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What to expect when caring for someone with cancer

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By Nicole Brudos Ferrara

People who care for someone with cancer are often called cancer caregivers. “Everybody who is supporting somebody through the cancer journey is a cancer caregiver,” says Joan Griffin, Ph.D. , a health care delivery researcher at Mayo Clinic.

Cancer caregivers can be spouses, partners, family members, or friends. They take on tasks such as administering medications, managing symptoms, and communicating with the cancer care team, often becoming indispensable to the well-being of the person for whom they care.

Here's what you can expect when caring for someone with cancer:

The role will evolve

“I break cancer caregiving into stages, just like we do with cancer treatment,” says Dr. Griffin. “There is the early stage around diagnosis and treatment planning, there's the active treatment stage, and then there's survivorship. There are different roles for cancer caregivers along those stages.”

When cancer is diagnosed, a caregiver might provide emotional support. A caregiver might research treatments and providers who can offer second opinions. As cancer treatment starts, a caregiver might accompany their loved one to treatment appointments, help the person recover from surgery, and manage medications.

“When there’s a cancer diagnosis, it’s actually a diagnosis for the family because the cascading effects affect so many people,” says Dr. Griffin. For example, when a spouse or a parent receives a cancer diagnosis, the other members of the household must step into new roles while the person with cancer focuses on treatment and healing.

Practical needs and self-care come first

Providing care for someone with cancer is a long-term gig. To prepare, Dr. Griffin recommends reviewing health insurance policies to understand how your loved one’s care will be covered, talking to your employer about your situation, and preparing your colleagues for the necessity of time away from work.

Understanding how communication will occur between everyone providing care for your loved one is also key. “Talk to the primary care provider before treatment starts so you understand what the communication pattern is going to be between the oncology team and the primary care provider,” says Dr. Griffin.

Once these practical needs are addressed, establish a pattern of caring for yourself so you have the strength and endurance to care for your loved one with cancer. Make sure you have the emotional support you’ll need, such as a circle of friends or a support group you can touch base with when things are particularly challenging. Establish an exercise routine that helps relieve stress. And lean on friends, family or community resources to secure time for activities that bring joy.

“You need something that brings you solace,” says Dr. Griffin. “Some way to help you cope and manage all the stress that’s going to come with that role.”

Everyone will have big emotions

“Patients often have to manage and think about issues of grief, of grieving what their life was like, grieving what they have lost because of the diagnosis, and not really knowing what's going to happen next,” says Dr. Griffin.

Caregivers – especially if the person they’re caring for is a spouse or a partner – may also be feeling these things. The caregiver and the person with cancer are likely feeling fear as well – fear of death, fear of losing a loved one, fear of the financial challenges that come from losing income and paying medical bills.

“There are a lot of things that caregivers keep inside, even things they typically may have shared with the person with cancer,” says Dr. Griffin. “The caregiver is often not going to share those things, because it's just not considered to be what a good caregiver does.”

Dr. Griffin suggests focused writing exercises to help caregivers deal with emotions and stressors they aren’t comfortable sharing with a partner or a therapist. “It’s sitting down and writing 15 or 20 minutes a day,” says Dr. Griffin. “It's very focused writing about what you’re feeling and experiencing and the challenges you’re facing. It’s a way to express emotions and purge them.”

Some caregivers may find themselves caring for a family member with whom they have had a difficult relationship. Dr. Griffin encourages people to set boundaries. “Being a caregiver to somebody with whom you have a contentious relationship doesn't mean they can treat you poorly, or that you can treat them poorly,” she says.

Even in situations in which a caregiver has a good relationship with the person for whom they provide care, there’s still often some level of family strife. Dr. Griffin recommends telling the care team about these challenges, so they understand the situation and can be supportive.

When family conflict is an issue, counseling can also play a critical role. “Seeking out counseling is an important avenue for people who are really struggling with some of the communication issues that can happen during the cancer journey,” says Dr. Griffin.

You'll need to advocate for yourself, too

Don't forget to advocate for your needs as well as those of your loved one with cancer. Talk to the care team about your role as a caregiver, what you feel comfortable doing and what you need from them.

“Physicians are focused on the patient,” says Dr. Griffin. “Often, that means the caregivers are put to the side a little bit.”

If you’re not comfortable doing wound care or helping your loved one with bodily functions, let the care team know so they can find someone who can help with that. Make a list of questions to ask the care team when you go to appointments with your loved one, especially if you’re managing complex medications. “It’s critical to have those conversations early on,” says Dr. Griffin.

Many people who care for someone with cancer are also working full time. It can be challenging to do both. Find out if you have the right as a caregiver to take time off. Ask about a leave of absence. If you take a leave of absence, are you able to return to your job?

Having the option to work can also be good for caregivers, as it provides structure and focus. “Work sometimes can be a haven from the stress of caregiving,” says Dr. Griffin.

Despite the tremendous challenges of caring for someone with cancer, there are also rewards. Caregivers make a huge difference in the lives of people for whom they care. “It can be overwhelming, it can be stressful, it can be burdensome," says Dr. Griffin. "But people also find a lot of joy in it."

