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Getting Help During Cancer Treatment

Treatment for cancer – no matter how short or relatively comfortable – can be terrifying. There is so much up in the air and so many considerations including choosing the appropriate treatment that fits with the diagnosis and interferes as little as possible with our daily activities. It’s difficult enough to wrap our own heads around what is completely a surreal experience but then there is making sure that our family and friends – essentially our support team – is comfortable with all the information. You can easily find yourself more worried about disseminating information to the appropriate people – and managing bills and paperwork – than getting through treatments and before you know it you’re overwhelmed with the “admin” of cancer care.

This is the time you draw the line in the sand and start asking for help; admittedly a very tough thing for people who are often accustomed to handling everything on their own. But now is the time to reach out to the people who love you and whom you love – and would do the absolute same for in a heartbeat – and elicit their assistance. Here’s what you need:

Someone to manage the paperwork. No, you don’t need anything else on your plate and you certainly don’t need any more stress. Pushing through the inevitable paperwork associated with cancer treatment should not be your job right now. Your team’s practice will have someone in charge of billing that should happily walk you through what needs to be done and after that you assign someone to manage it – preferably a spouse – who can take that burden off of you.

Someone to go with you to doctors appointments. A ride is nice but having someone by your side during appointments is also about having another set of ears to listen to what the doctor has to say. This person should be detail oriented, willing to speak up with questions, and will take notes and remind you of important items.

Emotional support. More than anything you need someone who is a soft place for you – that will accompany you to procedures, sit with you after treatment, and provide you the emotional support you definitely need at this time. This person should be a safe place for you where you can let down and be vulnerable and someone who you will let take care of you both physically and emotionally following treatment.

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