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It's Okay To Ask For Help During Cancer

January 15th, 2015 |
Emotional Support

by sedonawoman | Survivor: Colon and Rectal Cancer    Connect


Cancer is difficult. It is not shameful to admit that you don't have the means, energy or time to accomplish whatever it is that you wish to do when dealing with cancer. You can't do it alone, so why not ask for help?

I was raised to be strong, independent and resourceful. I was of the mindset to do things by myself and for myself and not have to depend on others. But then cancer happened. Right away, I was presented with an immediate situation whereby I quickly realized that some outside assistance would be of great benefit for my state of well-being.

I learned firsthand that if I was willing to seek assistance, I was being incredibly brave. I was willing to admit to myself "in the moment of truth" that I couldn't do it all alone. I acknowledged my own needs upfront. I placed myself at the top of my "to-do" list and allowed others in my support network to be there for me. The good news is that it is okay to ask for help!

There are plenty of people who desire to ease your discomfort when you are faced navigating through a tough time dealing with Cancer. Unless you ask, how will someone know what your needs are? It is not shameful to admit that you don't have the means, energy or time to accomplish whatever it is that you wish to do. Being extremely ill from treatment or its side effects can drastically diminish your ability to complete household or work chores. If you aren't good or capable of doing something in particular, find someone who is. You can either hire or delegate an individual to fulfill that need. You will discover that generally, people want to try to help others.

By not asking, you reinforce your own helplessness, which may lead to more stress and frustration. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, those who truly care about you to come to your aid. Be specific about your what your needs are (childcare, transportation, meals, grocery shopping, errands, work load etc.) In addition, others may not do these tasks according to your standards but that is okay as well. Appreciate their efforts and value them for being available to help you.

Be mindful that those that care about you and want to be of support are receiving the gift of being needed and the strong personal connection to you in your time of need. Upon finding yourself in a quandary, don't struggle needlessly. Call and seek assistance. Do not stand on your pride or ego. It really is okay to need help. We all do and you will be asked to do the same someday soon. Have a generous heart, be kind, and pay it forward.

Remember the old adage, "the only way to get anything in life, is to ask for it."

Did you have a hard time asking for help? Let us know how you overcome your difficulties in the comments below.

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Helen H. Cohen, MA, CEG, is a certified professional life coach, as well as a Stage III Colon Cancer survivor who recently celebrated her seven year cancer-free mark. Her intention as a cancer survivorship life coach is to inspire other cancer survivors and their significant others who wish to move forward with their 'new' lives post cancer treatment. It is her belief that this transitional phase provides a great opportunity to reinvent, renew focus, reevaluate one's life's purpose and forge a new direction. From her own personal cancer journey, she has a changed perspective and a different outlook. To read more about her, please click here or to connect with her on IHadCancer under the name, sedonawoman.

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