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Blog mainpage / Family & friends / Support for All Supporters

08 June 2023

Support for All Supporters

Standing beside a loved one diagnosed with cancer is challenging and sometimes hard. You are not diagnosed with the disease, but you might feel afraid, helpless, exhausted and sad.

Support family and friends

Standing beside a loved one diagnosed with cancer is challenging and sometimes hard. You are not diagnosed with the disease, but you might feel afraid, helpless, exhausted and sad.  

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, family and friends are also affected.  

If you are helping a person through their cancer treatment, with support, grocery shopping, preparing meals, when visiting the doctor and so on, then you are often referred to as being the caregiver. 

Being a caregiver during cancer treatment 

It is easy, sometimes too easy, to put all your time and effort in helping your loved one that is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.  

Try to not put your own needs and feelings aside, it is not good for your health and will not work for long. Take care of yourself, it is also important for the person you are taking care of. 

Caregiver role 

You are not obliged to help your loved one. The goal should always be that a person during cancer treatment and rehabilitation can take care of themselves. But there might be periods during this time when your loved one might need extra help and assistance. If you find this overwhelming, or you think it is too much, then ask your medical team for advice or contact your doctor.  

There are groups where you can meet others in the same situation or meet with a counsellor if you want to talk with someone.  

Family and Friends – Meet Birthe, Spouse

Ask for help 

During times when you have too much stress, it is hard to ask for help – and this is the time when you need help the most. 

Talk with your friends, family, and colleagues. Ask your neighbours.  

Go over what you do:  

  • Do you need to do all these things? 
  • Can someone else do some of these things? 
  • Can your loved one do some of these things? 
  • What things do you need for yourself 

Say yes and receive help when you are giving assistance. Things might not be done the same way you would have done it, and that is fine, try to accept that.  

Download information for your family

Click here

Sometimes you find that an unfamiliar person, will step in to help. If you do not know what kind of help you can ask for, you have a good start with the tips below: 

  • Parents of your children´s friends can help you drive your children to different activities 
  • Your neighbour might help with grocery shopping 
  • Friends of yours can help your loved one to a doctor’s appointment 

There are usually groups online with volunteers that can help for free or people that can give a helping hand for a small fee. 

Disappointed with people not helping out 

Many experience that other people, friends, colleagues, neighbours, even family, do not reach out to help. Maybe they stop calling, act like they do not see you, or never ask about your condition. 

There are many reasons why people behave this way, and it is often because they do not know what to do or say. 

Try to spend time with those people around you that care for you. And save your time and energy on yourself.  


Make sure to give time and energy to yourself and your needs.  

Avoid thinking that your needs and feelings are not important since you are not the person diagnosed – care for your own needs, wishes and desires.  

Here are some tips: 

  • Plan for and take breaks. 15 minutes pre-lunch and 15 minutes in the afternoon where you sit down, take deep breaths, drink water, coffee or tea and look out the window. 
  • Keep your activities. You might remove a few but visit friends, attend your book club, the gym, or stroll downtown like you did before. 
  • Keep your routine. Get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night, take a walk or exercise, shower and keep your daily routines.  
  • Try breathing exercises. You can also try yoga at home. 

Some feel a relief in writing a journal or writing down their thoughts and things that worry them. Writing a journal gives you the opportunity to reflect and go through your emotions.  

Some find it useful to have a worrying time. Pick a time, the same time every day, then pick a spot, and go to that place, sit down, and allow yourself to worry for five minutes. After five minutes, leave your worrying place. If you begin to worry, then you can tell yourself to wait for the worrying time. 

Another thing that many find helpful is to write a gratitude journal, with three things you feel grateful for: 

  • I´m grateful for my grandchildren 
  • I´m grateful for the coffee break I had with my loved one 
  • I´m grateful for the warm smile a total stranger gave me on the bus today 

Take care of your mental and physical health:

  • Make sure to sleep enough 
  • Try to eat healthy 
  • Try to get out in the daylight every day 
  • Try to exercise 

Look for signs of depression. If after two weeks you still feel low, anxious, and tired, then contact your doctor.  

Find a support group:

Many value talking to someone that has been through the same experience. 

There are support groups.

In a support group you will learn that you are not alone and will get advice from others.  


information for your family

Click here

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