A group of friends and faily talk on the phone together

Support In All Of Its Forms

There are many types of support given and received after one is diagnosed with lung cancer. I have considered myself lucky in that I have had a great support team in my family as well as in my doctors. I have been lucky enough to have been under the care of two fabulous oncologists. Throughout my diagnosis, I have found support from my peers in person and online. I have also given support to those who have needed it whether they have been newly diagnosed or a seasoned lung cancer survivor. My lung cancer diagnosis has also given me the perspective to help people look at their own non-lung cancer diagnoses.

My incredibly care team

My care team includes my twin sister, parents, and husband. They have all been with me since I was diagnosed. My husband and I had only been dating for a little over a year when I was diagnosed. My sister moved back home when I was diagnosed as she was working a contract nursing position on the other side of the country.

Connecting with other lung cancer patients

Peer-to-peer support comes in many forms. I have found a lot of my lung cancer connections via Lungevity Foundation or Go2 Foundation. There are many Facebook groups to connect with like diagnosed people. There are even groups for caregivers. Peer-to-peer support is helpful because the person offering help has been through what you are going through.

I am a phone buddy for 3 organizations, and I have been paired up with about 5 different people over the last few years. This type of support is given to those who request it and the communication can be for as much or as little as needed. I have had one person request support and then decide they did not need it and I have had multiple people who I text on a regular basis with.

Offering support to anyone who needs encouragement

The last type of support that I will discuss is supporting people in my life who do not have a lung cancer diagnosis. Within the last few months, I have had two people reach out to me and ask how I handle the anxiety that comes with scans. I feel that since I am an 8-year survivor and have had scans regularly it has given me the opportunity to discuss the anxiety with my friends.

As we progress with life our friends and family members will also be dealing with their own struggles and illnesses. Some will have many doctors’ appointments to get the diagnosis. Helping them get through the tough times is an honor that I have learned from my diagnosis.

Where do you find support?

Let me know in the comments who have given you support or if you have had the honor to help someone out along the way. Support comes in many forms, and it is good for us to help others. It is important to note that you cannot pour from an empty cup and if you are in need of support then you can be selfish and wait to support other until the time is right.

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