Resources for Cancer Patients & Families

As you begin your cancer care journey, we strongly encourage you to take time for you. Physically. Emotionally.

After all...

Your Healing Is All About You.

happy_wmYou have not “become” your illness.

It may surprise you that people often express a sense of loss during short or long medical procedures—not physical so much as personal. Medical needs can overwhelm our spirits, our outlook on life and how we cope with life’s challenges.

This is normal.

Medical needs can lead you to think “I don’t know myself anymore” or that “I’ve lost a part of me”.

Don't worry.

Just know it's more misplaced than lost. You'll come to experience many feelings. This is very common, even expected.

At VMC, we stay with you in many ways. No doubt, treatment rooms and medical procedures will strike you at first as unfamiliar ground. We encourage you to think of them as safe ground—safe for your body, mind and spirit. Behind every machine, therapy or paperwork is a staff member ready to help you on your medical journey.

A recent client shared a story with our staff. As they looked around their treatment room, with all the equipment, noises, and medical staff draped in uniforms speaking medical speak, the patient said: “I’m not in Kansas anymore!”

Humor helps us heal and makes us feel good inside.

Emotional Places

Let your support get on-board.

friendsWhen going through infusions, chemotherapy, radiation treatments or other medical procedures, there is a tendency to feel alone. It helps to connect to your resources outside the hospital or clinic.

Remember: your family and friends understand you best. They may not understand all your medical care—but they don’t have to be medical professionals in order to support you. Let them be there for you as you are comfortable.

People close to you often want to help but often don’t know how. Let them be part of your medical journey, if only from the sideline.

Share.

At times, it will be beneficial for you to let go of what you cannot change. A good question to ask is “how am I going to handle all this?” You may need to find some energies, resources and support. Let your support from your community, church, or associations be a part of your cancer care journey: they can only help if you share.

Tools

  • Healthy “non-medical” practices like tai chi 
  • Deep reflection (contemplation)
  • Reading scripture, inspirational writings
  • Meditation or Breath Prayer
  • Reading in poetry, philosophy etc.
  • Creative writing or keeping a personal journal
  • Listen to Music

Resources for Your Everyday Living with Cancer

  • American Cancer Society 800.ACS.2345 or 425.656.4002, and www.cancer.org
  • Cancer Lifeline 24/7 phone support 206.297.2500 or 1-800-255-5505 and www.CancerLifeLine
  • Support Groups – Classes 206.297.2500
  • Nutrition Classes
  • Exercise Classes
  • Creative Expression
  • VMC Cancer Info-Line 425.656.4002
  • Wig Bank 425.656.4002
  • Oncology Social Work 425.228.3440 Ext. 5949
  • Clinical Nurse Navigator 425.228.3440 Ext. 3162
  • Spiritual Care Services (In Patient) 425.228.3440 Ext. 5859
  • chaplain@valleymed.org

This information is a product of a Collaboration of Care for the Total Patient.

This service is in partnership with and due in great part to the efforts of Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center, Renton, WA and Cancer Life Lines of Seattle, WA. Spiritual Care at Valley Medical Center & Clinics is a service of the Division of Patient Care Services, from the Coordinator for Spiritual Care.

Welcome.