You have your medical cancer treatment team of professionals in place. This probably happened soon after your diagnosis. But you also need a â€œteamâ€ comprising members of your family and friends that will provide you with home-based support.
This family and friends support is just as crucial as your medical team. Your diagnosis is certain to cause an elevated stress level and with your outside support system you will be able to navigate your disease that much better.
Do not in any circumstance be hesitant to reach out and ask for help, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it may make you feel. You cannot do this alone, so screw up your courage and ask. Youâ€™ll probably find they didnâ€™t know how to approach this and were actually waiting for you to take the first step in asking for help.
Treat them as a team. Use their individual strengths and donâ€™t rely too much on a single person. This will eliminate any guilt that you may feel for imposing on a person. For instance you may have a family member who is a wonderful organizer; consider asking that person to help you plan a schedule for treatments and home life. Your best friend who is the best cook you know can step in and help create easy meals.
Try to have a friend or family member come with you to treatments and appointments. They will be there to offer much-needed emotional support. They may also be beneficial in recalling details that may not stay in your memory. Consider them a second set of ears.
Keep in mind that this is new to your family and friends, and they may not know what you want or even what to do. Give them guidance and you may find them doing things that you donâ€™t want to do.