Watch Dr. Griffin discuss cancer caregiving on the Mayo Clinic Q&A Podcast:

Learn more about caregiving:

  • Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself
  • Information for caregivers from the American Cancer Society

Join the Caregivers Group on Mayo Clinic Connect .

Find clinical trials for caregivers .

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Lessons From My Cancer Journey

A personal perspective: hard lessons for a reluctant learner..

Posted August 18, 2022 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch

After being diagnosed with head and neck cancer in February 2021 and overcoming the shock of what was in store for me, I realized that I had embarked on a journey that I hadn’t planned on taking. The journey would be arduous, comprised of hazardous twists and turns and lessons I hadn’t expected or thought I needed to learn.

I also learned that my cancer was going to be my teacher, and it had no regard for students who displayed a reluctance to learn or whether or not I grew tired from the difficult journey as it would unfold.

My cancer was a harsh and severe teacher; unmerciful, unkind, and unrelenting. Early on, I realized that the metaphor of a war or battle didn’t capture what I was experiencing.

I am writing this about my experience because others can benefit from the lessons I’ve learned. These lessons are especially important for men. Like me, most men are socialized to be stoics: to tough it out when things are hard, to not ask for help even when we desperately need it, and to not seek medical help even when the signs of trouble are clear. As you will see, I learned to reject stoicism and embrace my vulnerability.

I came to think of my cancer as a teacher, one who was a lot like my freshman philosophy professor. He was the quintessential New England Ivy League professor: tweed jacket, wire-rimmed glasses, and a dour expression of judgment permanently on his unfriendly face. Never warm or friendly, he was consistently stern and serious. He approached teaching and his students as if administering a form of punishment in each lecture, and he did so without a hint of compassion.

This professor enjoyed utilizing the Socratic method when teaching. He took special delight in cold-calling on students, especially those who appeared distracted or unprepared. He did not care if his pointed yet thoughtful questions left an uncertain or unprepared student embarrassed or ashamed; that was the point of the questioning. Whether you were prepared, sleepy , distracted, or not, he was there to deliver a set of lessons through a series of probing questions that pushed us to think in ways our young minds were often not ready for.

I found that my cancer lessons were a lot like my experience in freshman philosophy, except I hadn’t chosen to take the course. For some reason, I was required to take this journey and compelled to learn the lessons along the way. Like my professor, my cancer teacher had no patience for unprepared students.

“Why me?” I thought as my cancer journey commenced. I soon came to realize how stupid the question was. My cancer teacher could care less if I felt sorry for myself or if I thought having this disease was unfair. There would be no time for wallowing in self-pity on my cancer journey, and the lessons I would be forced to learn along the way would be taught without patience or compassion. My first lesson was that “why me” was the wrong question.

In her book, Illness as Metaphor (1978), Susan Sontag wrote:

Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in February 2021, I began my journey to the kingdom of the sick. I hoped I would merely be a tourist passing through, unlike others I had known who became permanent residents in that horrid and unforgiving land.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six in every 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease. Four in 10 have two illnesses or more. I had no desire to become a member of this sickly tribe, but here I was.

Pedro Antonio Noguera Ph.D.

Pedro Antonio Noguera, Ph.D., is the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the Rossier School of Education and a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Southern California.

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The 5 Emotional Stages of People with Cancer

Common reactions, emotional stages, mental health side effects.

  • Helping a Loved One
  • When to Seek Care

Frequently Asked Questions

A cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on the emotional health of you, your family, and your support system. You may experience fear, anxiety, sadness, anger and overwhelm. It’s completely normal to feel a wide range of emotions when facing a cancer diagnosis.

There are over 100 types of cancer, and an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancers account for nearly 50% of these cases.

FatCamera / Getty Images

When you are living with cancer, it's important to prioritize your emotional and physical health. Studies suggest that addressing the mental health concerns that people with cancer experience may lead to improved treatment outcomes and a better quality of life.

This article discusses the five emotional stages of cancer, how to cope, and how to help a loved one.

You may feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster after getting a cancer diagnosis. The range of emotions you feel can change daily, or even hourly.  

Cancer Is an Emotional Experience

Though no two people will share the exact same emotions when facing cancer, common reactions to a cancer diagnosis include:

  • Loneliness 

Intense, varied emotions are common in people living with cancer—not just at the time of diagnosis, but at any point in your cancer treatment. You may grieve the loss of your good health, struggle with changes to your appearance, feel guilt over the impact your diagnosis has on your family, and worry about the future. 

Developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969, the five stages of grief—commonly known as DABDA , which stands for "denial," "anger," "bargaining," "depression," and "acceptance"—may reflect the emotions you feel as you navigate your cancer journey. The DABDA model is a good tool to describe the emotional responses of people when they’re facing a life-changing illness or situation. 

Although these stages are widely believed to happen in a linear fashion, these emotions can occur at any time, in any order, after a cancer diagnosis.  

Getting a cancer diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience. The overwhelm may trigger feelings of disbelief, numbness, or shock. You may want to avoid thinking about it or pretend it isn’t happening. Denial is a common response to life-changing events and is a normal emotion for people with cancer. Denial will fade over time, and you will begin to experience other emotions concerning your diagnosis. 

