Living with Cancer; where to get help and support
Cancer affects more people than the sufferer alone. Although they bare the brunt of the physical pain, their suffering has a huge affect on friends and family too, which can be very distressing. It's therefore not surprising that in addition to cancer help groups for sufferers themselves, many forms of support for friends and families of cancer sufferers have also risen up. Help is available in a range of mediums; self help groups, one on one councillors, phone lines, internet forums and traditional publications such as books and leaflets.
Cancer tends to have more than just emotional implications; the cost of cancer can be very substantial, especially if the sufferer is a bread winner. However, help is at hand as there are benefits that sufferers and their families can apply for. The Disability and Carers Service is a government body that is responsible for the disability benefits, disability livings allowance and attendance allowance and also carer's allowance, and there are help lines which you can ring to see whether you qualify for financial help.
These help lines will also be able to offer advice on other financial matters such as insurance. As cancer is considered a pre-existing medical condition by most insurers, getting travel insurance from a normal broker can be difficult. Therefore, it's normally better to go to a specialist who is prepared to look into your individual circumstances in detail and evaluate the situation.
It's not just financial information that cancer sufferers and their friends and family need. Often, there is a great desire for more knowledge of the condition itself. People want to know as much as they can about what's happening to them, what is likely to happen to them in the future, and how they can do things to help themselves.
Thankfully, the world is awash with books, magazines, journals and websites about every type of cancer that exists. There are also cancer support information centres throughout the UK which you can visit in person to speak to specialists and pick up leaflets, booklets and audio-visual materials.
Cancer can be very tough for all involved, but remember there is help available to you every step of the way. From the medical help you'll receive at the hospital, to the emotional support you can get from phoning a help line or attending a self help group, to the help available online when you log on to a cancer sufferers' forum and share your problems with hundreds of people who are going through the same thing, help, support and advice is always there.
About the author:
Paul McIndoe is an online, freelance journalist and keen hillwalker. He lives in Edinburgh with his two dogs.