Support people are the people in your life that have not slowly moved away since you were diagnosed with cancer. In a positive sense, it results in thinning out the social responsibilities that a person has. I do not see a negative, for me, the people that became absent in my life were never the people I could count on. I was always trying to fit in visits, coffee dates, dinners etc., with people that took time away from friends I really wanted to spend time with. Quality versus quantity , is what I want in my life now.

But who is your support, what are you doing for yourself? This is the time where you must be on the top of the priority list. With this said, that means you may not be able to do it on your own. With a cancer diagnosis, emotion comes with it. You may put on a brave face, you may say you are fine and you may not be able to accept help.

That was me. I hate asking for help, still do. I can do it myself, and I can do it better. Stubborn. I am slowly learning that people who offer to help, want to give it. So accept it, graciously.

Support is very important. Finding outlets for whatever you are feeling is part of the illness. I highly recommend every program that CancerCare provides. I found it much easier to receive help from these programs, rather than a family member or friend. Now with that said, my husband was (is) fantastic. He was (is) my rock and he supported our family and ensured a sense of normalcy throughout my cancer. I also had (have) amazing friends, who knew just what I needed. Some dropped by with coffee, said hi and left. Some came and laid in bed with me and just told stories and some were there for me, my kids and my husband – no questions asked.

Personally, I think support from a third party, someone who does not know you is critical. I joined a support group three years ago and they are still a part of my life. I call them friends. I count on them and they “get” it. They’ve been through it and that truly, unfortunately, makes a difference.

CancerCare offers programs like Mindfulness, Art Therapy, Yoga, Pilates, Life After Cancer, Exercise and Healthy Eating programs – it’s an extensive list. I loved Mindfulness, I use it to this day. It grounds me, helps me to just be and to realize the moment.

The moment is so important, I missed a lot of them. I still miss them, but honestly I think I am more aware now. I am very mindful of my kids. I listen to them, watch them and enjoy them so much more. I simply love hearing them laugh, it is healing. As I write this, I think how truly blessed I am to have them in my life, a part of my life.

One of the many benefits of CancerCare is the psycho-social oncology social work department. They will help you and your family. No charge. Seriously, they are there for you and they specialize in helping cancer patients. I went for quite a few months if not a year. It was a very safe place, I walked in started crying, talked and cried for an hour and left. There was an imaginary line at the door that I crossed and then I just cried. It was what I needed. I cannot put into words how very helpful this service was for me.

Get support, you don’t have to handle this on your own. Really, you don’t. Just ask, you will be amazed at how many people want to help.