Anger is a natural emotional response to perceived threats. Though often not seen in a positive light, anger can be a good thing. When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, anger can be a vital part of the emotional process. It gives you a way to express your difficult emotions, like anxiety, fear, frustration, and helplessness. 

It’s important to allow yourself to feel and express your anger in a healthy way rather than holding it all in. You may find it beneficial to talk about your anger with a trusted family member or friend (without taking it out on them), punch pillows, yell out loud in your car, write in a journal, or do a physical activity (e.g., dancing) to help you process your emotions.


In the bargaining stage, you may feel like your diagnosis is unfair and want to do anything to “fix” it and return to life pre-diagnosis. You may bargain with yourself or a higher power as a way of finding some control over the situation, and think things like, “If I get through this, I will never complain about anything again.” If your loved one has cancer, you may think, “If she survives this cancer, I will never again be angry at her.” 

Bargaining and guilt often go hand in hand, and you may find yourself going through countless what-if scenarios, such as: What if I'd never smoked in my 20s? What if I'd never eaten junk food? What if I'd gone to the doctor six months earlier?

If you find yourself in an endless loop of bargaining, it may be helpful to talk through your emotions with a counselor or with peers in a cancer support group.  

Depression is a common mental health condition that involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, and low energy. Depression can lead to changes in your sleeping and eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, and low self-worth.

Depression affects up to 1 in 4 people with cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider if these feelings persist for more than two weeks. They may recommend treatment to help manage your depression such as medication and/or counseling . Studies show that people with cancer who get treated for depression respond better to cancer treatments and have a higher quality of life.


Once you’ve given yourself the space to grieve and feel the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis, it becomes easier to face your new reality head-on. This doesn’t mean you leave behind any difficult feelings or grief—rather, you learn to accept and find meaning in your current journey.

With acceptance comes hope. And there are plenty of reasons to feel hopeful—millions of people are cancer survivors . While there’s no evidence to suggest that a positive attitude can improve cancer treatment outcomes, there are still benefits to staying hopeful. A hopeful mindset is associated with stress reduction, lower blood pressure, and improved relationships.

Cancer Prognosis

A cancer prognosis is your healthcare provider’s best estimate of how your cancer will respond to treatment, how it will affect you, and what your chances of survival are. The type you have and the stage of cancer you're in, where the cancer is located in your body, your age, and how healthy you were before diagnosis all play a role in your prognosis.

It's important to remember that a prognosis is your cancer specialist's (oncologist) best guess and is not written in stone.

A cancer diagnosis can affect the mental health and well-being of people with cancer, their families, and caregivers.

Many people with cancer experience significant sadness and grieve the life they had before diagnosis. You may feel tired, have a reduced appetite, and find it difficult to get through your daily routine. This is normal, and it may take time for you to work through your feelings and accept your new way of life. Some cancer treatments may change your brain chemistry and increase the likelihood of depression.

Getting support from family members and friends or joining a cancer support group may help you process your emotions. If your feelings of depression persist, ask your healthcare provider about your options for treating depression. This may include medication and counseling.

Up to 45% of adults with cancer experience anxiety. Anxiety is feeling worried, afraid, tense, and/or unable to relax. Physical symptoms include a rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, headaches, muscle pain, tightness in your chest, or changes in your sleep patterns.

It’s completely normal to feel anxious when you or your loved one is facing cancer. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s important to recognize this feeling and take the steps needed to manage how you feel. 

Studies show that mindfulness-based activities (e.g., meditation, breathwork) are associated with a reduction of anxiety and depression in adults with cancer. Your doctor may suggest antianxiety medications and/or talk therapy to help manage anxiety.

How to Cope

Coping with cancer and the associated emotional toll is important. Though people cope with their emotions in different ways, you may find these strategies for coping helpful:

  • Recognize and be honest about what you’re feeling.
  • Talk about your feelings with a trusted loved one.
  • Seek out community, such as a cancer support group. 
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet .
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Engage in physical activity (e.g., walking, swimming).
  • Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, or yoga 
  • Write your feelings down in a journal.
  • Look for positive experiences—whether that’s with a beloved pet, friends, or a solo activity that brings joy.
  • Talk to your healthcare providers if your feelings of depression and/or anxiety persist.

How to Help

If your family member or friend has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be wondering what you can do to help. Here are some ideas on how to support a loved one with cancer :

  • Listen : Ask how they’re feeling and provide a listening ear.
  • Offer to help : Whether you cook meals, do their laundry, or provide transportation to their appointments, helping with day-to-day tasks is often appreciated.
  • Treat them the same : Your loved one is the same person they were before the diagnosis, and treating them as you have in the past is a way to provide normalcy. 
  • Give them a cancer break : People with cancer often need a break from talking about all things cancer-related. Share interesting stories, some laughs, or sit down for a cozy movie night together. 
  • Learn about cancer : Taking the initiative to learn about your loved one’s cancer type and treatments is a way to show you care.
  • Show up : Stay consistent with your relationship—call, text, or take time for visits to let them know you’re a reliable friend. 

Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you are a caregiver, be sure to carve out time for self-care—being there for a loved one with cancer can take an emotional and physical toll on caregivers, too. Taking care of your own needs can give you the strength you need to continue providing support.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If your emotions are affecting your day-to-day life or lasting a long time, your cancer care team can help. Ask your healthcare team for mental health support. Your oncologist may refer you to a counselor who can help you learn how to cope with your diagnosis. They may also prescribe medication, such as an antidepressant or antianxiety medications. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is an emotionally overwhelming experience that can lead you to experience feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance. However, the journey is not linear, and not everyone experiences each of these emotions.

That said, receiving a cancer diagnosis or learning your loved one has cancer can contribute to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. It's normal and okay to feel sad, but if you or a loved one is experiencing these emotions for an extended period of time and/or are having trouble coping, it doesn't hurt to ask for help.

A Word From Verywell

Coping with a cancer diagnosis—whether it is your own or a loved one’s—can take a psychological toll. Give yourself the space to acknowledge and express all of your feelings openly and honestly. 

If you feel your emotional health is negatively affecting your daily life, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no shame in asking for help—even the strongest, most resilient people need support. Asking for mental health support is one of the best things you can do for yourself as you navigate your cancer journey. 

Whether cancer can be cured depends on the type and stage of cancer, how a person responds to treatment, and other factors. A cure means that cancer has gone away with treatment and will never come back. Remission is when cancer has responded to treatment and all signs and symptoms have gone away. If a person remains in remission for five or more years, they may say they are cured.

Most types of cancer have four stages: stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4 (sometimes written in Roman numerals as I, II, III, and IV). Some cancers have stage 0. Staging is a way to indicate cancer’s location, size, and whether or not it has spread (metastasized) either locally or farther from the original site. Staging helps doctors determine the best treatment plan (e.g., chemotherapy, surgery). 

National Cancer Institute. What is cancer?

National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: common cancer sites.

Mental Health America. Cancer and mental health.

National Cancer Institute. Cancer and feelings.

Stroebe M, Schut H, Boerner K. Cautioning healthcare professionals . Omega (Westport) . 2017;74(4):455-473. doi:10.1177/0030222817691870

Conley CC, Bishop BT, Andersen BL. Emotions and emotion regulation in breast cancer survivorship . Healthcare (Basel) . 2016;4(3):56. doi:10.3390/healthcare4030056

American Society for Clinical Oncology. Coping with anger.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Emotional stages of a breast cancer diagnosis.

National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression.

American Cancer Society. Depression.

Smith HR. Depression in cancer patients: Pathogenesis, implications and treatment (review) . Oncol Lett . 2015;9(4):1509-1514. doi:10.3892/ol.2015.2944

 National Cancer Institute. Cancer and feelings.

National Cancer Institute. Understanding cancer prognosis .

 National Behavioral Health Network. Mental health impacts of a cancer diagnosis.

Zhang MF, Wen YS, Liu WY, Peng LF, Wu XD, Liu QW. Effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy for reducing anxiety and depression in patients with cancer: a meta-analysis .  Medicine (Baltimore) . 2015;94(45):e0897. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000000897

Canadian Cancer Society. Coping with emotions.

CancerCare. What can I say to a newly diagnosed loved one?

American Society of Clinical Oncology. Counseling .

American Cancer Society. Can cancer be cured?

American Society of Clinical Oncology. Stages of cancer.

By Lindsay Curtis Curtis is a writer with over 20 years of experience focused on mental health, sexual health, cancer care, and spinal health.

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My Cancer Journey

cancer journey

My Breast Cancer Journey

Hanna-Marie lives in Houston, Texas. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2020. This is her story in her words.

I was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer called triple positive invasive ductal carcinoma on Dec. 15, 2020. I had no family history.

I found a mass in mid-September 2020 that felt like a pencil eraser. During this time, I was having horrible nausea and pelvic pain weeks after my cycle and ovulation period. This was out of the norm for me, even during my cycle. I was one of the lucky ones with no cramps or nausea.

I went to the OBGYN in late September to discuss the nausea and pelvic pain and totally forgot to discuss the mass. I received a pelvic ultrasound and was told there weren’t any abnormalities. My well women’s exam was due in late October, so I waited until then to alert my doctor about the mass. Her saying is, “If you feel something, we without a doubt do a mammogram.” I’m 35 years old, so I had never received a mammogram before.

Due to work schedule and scheduling with the imaging center, I didn’t get the mammogram until November 2020. I received a mammogram and a breast ultrasound. Three masses were discovered that required a biopsy, which I had in early December. A week later the biopsy results revealed:

  • Estrogen receptor-positive
  • Progesterone receptor-positive
  • Her2-positive

The best advice I can give to someone newly diagnosed is to:

  • Take it one step at a time. It can be overwhelming to hear you need chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy. After treatment, there’s hormone therapy for years. Don’t think about the next step until it’s time.
  • Take time to review your health insurance benefits—you would be surprised at what things can be covered with a cancer diagnosis. For instance, acupuncture wasn’t covered with my plan unless there was proof of a chronic illness such as cancer.
  • Trust your gut and don’t be forced into something that doesn’t feel right for you.
  • Advocate for yourself—no one else will take care of you like you can. Speak out of something isn’t right and remember: closed mouths don’t get fed.
  • Don’t be scared to ask questions!

