Thrive During Treatment

“What can I do to help?” When you begin chemo, friends, family and even casual acquaintances will ask you this question. If you’re the kind of person who hates to ask for help, think of it this way: Helping you helps them feel good about themselves. Friendship is a matter of give and take; so let your friends give back to you—not just for your sake, but for theirs, too!

As you begin treatment, it’s perfectly OK to tell people that you have no idea what you’ll need. Tell them when your treatments will begin, and ask them to check back with you then. Be aware that there are many different ways to help. For example, you can tell people: Over the course of my treatment, I’m going to need people to...

  • Look after my kids
  • Help with my parents
  • Listen
  • Keep me company
  • Help with rides to and from the doctor
  • Do laundry
  • Provide meals
  • Mow the lawn
  • Take a walk with me
  • Help me organize my bills

Helpful suggestion:
Check out, a website that helps cancer survivors and those going through treatment create a help list. Your friends and relatives can sign up for specific tasks on specific dates. You can also use it to indicate days when you may need extra help.

Balance work and family

To get and stay healthy, it’s important to strike a balance between work and family. Organize and plan the best you can, but remember that you simply can’t do it all. Set your priorities and stick to them.

As your treatment continues, exciting life events—holidays, birthdays, weddings and graduations—can be welcome distractions. Whenever possible, celebrate milestones with loved ones—and if you can’t, make a rain-check date to celebrate with them when you’re able. Your friends and relatives will understand that your job right now is to get well.

Helpful suggestion:
Because you may have to disappoint your children or grandchildren occasionally by skipping a school function or sporting event, be upfront and honest. Children are often scared and confused when adults are ill, so feel free to say, “I understand how you feel. I’m sometimes scared, too. But I’m going to fight this with everything I’ve got. And sometimes, that may mean I have to stay home and rest.”


  Every Day Made Easy

Cancer and Your Career
You Survived Cancer…Now What?
Thrive During Treatment
7 Ways to Cope With Chemo
Accept Help With Open Arms
Your Online Cancer Network

More Inspiration & Motivation

20 Ways to Boost Your Body, Mind and Spirit
How to Add Your Kids to Your Healthcare Team
Make Your Holidays Meaningful When You Have Cancer
Avoid Germs at Work When Going Through Chemo
Tips for Safe Travel With Chemotherapy