A cancer diagnosis can make you feel anxious and depressed. This is normal. It may help to talk to someone. It can be especially helpful to connect with other survivors. You are not alone in your fight. You may find it helpful and inspirational to hear others’ stories. You may also be able to help someone else by sharing your story. Here is some information about available emotional support:
Support groups connects you with a group of people in a similar situation. Support groups meet on a regular basis online, over the phone, or face-to-face. Licensed social workers or other medical professionals facilitate most support groups. Support groups can be for current cancer patients, survivors, or family members. Some groups are defined by diagnosis, age, or sex.
Ask your healthcare team about local support groups. A support group is meant to help you through your cancer journey. The first support group you go to may not be the right fit for you. If you do not enjoy the first group, try another.
Where can you find support groups?
- Your hospital or treatment center
- Your local American Cancer Society chapter
- Cancer Support Community which includes The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club.
You can also find support online such as through The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Online Chats. While not a replacement for a support group, connecting with other survivors online can still be very helpful.
Connect with a Fellow Survivor
One-on-one partnering programs will match you with a fellow cancer survivor. This person may have a similar diagnosis and may be finished with treatment. These allow for a more personal connection. Most programs are for family members as well as patients. Usually these programs are run through phone or email.
How can you connect with a fellow survivor?
- Imerman Angels
- Cancer Hope Network
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Patti Robinson Kaufman First Connection Program
Individual Counseling from a Medical Professional
If you find it difficult to function in your daily life because of anxiety or depression, you may need individual counseling from a medical professional.
How can you find individual counseling?
- Ask your healthcare team for a recommendation.
- Call your insurance company for a referral.
- Visit Cancer Care for more resources.
Stress Management Strategies
Many cancer patients and survivors struggle with stress during and after cancer treatment. There are techniques you can adopt in your daily life to help relieve stress. Watch the webinar below to learn more about stress management techniques.
Join Felice Apolinsky, LCSW Program Director of Gilda’s Club Nashville to explores stress reduction tips and techniques to help you feel more in control, to help quiet your mind, and to help manage anxiety. Margaret Martin RD, MS, LDN, CDE Nutrition Educator at PearlPoint Cancer Support provides suggestions for making meal time easier and tips for managing side effects that may be contributing to stress.