What the Hell Is A Cancer Coach?

Ever wish that you had someone to guide you along the way through your cancer fight? We have basketball coaches and football coaches, but who knew that there were actual coaches for cancer? So what the hell do they do? Find out from this cancer coach who never thought she'd be doing what she is doing today.

When I started my coach training program, though I wasn't certain the area I wanted to specialize in, I was very clear with myself that I was NOT going to be the cancer coach. Losing my husband to Hodgkin's inspired me to help others, but I had no plans to work within the cancer community.

Flash Forward:

"Hi. My name is Tambre and I coach cancer survivors and caregivers."

I didn't choose this niche. It chose me when a long-term survivor suffering from significant late effects was referred to me. For them, surviving was a miracle overshadowed by challenges resulting from treatment and the disease.

With just three sessions, my client addressed multiple issues that had been severely limiting their physical energy and almost quadrupled what they had available to lead their daily life.

The work I do as a cancer survivorship coach is not directly related to the illness. It is best explained using the analogy of a set of train tracks.

My approach to working with clients dealing with chronic illness is to view it like a set of train tracks. There are two rails.

The medical plan and diagnosis makes up one track. It takes time,energy, and resources to manage this aspect as either a patient or a caregiver.

The second track is the track called your life. In addition to track one, both patient and caregiver need to understand how to manage and have a life as the medical treatment unfolds and post treatment.


  • What has the experience cost you or your caregiver?
  • What kind of collateral damage has occurred in your life?
  • Have you considered how parts of your life such as finances, relationships, enjoyment, career and family have been impacted?
  • What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now, whether it revolves around a new diagnosis, going through the process of treatment or trying to navigate the new normal beyond treatment?

It is common for new clients to show up struggling with:

  • Low energy levels
  • Fears about the future or the unknown
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Isolation
  • Relating to everyday life
  • Defining the new normal

The fallout from cancer can be overwhelming. Most of us dig down and find coping mechanisms or fall into potholes of denial, feeling numb or checking out through addictive type behaviors. So, how can coaching help?

Cancer can often result in feeling like life has been put on hold.

Future dreams and goals change, as do priorities. One of the significant benefits of coaching is that it helps clients reach clarity about fears, concerns, worries or challenges.

Simple, but effective, assessment tools help identify what is working in your life, what isn't working and the changes you would like to generate to be thriving, not just surviving. We also identify stress triggers and create client-centered ways to reduce it.

A cancer coach is someone who can help you gain clarity, get out of being overwhelmed and reduce stress so you can experience quality of life again. Watch the Discussion page on this site where I'll be posting easy to use tools to help you keep cancer from de-railing your right to an extraordinary life...no matter what challenges you may be facing.