As of August 2021, I am Cancer Free!

Statements and opinions expressed are that of the individual and do not express the views or opinions of Susan G. Komen. This information is being provided for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Persons with breast cancer should consult their healthcare provider with specific questions or concerns about their treatment.

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Our Cancer Journey Podcast with Bruce Watkins

The Our Cancer Journey Podcast

Strategies to optimize life and enhance cancer survivorship.

The Our Cancer Journey Podcast is a place for those impacted by Cancer, their caregivers, and their loved ones. Together we explore ways we can optimize our lives through the experiences of diagnosis, treatments and beyond into the future of Survivorship.

We explore ways to help YOU feel better, live happier, expand your self-empowerment, and enhance your life experience. It is more than a podcast about medicine, or even Cancer.

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Listen to the podcast.

Our Cancer Journey Podcast

The Our Cancer Journey Podcast is a place for those impacted by Cancer, their caregivers, their loved ones and also those wishing to prevent illness. 

Our podcast is more than a program about cancer, it's a conversation about life and how we can make ours better.

Together we explore ways we can optimize our lives through the experiences of diagnosis, treatments and beyond into the future of Survivorship. 

We discuss ways to help YOU feel better, live happier, expand your self-empowerment, and enhance your life experience. It is more than a podcast about medicine, or even Cancer. It is about you, the Whole Person, and tips, ideas and strategies to possibly improve your cancer journey and make your life better.

Hosted by unique storyteller and unconventional creator Bruce Watkins, the Our Cancer Journey Podcast provides a unique voice to people in the cancer community that transcends the conventional medical and patient experience-based shows.

Please share this podcast with anyone you feel may benefit from our content, our outlook, our attitude, and especially our passionate advocacy for self-empowerment!

Learn More:

Content Advisory Note:

The content of the Our Cancer Journey Podcast with Bruce Watkins, our website, and of all other associated media forms is provided for informational, inspirational, and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. The information shared in our content and the views expressed by the hosts and guests of the program are their own. The Our Cancer Journey podcast with Bruce Watkins, its related media. and Fairlead Media do not suggest or intend that information or opinions shared in these media should or must replace the relationship you have with your chosen healthcare professional(s) and practitioner(s). The mention of any product, service, organization, activity or therapy on a podcast should not be construed as an endorsement. If paid or free promotional or awareness-building content is included during the podcast or within other media, such content will be separated into its own unique promotional spot or mention. 

About This Episode:

In the early fall of 2022, after many scans and multiple opinions from healthcare providers, Bruce's latest cancer diagnosis was confirmed, but with ambiguity that would not be resolved in the near future. When a definitive medical plan of action that included regularly scheduled rotating exams and scans was finally laid out by his doctors, Bruce announced his own definitive plan of action. He was leaving the country.

Just a few days after his final defining diagnosis and assessment, Bruce boarded a plane for Asia. He stepped away from the podcast for a period of time to reflect and assess where he wanted to be in what he wanted his life to look like.

Bruce followed his heart and the call of adventure to the country of Thailand where he spent over a month touring this magical country, and now is spending time in Thailand's Northern regions, considered the spiritual center of Thai culture.

There will be many more stories your intrepid show Host will share in the future, as well as new episodes of the Our Cancer Journey Podcast. In the meantime, Bruce would like to thank everybody for holding space for him, the loving and supportive comments he's received in the last many months, and the understanding and acceptance from his listeners, readers, and loved ones that know one thing above all when it comes to their friend. For Bruce, There is No Time Like the Present to respond to the Call to Adventure .

HEAR the Episodes about Bruce's Cancer Diagnosis and his Person Reflections

#022 – Learning About New Cancer Diagnosis – Recorded Live – Bruce Watkins

#021 – Cancer Returns – The Strength of Vulnerability – Bruce Watkins


The improbably positive and upbeat podcast that explores ways to help YOU feel better, live happier, expand your self-empowerment, and enhance your life experience, IS BACK for its 2nd Season! We are so excited about the engaging guests, insightful topics, and fun banter in our upcoming line-up that we want to share just a few of the memorable moments with you in advance!! 

CLICK HERE to HEAR the Season 2 Trailer!

Episode Host: Bruce Watkins

A Father, Cancer survivor, producer, podcaster, writer & content creator, speaker, voice-over artist, facilitator/moderator, avid traveler, cultural explorer, humanitarian, giving-back & minimalist evangelist, music enthusiast, former Corporate people leader, and curious soul who transformed into an unapologetically optimistic and unpretentious advocate of Life-Optimization for all. 

After surviving Cancer and other life-changing experiences in 2017, Bruce gave away most of his possessions, left his home behind and began traveling, writing, volunteering, and giving-back.

