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Living Well With Melanoma > Finding Support
We all need help and support from those around us. This can be especially true when you’re living with melanoma. Not only are you managing your disease and your treatment, but you’re also managing your day-to-day life.
Support can come in many forms. It can be:
Remember that your support needs may change. The type and amount of support you need at any one time will depend on the situation at the time.
The key to asking for help is to match the help you need to the person who can best provide it. Different people have different strengths. Some people you know might be easy to talk with and can be excellent sources of emotional support. Other people might be better at practical things, like picking up groceries for you.
Take a moment to think about the people you know who can help. Write their names on a list. Think about how to match each person to your needs. Next to each name, write what each person can offer. For example, if you know someone who’s a good listener, ask them to give you emotional support by going out for coffee or by having a video chat. If you know someone has a car and is available during the day, ask them to give you practical support by driving you to a doctor visit.
Once you have a list of people you know and what they can offer, you can match your support needs to the person who can help you best. Then all you have to do is ask!
Once you figure out the type of support you need, you then need to ask people to help you. For many people, that’s the hardest part. But remember—people don’t know how to support you if you don’t ask! Sometimes people don’t feel comfortable asking for help. They may think asking for help shows that they’re weak. Or maybe they don’t want to feel like a burden to others. The reality is that asking for help shows real strength, and other people usually respond well when they’re asked to help. In fact, people often want to be able to be useful.
Still not convinced? Think about the last time someone asked you for help. How did you react? What did you think? How did helping make you feel about yourself and the person you were helping?
Many people find it helpful to talk and share experiences with other people living with the same condition. Although everyone’s experience is unique, talking with someone who has shared a similar experience can provide real comfort—and even make you feel less alone.1
If you’re interested in talking with other people living with melanoma, ask your doctor or nurse about support services available in your area.