Cancer is a journey that can be more difficult when taken alone. If you're the one living with lung cancer—even if you feel alone—remember, there are people who care about you. Ask them for their support. Then you may be able to watch those moments of feeling helpless turn into moments of feeling helped.
Often loved ones stand back and wait for direction from you about how to help.
Allowing them to help you may not be as hard as you think. Maybe you don't want to talk about it, and that's okay. Maybe you have been independent for so long that you feel embarrassed to ask for help. Try these 3 simple steps to get your support team in place:
Yes, you need the help of others, maybe more now than at any other time in your life. But the people you love and depend on need your help, too. And only you can give them what they need most: Help understanding your needs. Help accepting their limitations. Help dealing with anger or frustration. Maybe you have children or grandchildren who are frightened by your illness and need to know that you will be there for them, as much and as long as you can. Tell them. This isn't just your loved ones' moment to shine. In a very real way, it's yours, too.
Dealing with cancer can produce both tender and tense moments. One day you could be feeling harmony with everyone, and the next you're feeling strained. This pattern is common and understandable. Look to the following tips to help you, your friends, family, and caregivers help manage the changing tides when dealing with cancer:
Not sure what support system you should use? Consider what support suits you best.
You may also find some helpful information here.
There are a wide variety of cancer support organizations. Some focus on specific cancers, others focus on the stage of cancer. These support organizations offer you options on a national, regional, and local level. If you choose a support group that has a leader, make sure you feel comfortable with that leader.
Some people prefer the support of online communities. When blogging online, you can interact with people in similar situations, 24/7, without leaving your home. Websites like Inspire have highly engaged patients and caregivers discussing many health topics.
What type of support can you receive through support groups? Sometimes, it's learning from others what to expect. Sometimes, it's finding out about the coping methods others have used to help manage their emotions and experience. And sometimes it's about making friends and learning new ways to enjoy each day.
Getting the support you need isn't limited to emotional support. You may find you also need:
Glenn was living alone when he found out that he had lung cancer. But he refused to let that isolate him. He reached out to his loved ones who lived far away and soon messages of love and support began to pour in. He taped all of those encouraging words to his apartment wall. He called it his "Wall of Love." Thanks in part to that collage of care, Glenn was able to face the difficulties in his journey.
The financial component of cancer can be a challenge. But it should never get in the way of the treatments you need. Empower the ones you love with financial guidance.