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#024 – Update & Leaving for Adventure During Cancer – Bruce Watkins

Meet Bruce Watkins, Your Podcast Host

cancer journey

After surviving his encounter with cancer several years ago, Bruce gave up his conventional life, left his home, gave away most of his possessions, and began traveling, writing, and sharing stories of beauty, human connection, and giving back.

Bruce’s desire to support others led him to create the Our Cancer Journey Podcast to help those impacted by Cancer, their caregivers, and their loved ones. His unique outlook and approach provide a new, accessible, and relatable voice to the Cancer Community.

20 Inspirational Quotes for Cancer Patients to Bring Hope

cancer journey

CaringBridge Staff | 04.11.24

When it comes to cancer, we understand that finding the right words can be a challenge. Whether you or a loved one is going through a cancer journey, learning how to give and ask for support can take time. Having a supportive quote or two on hand can be a great relief when you are in need of some calming words to cherish or share. 

In this article, we compiled a list of our favorite encouraging cancer quotes that aim to inspire hope and support an optimistic outlook for those battling cancer. If you or your loved one would appreciate a positive quote, here are 20 encouraging quotes for someone going through a cancer journey:

“You have to be willing to give up the life you planned, and instead, greet the life that is waiting for you.” Joseph Campbell
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” Samuel Smiles

cancer journey

“Cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot conquer the spirit.” Unknown
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that’s why it’s called ‘the present.'” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Our way is not soft grass; it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.” Ruth Westheimer
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds, and diamonds are made under pressure.” Peter Marshall
“Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin.” Mother Teresa

cancer journey

“Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal, and not wound.” Unknown
“Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing; God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who possesses God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” Rabindranath Tagore
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2
“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.” Unknown
“Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it today.” Peter Kuzmic

cancer journey

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Unknown
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” Sonia Ricotti 
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah
“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” John Diamond
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:2

cancer journey

Our Community’s Favorite Encouraging Cancer Quotes

For more quote ideas, we reached out to the empathetic CaringBridge community, many of whom with lives that have been touched by cancer. We asked them to share  encouraging words  that they’ve heard or shared:

“When I was given a short time to live, I was told by one of my kids, ‘Mom, you’re a fighter! Let’s do this!”’ Shared by Mary Bollinger Appelhanz 

Jaxson and Judy Martinez

“A complete stranger overheard a conversation between the pharmacist and myself the day that we received my husband’s diagnosis of an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. As I prepared to leave, this gentleman apologized for listening to us, but felt like he needed to share these words: ‘My wife & I were where you are a year ago. Please remember to never give up HOPE!’ We never forgot those words from a complete stranger and are forever thankful.” Shared by Bobbie Harrington Henry
“My first oncologist told me: ‘When you read about the statistics/prognosis; remember that you are NOT a statistic, you are YOU and you are unique.’ The prognosis I later read about was not good, so his statement always gave me hope. I have survived over 10 years. The prognosis was 2-3 years. He was right!!” Shared by Karen Kockelman Schultz

cancer journey

“Cancer is a marathon – you can’t look at the finish line. You take it moment by moment, sometimes breath by breath, other times step by step.” Shared by Sarah Betz Bucciero 
“Plan for the worst, hope for the best and live for the moment!” Shared by Tiffany Smith
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know WHO holds tomorrow.” Shared by Sigrid Devida
“People who said ‘I am here for you’ were some of the sweetest words I ever heard.” Shared by Sylvia Ramsey Savage

We hope these quotes have been helpful in offering some encouragement or peace, or gathering inspiration for what to say to a loved one. Sometimes, the best words are simply, “I love you, and I’m here for you.”

Please let us know in the comments if there are any more quotes that helped you or a loved one through their cancer journey! We’d love to hear from you.

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These quotes are wonderful, thank you. I was given less than 6 months to live, that was 13 years ago. Every day I would ask God to hold my hand and everyday I felt a warmth in my hand and peace.

After nearly twenty years of reading blogs, this is the only one I continue to read (and I do it without fail each and every day).

What a wonderful experience it has been to “get to know” about this platform and all of the excellent stuff that you guys are providing.

Thank you. Weldon and I want to encourage you to keep up the fantastic effort. I Recommend You To Check This: where to buy cheap firewood

I have liver cance . Opreted twice in last 4 years Fighting like worrier & wish to inspire cancer patient to fight with smiling face

It unbelieve that I’m still alive. I have smoked millions of cigarette, well I think about half a million in 45 years. I stopped some 9 years ago. So I have severe COPD, and a lung function of about 15%. I’ve done pulmonary rehabilitation three times in the last 6 years and currently go to an exercise class every week. I need to take lots of different types of drugs, and carry a portable oxygen cylinder around with me so I don’t get too out of breath. I began healing herbs from World Rehabilitate Clinic Herbs specializes in internal and pulmonary herbal medicine and in three months I was completely cured, visit ( worldrehabilitateclinic. com ).

I am free from HERPES ………………My heart is so filled with joy.

Thanks to_____________________________ robin sonbu ckler ( ) y.a.h.o.o com.. .

Sure Treatment!!



