter where you find it, support can really improve your quality of life. Support groups can be found at hospitals, clinics, advocacy organizations, and spiritual centers. One of my greatest moments of empowerment through a support group was when I requested American Cancer Society (ACS)to connect me with a woman my age, my situation, and what they decided with the decision before them—and why. ACS searched and finally found three close cases. I gave approval for the women to call me. They did. Each of them shared with me their situation—each similar to mine, and each made different choices. They were awesome, not telling me what to do, but sharing why they did what they did—which is what I requested to hear.

I also had benefited from one-to-one counseling with an intern at the cancer center. It gave her practice, and me a sounding board. There are options out there. If your insurance doesn’t cover counseling and you’re interested in it, try some support groups, ask about an intern, check outside of the clinic and see what the community has to offer. Maybe there’s a support group somewhere out of the hospital setting. You may find you don’t want a support group, or counseling and get plenty of support from family and friends. Whatever you choose is right for you, if it helps you through the process.

One thing that may help move through cancer is to give thought to life after cancer. To aim and think of when you’ll feel well, and return to normalcy. This was one of the biggest carrots for my  healing—to focus on the direction I wanted to go. I’d see it, feel it, and breathe it in. What do you do?

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