New Year's Resolution #1: Reach Out to a Cancer Survivor

Helping Others After Their Cancer Has Gone

Beating cancer is miraculous. It’s amazing, emotional and triumphant. And yet, although one’s cancer may have disappeared, it leaves behind worries, fears and anxiety over what may come next. The fear of cancer coming back is something that no one can understand unless they’ve been through it, and that’s where the love and support of family and friends become so important.

Check In Again

If you know someone who has beaten cancer or has recovered from a major illness, please contact them and see how they are doing! Give them some time to have a conversation with you. Let them know that you are prepared to hear their real answers about whatever is on their mind, so that they feel comfortable sharing their true feelings. Make sure the conversation isn’t about them reassuring you that they’re on the mend, but that they can relate and discuss with you the trials of their journey. Believe me, asking someone how they are coping with the fear of cancer coming back is not inappropriate. It’s something they worry about on their own, so your concern will help them feel supported and less afraid.

TELL Them How You Are Going to Help

When I was fighting breast cancer, I loved it when people told me how they could help me vs. leaving it up to me to ask for help. Moms aren’t naturally good at asking for help as it is, so it’s just better for you to volunteer your time in ways that work best for you and your family. For example, I loved it when Moms would ask me, “How about I pick up the kids from school tomorrow?” It was music to my ears!

Little Things Mean A Lot

Simple notes of encouragement always made an impact on my mood during treatment. Knowing that people were out there thinking of me and my family made me feel so much less alone! Friends who stopped by for a chat or cooked meals for my children, gave great comfort to my family during such a stressful time. Knowing that our community was behind me gave me the strength to fight harder and live healthier than ever before.

Here’s more info on how you can play a part in helping your friend or loved one during their recovery:

10 Tips for Supporting a Friend with Cancer

https://www.mskcc.org/blog/10-tips-supporting-friend

Tips for Talking to Someone with Cancer

http://www.cancercenter.com/community/caregiver-tips/cancer-etiquette/

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