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You Are Not Alone A Practical Guide for Maintaining Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer You're Not Alone

Friends and Family - III. Psychological And Emotional Support


Attitudes That Can Help

Positive Thinking
Support Groups
Realistic, Achievable Goals
Spirituality, Faith and Religion

End-of-Life Care
Leaving Instructions to Loved Ones

The support of family and friends is an essential part of maintaining your quality of life. Family and friends provide you with emotional support, physical comfort, spiritual guidance, a welcome diversion, and assistance with logistics. Even friends and family who do not live in your area can be a part of your support team through telephone calls, emails, letters, care packages, or occasional visits.

After your diagnosis or at some point in your treatment, it may be helpful to gather your local friends and family members at what we call a tea party. Find out who can help you with various tasks - such as driving you to the doctor, shopping, cooking, or helping with childcare - and enlist your team.

Spending quality time with your friends and family will enrich your life. Share a meal, play a game, or look through an old photograph album together. Some of our patients have participated in a videotape, the Life Tapes Project, that we have developed. For this project, patients tell their life stories and those of their parents and grandparents on videotape. Children often participate, asking questions and spurring other stories. Patients find that the process of telling these stories is a way to express love and talk about family legacies, and the videotape becomes a permanent record of these legacies. Some patients also record their family genealogies. Writing an ethical will - or your philosophy of life - is another way to share important beliefs with your family.

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