You’re Not Alone: Facing Cancer as a Single Person

Practical tips to building support

You're Not Alone: Facing Cancer as a Single Person

Facing a cancer diagnosis alone can add to an already stressful time. You may live alone and not have a partner or close friend for support. Suppose you are single and thinking about dating. You may find it more difficult to reach out to others or meet new people. How do you meet those additional challenges?

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You’re probably a very independent person and are used to taking care of yourself, but the cancer experience can be very daunting. Let’s face it, you will more than likely need someone (or several people) to rely on. You may need help with transportation to and from chemotherapy or radiation treatments, as well as emotional support.

Where to find support

Help with day-to-day tasks can make all the difference. You may need someone to help you around the house with laundry, cleaning, or driving to the pharmacy.

There may be times when you are feeling down and are struggling emotionally. Having someone to share in your experience is both important and therapeutic. You may find there are many people that you can reach out to for help. Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely sources.

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Besides relatives (even those you’ve lost touch with) and friends, other people may be of assistance.

These include:

  • Support group members
  • Phone mentors
  • Neighbors
  • Social worker/counselor
  • Coworkers
  • Acquaintances from church and other groups
  • Volunteers from local cancer organizations

Brainstorm for more

To help you come up with more ideas, consider making a list. Make two columns, one that says “Name” and the other that says “Area of Help” and think about who you may reach out to.

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For some of us, it’s hard to reach out and ask for help but when it comes to cancer, everyone needs support. Also, people are often waiting to be asked because they want to help but don’t know exactly how, so you can allow them to act on their best wishes.

From the book The Complete Cancer Organizer by Jamie L. Schwachter, BSN, MSN, CNP and Josette M.Snyder, BSN, MSN, AOCN

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Cancer Answer Nurses

Jamie Schwachter, BSN, MSN, NP-C and Josette Snyder, RN, MSN, AOCN are Advanced Practice Nurses for Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute’s Cancer Answer Line.
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