You are Not Alone Facing Cancer. Cancer Support Community of A2 is Here for You.
From A2 Cancer Support Community
The words “you have cancer” are something that no one ever wants to hear, yet 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. That said, advancements in screening, prevention and treatment have brought new hope to the cancer community.
In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimates that 18.1 million cancer survivors live in the United States alone. That is a lot of people who have experienced the physical and emotional turmoil that a cancer diagnosis can bring. And this number only accounts for the person with cancer themself - what about the people that love them?
It is safe to say that the people impacted by cancer in the US can easily be double or more.
So, what do you do when cancer impacts you or someone you love?
Although every person is unique, below are a few simple strategies that help the majority of people while dealing with cancer.
1. Be Honest. Some patients and family members try to hide their feelings, especially worries or fears in effort to “protect” their loved ones. Though this is well intentioned, hiding feelings isn’t helpful, if fact, doing so can increase stress and impact trust.
2. Acknowledgement. It is normal to be scared. Sometimes people need to just be validated in their feelings. Saying “I can understand why you feel scared” is more helpful than “you need to stay positive”.
3. Listen. Most of us think that communication means talking. It does, but it also means listening and watching. “Active listening” means that you are focusing your attention on the other person without distractions.
4. Surround yourself with others who are hopeful. Hope is contagious and so is hopelessness. Seek out people who believe in you and your ability to overcome difficulties.
5. Reach out. Accept or offer help, but be specific about what you need or what you can do to support someone. This might include assisting you with chores, meals and errands.
Mostly, remember that you are not alone. The Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor is here to help support all people impacted by cancer with its free programs. Visit cancersupportannarbor.org to learn more.