Living with cancer blog

Cancer survivors practice the art of helping others

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. July 30, 2011

Mentor, navigator, advocate ... these are just a few of the people that you may have been touched by as a cancer survivor.

Most times, the people who fill these roles have faced cancer on a personal level as well. They've walked in your shoes and may have similar experiences to share. The art of caring, listening and supporting is so valuable.

Helping others make it through the experience of living with cancer is an incredible gift. They help you navigate your way through diagnosis, treatment and the time after treatment ends, which can be the hardest period.

People in these roles often want to give back by providing support and guidance to others who may be just at the beginning of their cancer experience. This is an empowering experience where the person helping oftentimes gets back as much as they give. For the person receiving the support, it's just so good to be with someone who knows exactly how they're feeling.

At Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, we are so fortunate to have American Cancer Society Navigators and volunteer survivors who work in the Cancer Education Center, Pink Ribbon Mentors who support breast cancer survivors, a strong group of men who organize the Prostate Cancer Support Group, as well as countless other advocates and community support.

Please share stories of how you've been touched by people in these supportive roles. Whether you were on the giving or receiving end, both are equally important!


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

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Jul. 30, 2011