Cancer doesn’t only affect those who have it; it also affects their family and friends. You may feel challenged — providing support and having to be strong while also experiencing emotions of anger, guilt, sadness, or anxiety. Here are some ways you can support the person diagnosed.
Take care of yourself
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself is the first step in providing support for someone else, and it can look different for everyone.
For practical advice and information about ovarian cancer, request a copy of “Understanding ovarian cancer: A comprehensive patient guide”. This resource guide developed by Ovarian Cancer Canada in partnership with experts in the field has select information specifically for caregivers. Additionally, using this guide as a resource for the latest information about the disease and topics for those experiencing ovarian cancer, may help you provide support.
You can also consider joining a caregiver support group to meet others, and be sure to attend one our education events for topics that may interest you.
There are many resources available that provide support for caregivers. The individual’s healthcare team will also offer advice.
How to look after yourself:
When you do, you are in a better position to provide support. Perhaps someone else’s illness makes you feel guilty about being healthy. Perhaps you are worried about getting cancer and facing mortality. Realize that you may need support for yourself. Get out of the house. Exercise. Consider seeing a recommended social worker from the individual’s healthcare team.
This may include centres in the community for cancer patients and their families as well as professional counselors.
Sharing can help. Find others who are also going through something similar.
Learn about the disease
Knowledge is power. Learn the basics of ovarian cancer, then get to know the specific type, grade, stage and treatment to support others. We have a variety of resources and information so you can equip yourself with the knowledge to provide support.
From webinar recordings to fact sheets, find everything you need to know about ovarian cancer and how to support the person in your life who has been diagnosed, no matter your involvement level.
Learn about genetics
If you have a family history of ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, or colorectal cancer on the biological mother’s or father’s side of the family, there is a possibility of a genetic mutation being passed from generation to generation.
Discover the latest research
Stay up to date with research developments in the ovarian cancer community that can impact future outcomes of the disease. Together, we are furthering progress.
You can support the person in your life, whether they are facing a diagnosis or going through treatment. Developed in collaboration with Teal Sisters and based on their personal experiences, the list below outlines some helpful tasks you can do to support.
- Provide a meal or groceries
- Babysit or provide childcare
- Take care of pets
- Offer to drive to or attend appointments
- Yard work or housework
- Continue to offer support through their journey – it could be a long one
Join our community
Ovarian Cancer Canada is a beacon of hope for everyone on their journey with the disease. There are plenty of ways to get involved and support the cause and the people in your life.