Tips for Living With Cancer


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When you hear you have cancer, many emotions run through your mind. Many people will give you advice – wanted or unwanted and often with no first hand experience. We collected some advice from people who have been through a cancer diagnosis- what they want you to know to help you get through treatment and back to living life!

  1. You can’t do it all yourself. You have to ask for help.
  2. Keep your head up. It’s hard, but it will get easier.
  3. Walk around and talk to other patients. It will make you feel better to know that other people are going through something like you are.
  4. Don’t expect your family to understand how you feel. They don’t get it. They might try to understand but they don’t. But they are just trying to help.
  5. Treat yourself to comfy, warm pajamas or sweats. They’ll help you stay warm and cozy.
  6. During chemo – Making it as pleasant as possible. Bring happy sticker to put on infusion bag, bringing special teddy bear, blanket and happy CDs to watch. Relaxation tapes. Look to treatment as therapeutic, not harmful. Stay as active as possible.
  7. Don’t give up! Always ask for more.
  8. Avoid being around people who are sick.
  9. Say YES to help! And don’t hesitate to tell people what you need- which may not be another lasagna!
  10. Laugh every day.
  11. At the Holidays, focus on 1 non-food tradition each week, such as sending cards, holiday music, or decorating an ornament.
  12. Practice well-care. Try meditation, guided imagery, relaxation
  13. Never be alone and always have someone at your appointments.
  14. Caregivers need to take time away from the patient!
  15. My family bought water shoes to the hospital to help me in the shower!
  16. As a patient, be humble! Let others help you with meals, kids, errands, etc. A great website for setting up help from friends is lotsahelpinghands.com
  17. Stay calm, cool and collected and assume that the doctors will remove the cancer and that you will be cured. Try not to panic, although I know it is terrifying!
  18. Watch comedies! Friends & family can bring you their favorite comedy on DVD.
  19. Spend time with loved ones to help take your mind off of cancer.
  20. Spend time with friends & family during the holidays.
  21. A great gift: noise cancelling headphones!
  22. Keep a positive attitude towards therapy. Radiation therapy is your ally and not to be afraid of; help it help you!
  23. It’s all about feeling good. Do what makes you happy!

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