[The Opioid Epidemic]


[Eye Problem]

[Fibroid Tumor]

[Enlarge Prostate]

[Erectile Dysfunction]

Great read!!! Thanks for sharing such a great blog.

I know we all struggle with different chronic disease, When you put God first soon enough you will find solution. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 cervical cancer (adenocarcinoma) at age 36. I was a single mother with two children, ages 6 and 8. I had abnormal Pap smears starting 8 years prior, when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was never told that I had HPV, even though I did. After each abnormal Pap test result, I would have a LEEP and colposcopy. I was cured naturally with the use of  World Rehabilitate Clinic Herbal Formula. Visit: ( worldrehabilitateclinic. com )

All thanks to God Almighty who use Dr. Odidi to cure me from Herpes virus with his herbal Medicine, For those suffering from the same Virus You can contact Dr. Odidi he can also cure your health issues Like HBP, Hepatitis B Virus, Herpes virus Infection, Cancer, and Pile Infection etc.: (odidi spell temple@ gmail .com)

I have pancreatic cancer. I know people mean well, but I hate it when they say “you’ve got this”. Really?? How do you know that? You don’t know my journey. “you’re a strong woman, you’re a fighter”. I’m not a strong woman. This is absolute hell on my body. How about a phone call to ask if you can come for visit? or get me out of my house, or make me a meal? or go with me to get a wig, or just to hug me.

I was once a patient diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. It was May 2016 when doctors told me I had months to live, but the worst thing was telling my children. My husband Dave, took part in a research project which involved a trip to South Africa to Dr Sims Gomez Herbs Clinic. He purchased the Herbal formula at ( drsimsgomezherbs. com ), Three months after taking the herbal herbs I went for a checkup and there were no signs of Pancreatic cancer. I also learned how much friends and family can be part of getting well. Our circle of friends and relatives was an incredible support. I would encourage anyone to seek second opinion especially if you’ve been told there’s no hope.

This article is great. I found a cancer community app that can be comforting for many people. Check it out

We are all so different in the manner in which we respond to life-threatening diagnoses. Caring Bridge means well with these quotes… so did a longtime friend of mine ~ I refer to her as the Queen of Kindness ~ who smothered me with “cheery” notes after my diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. The frequency of her notes was a regular reminder to me that something was wrong. It conflicted with my desire to live as normal of a life as possible when life wasn’t very normal. I’m maybe too much of an introvert ~ and my Whipple surgery and COVID have made me reclusive ~ to crave an outpouring of caring concern. I’m good with being told one time by each of my friends that they will pray for me, for my comfort, peace, healing. What I’m saying is, “One size does NOT fit all” in responding to the serious diagnosis of a family member or friend.

This was a wonderful article. I am battling stage 4 colon cancer and I have had the most bizarre things ever said to me. I have been given hope and I have given hope to others. I have journaled everything from the very beginning, starting almost 2 years ago. One day I hope to write a book, kind of a guide to help others who are on this journey.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and scriptures. I have a sister who has brain tumors and a cousin who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I want to be supportive and say the right things but I don’t know what to say and this website has given me insight as to how those who have cancer feel. I don’t want to say “I know how you feel”, or “It’s going to be ok”, or “You are a fighter” because I don’t know how my loved ones feel because I’ve never had cancer. I don’t know if it’s going to be ok or not, although I pray they are. And, I know they are fighters but I also know Chemo and Radiation brings their immune system down and they feel weak. All I know is that I love them SO much and I want to be there for them. And, that my Heavenly Father knows how we feel and what we need. That he will never leave us and no matter what we go through in life, it’s NOT his fault. We are all imperfect and we are going to go through good and bad times but at least we have our Heavenly Father who gives us that hope. I pray for each one that has been diagnosed with cancer or any other disease. Although I do not know y’all, I do know my sister and my cousin and I love them so much and I love all people because that is what Jesus instructed us to do, Show love for each other. Thank you so much for sharing your stories so that people like myself can know what to do or say and what not to do or say, BIG BEAR HUG.

A quote I saw regarding Veteran suicide seemed to fit my outlook as well. “You may see me struggle…but you will never see me quit.,” My sentiments exactly as I am diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4. My wife and I are also members of Caring Bridge.

My wife Riana has been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. It has been a tough journey with chemotherapy, radiology and above all there was a spider bite ( ground recluse) in between her chemo treatments. . First, she found her calmness and encouragement in the Word of God. Secondly, the doctors said she can eat everything she wants. That starts our journey of research on food. Really, we cut down on no sugar at all, no alcohol, no coffee, no processed food, enough sleep , meditation and walking an hour a day. We start with home prepared food with organic, non-GMO ingredients. We also increase Vit C, Vit D3, Vit BCo,Vit E, Magnecium and Zinc. With the grace of Jesus it has been 10Years.

Thank you so much for these encouraging words.. I was especially happy to see several scriptures in the list…they are what help me most. My favorite is Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with not afraid for I am your God….

Beautiful thoughts ❣️

Beautiful quotes! Love it!

Thankyou for sharing these wonderful words of this caringbridge site. I have been with my clients as they reached their journey to Heaven. I continue to care for my other clients daily with love. I have been looking for a group site such as this one “caring bridge “to be a part of.

