About ALK+ NSCLC

Your personal support team

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Aside from your healthcare team, you’ll also have a personal team providing emotional and practical support when you need it.

Of course, within this team will be your friends, family and anyone who you consider a caregiver. But this team can also include employers, support groups and people providing holistic support.

We’ve gathered some information on how your personal support team can help you below:

A diagram showing the members of a personal support team for somebody going through cancer, including family, freidns, caregivers, employers, and other support groups

Family can provide unparalleled emotional support throughout your journey. They can help you feel more in control and give you love or reassurance when you need it most (sometimes even just a hug goes a long way!). As well as this, your family can make sure you continue living your life as normally as possible, which in turn can benefit your mental and physical health, and outlook.

Alongside emotional support, your family can provide you with the practical support you need. For example, they can help carry out your day-to-day tasks during treatment, transport you to and from the hospital, and be with you during appointments to listen and help you understand information from your healthcare team.

For advice on how to talk to family about your NSCLC, click here.

Friends can be a brilliant source of support outside of your family. They can help cheer you up when you’re feeling down, and take your mind off things when you need a break.

You may also be able to speak with your friends in a different way than you do with your family. For example, you may be able to express how you’re feeling more easily with a close friend than your children or partner. Having these more open conversations can have a real positive effect on your mental health.

Furthermore, friends can help with tasks you may find difficult during treatment. They may be able to pick your children up from school, or help with walking the dog, or grocery shopping.

A caregiver is someone who provides you with invaluable care throughout your cancer journey. They may be a close friend or family member that you rely on to solve problems and keep your daily life running as smoothly as possible.

You can have more than one caregiver; some people with cancer find it easier to ask different people to carry out different tasks, rather than relying on one person only.

Your employer can make changes at work that will support you during treatment. They may make work adjustments, give you time off, and tell you about your sick pay entitlements.

We understand that you may find it difficult speaking about your NSCLC at work, so we’ve provided some guidance in our ‘Talking to people about your ALK+ NSCLC’ download, which can be found here.

Cancer support groups give you the chance to speak to others who understand what you’re going through. While every group is different, the majority include trained volunteers who will listen and give you their undivided attention.

Groups can vary in size and place. You may meet with a small group in someone’s living room or with a larger group at your local drop-in centre. Another option is joining an online community for people with cancer, where you can share comforting tips and stories.

You may wish to consider getting holistic support to help fulfil your physical, emotional or spiritual needs. If this is the case, your team may also include:

  • A leader in your faith, if you follow one
  • Massage therapists
  • Acupuncture / reiki therapists
  • Meditation leaders
  • Yoga teachers
  • Personal trainers
    • For more information on keeping fit, download our guide to eating well and exercising here

Remember to speak to your healthcare team before engaging in complementary therapies or exercise programmes.