Bottom Line Inc

How to Ask for Help When You Have Cancer

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Bottom Line/HEALTH: One of the hardest things is for people to ask for help—and it’s one of the most overwhelming things. How did you, a very independent person, deal with that?
Hollye Jacobs, R.N.: That was absolutely the hardest thing for me, and probably the biggest lesson I had learned. As a nurse, I had been trained to heal, but when I became a patient, that healing became incredibly personal. What I learned was, asking for help is actually a sign of strength, not weakness. Unfortunately, it took a cancer diagnosis and incredibly difficult treatments for me to learn that, but I have taken that away in my postcancer life, and now, knowing that asking for help is a sign of strength, I feel so much more confident in approaching things that I may not be sure about.
Bottom Line And the truth is, people want to help you, don’t they?
Jacobs: People want to help. Each person is impacted by a diagnosis, and each person seeks to identify his or her role in that process, whether it’s someone who loves to cook and arranges food delivery…another friend who can help with child care…or someone else who loves to garden and can mow your lawn. Each person wants to be a part of your process and to help you through that, so by engaging them, it’s going to allow you to do what you need to do—and that is focus on enabling the treatments to work…and healing.
 
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Source: Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW, a palliative-care nurse and social worker based in Santa Barbara, California. She is a breast cancer survivor, mother of four and author of The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer. TheSilverPen.com

Date: September 15, 2014 Publication: Bottom Line Health
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