How to Ask for Help & Find Support

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Asking for help is a great thing. So is accepting help when it’s offered. Lots of people will ask how they can help, so think about ways to give them the gift of helping you.

Break down your needs into small, manageable parts so that if someone says, “How can I help?” you can say, “Can I give you a small list of things I need from the store?” or, “Can you pick up my dry cleaning next week?”

Plus, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more in control over your to-do list.

There are several websites and planning tools available to recruit friends and family to help, but you can also begin by simply writing down the things you’d like help with and thinking about who you might like to ask for support.


Examples of the type of help you might need

  • Medical care needs (driving to doctor’s appointments, staying on track with medications, managing side effects)
  • Home care needs (meals, cleaning, driving, childcare, home maintenance)
  • Practical support (calls to insurance, legal or financial assistance, paying bills)
  • Emotional support (coping with depression, finding fun, just talking)

Your first call for support can always be to your nurse or the hospital social worker who will know about local resources. For example, the American Cancer Society has a program that helps find drivers to get people to treatment. Reach out to family and friends for their help with manageable requests and if you need additional assistance.

Download our worksheet The Help I Need. 


Cancer support organizations

The following organizations provide several resources that can help you learn about the disease and find the type of support you’ll need. They offer a variety of services- some of them even have local chapters in your area. Check out their websites to learn more about how they can help you.

Colon Cancer Support

Content medically-reviewed by members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board, February 2014

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