Tips for Patients & Friends

For Patients:

No question is off-limits.   Most people find it helpful to write down questions. Bring a friend or relative with you to your appointments and treatments. They can help you ask questions as well as remember, understand and process new information.

Seek wise counsel.  When you have an important decision to make, such as a choice about treatment or surgery, your cancer doctor and team stand ready to answer your questions and concerns.  We also are available to provide a second opinion.

Consider joining a support group,   Support groups like Loving Arms Cancer Outreach, founded by two Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers (NGOC) nurses, offer interaction with individuals who have had experiences similar to yours. They can give you reassurance as well as important facts based on first-hand experience.

Take good care of your body.  Find out about good nutrition, relaxation techniques, and anything else that helps your body heal.

Treat yourself well.  Celebrate triumphs, no matter how small they may seem. Find any excuse to reward yourself with a massage, a walk in the park or something else that gives you peace of mind and makes your life better body, soul and spirit.

For Friends and Relatives:

Food is love.  When taking food to your friend (and to the family too), ask what they would like and can eat. Use a dish that does not need to be returned. Try to help out more than once as treatment lasts months.

Make trips fun.  Combine a required trip to NGOC with a fun activity. Make arrangements to go out to lunch, stroll a mall or do whatever he or she would like to do.

Keep your friendship a two-way street.  Although you will no doubt spend time listening to your friend, talking about your own life (both good and bad) will allow your friend to feel needed and to contribute something in return.

Touch or hug your friend at every appropriate opportunity.  People who are sick rarely get enough hugs. Cancer is not contagious. Greeting cards, postcards and humorous emails are another way to express your love.

Speak their language.  If he/she says cancer, you can say cancer. If he/she says tumor or malignancy, use those words.

Everybody’s battery needs recharging.  If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, take over her/his duties for an afternoon to give them a break. If you are that caregiver, give yourself adequate time off. Leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time to recharge.