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The Importance of Asking for Help

Read Time: 2 minutes

Amy Horyna, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C | Virginia Wilson, LCSW, OSW-C
Amy Horyna, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C | Virginia Wilson, LCSW, OSW-C

Asking for help is hard. It’s a vulnerable feeling and takes courage. You may think asking for help is a sign of weakness. But the social workers at Huntsman Cancer Institute want you to know that’s not true. In fact, knowing when you are reaching your limit is a strength.

Whether you are a patient or a caregiver, you may feel like you’re sinking. As a person with cancer, it is vital you reach out to get the assistance you need. If you’re a caregiver, additional help can fend off burnout.

Get Comfortable with Asking for Help

Remembering the following things may make it easier to ask for help.

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, chances are your family, friends, and medical team want to help you in every way they can—and they certainly won’t judge you for reaching out for help.
  • Asking for help, and offering it, is mutually beneficial. Expressing mutual gratitude is a powerful reinforcer. We are stronger when we work together to get needs met.
  • If it is still difficult for you to ask for help, try to think of a family member or friend that you feel comfortable with and ask them to ask for you.

What to Ask For

When asking for help, be clear and specific. Here are some ways people can help you:

  • Give you a ride to appointments
  • Watch your kids during appointments
  • Bring you meals
  • Do yard work or snow removal
  • Clean your house
  • Keep you company

If you are concerned about being exposed to a virus or illness, ask people to do errands or outdoor chores.

Help for Caregivers

Caregivers need help too. If you’re a caregiver taking on too much, you could experience burnout. You may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, you can do a few things:

  • Seek support from friends who are willing to listen to your frustrations and offer help.
  • Look for expert help from psychologists, counselors, or other specialists, if needed.

Our social workers and support groups can help patients being treated at Huntsman Cancer Institute and their caregivers. Call 801-587-7000 for more information.

Cancer touches all of us.