I have my brother diagnosed with cancer. We were more friends beyond brothers. 2 days ago I got the news and I started looking for help I am happy to find this site. Great work.

‘If your body can make it your body can break it’ it’s just that simple.

“The darkest hour is always the one before the dawn”.

I have been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Brain Tumor in June of 2020….What a year, right? Well…. after the shock news like that I have decided to live everyday to the best of my abilities and enjoy each and everyone I see. Each day and every person. I want to pass strength and love to my family, friends and fellow cancer fighters. Stay strong and remember one thing. I HAVE CANCER….BUT CANCER DOESN’T HAVE ME.

It is so important to “Live your life, and not the disease.” Time is so precious, live each minute of it.Make memories.


I have Cancer, Thank you so very much for this site and the words. I pray for all of us.” Jesus lay your hands on our bodies”I am HEADED by his stripes

How about just saying, “I am so sad that this has happened to you. Tell me all about it.” Triteness, or saying that you conquer cancer by how you live, which isn’t true at all, are pretty bad choices of what to say. Caring Bridge should know better.

These are beautiful quotes having cancer is one of the hardest things for sure . I will fight and be brave .

I was diagnosed with a rare cancer with no cure Parotid gland cancer that metastasis to my lungs) in October of 2017 I do chemo 1x a week for 3 weeks then one week off. I just finished my 100th treatment the day before Thanksgiving. Yea I have hard days but I hang on to faith and that God is good in all circumstances. The faith, hope, and love from him. Isaiah 41:10 “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!

I am a 2 year almost 3 year colon cancer survivor. I just want to encourage you to keep going strong. Keep hold to the promise God is always in the midst of the battle. He loves you and cares greatly for you. Let Faith be your armour and God’s Love be your shield. Therefore inner peace you will find.

“Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me.”

Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma stage 4. Discovered by coincidence. Surgery June 1st 2020 for a primary tumor in my chest wall. And surgery October 21st 2020 in my lung for a metastatic tumor. Complete removal with wide negative margins. Informed by my oncologist that there no standard treatment only surgery. Next CT scan 12/07/20. Conference with Sloan Kettering 12/01/20 hoping for the best.I feel like I am on a ferris wheel, one moment on top and the next on the bottom. Friends don’t call, they don’t know what too say. And scan anxiety this wonderful day. Philip Seaman.

Most people have the best in their heart and a total failure when they open their mouths. They mean well but in their defense really don’t know what to say. When they start with my cousins uncles friend had cancer 10 years ago……..I politely smile and tell them , as I just stopped them from another wincing anecdote and Say Thank you for your kindness and I really appreciate your concern. But in my case I Am Surfing My Own Wave. But again I do appreciate your concern. Most everyone is relieved at not having to talk and realize I am ok with this. God Bless and may you all find comfort somewhere in your life.

I am living with MBC with Mets to the Bone which we found 19 years status post Breast Ca Dx and journey. My daughter and I chose quality over quantity. One of my oncologists said that my good fortune was the fact that there are so many drugs out there to use/try on my journey and if one doesn’t work, we move on and try the next and by the time we get to the end, chances are, there will be a new one out. I am now 3 years in after the first 19 years out and I live life like it is a gift. Each day I awake it is like taking a bow off a present. Lisa R. Rieger.

The most dreaded effective word ever given to people .In it is suffering every thing imaginable it changes the person the carer the family if there are any nearIt is a constant battle or fear and pain and the using of energy we did not know we had in us.People offer help but at the end of the day it dissolves away and we are forgotten

Amazing words!!! Positively is gold!!! All the support and prayer chains ⛓ s what got me through this

I am in awe of the strength and calming courageous ways of my beautiful niece. May we all learn to live in the moment. One day at a time. Yes with HOPE. peace and love to your journey❤️☮️?

Our family is going down this road as our darling son, by marriage, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Kendell has been a teacher, soccer player, coach, husband, father, and a friend to many over the years. He now faces the biggest race of his life and I looked on this sight for words of inspiration as I make a card for him this week. God is with him in this, but the tears and hurt are still there for him, our daughter, and their two young children. This has been so helpful to put words to what is in my heart as I make the card for the week, and I will return each week for inspiration.

“One day at a time” ! I can only do this by getting through each day the best I can, then through the night, and when tomorrow comes, I start over!

Thank you for your encouraging scripture and words,they were right on time,God bless and God Speed ❤?☝

Remember you are the one fighting the battle – and it is up to you how you fight. Never give up on yourself no matter what others say!

Be a peace with the cancer; dont me angry at it and dont say ‘why me’.me- 10 yr plus survivor of pancreatic cancer.

When I was in brain cancer treatment, a cousin who had battled leukemia her whole adult life sent me this quote that really helped me: Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” It’s true! Tragically, she has since died. Miraculously, I have lived 15 years when statistics predicted only 3-5. Praise God. Least helpful: “We don’t know why God does these things…”

I HATE hearing “Everything will be OK” – maybe it won’t be. You don’t know- don’t say that to me. It feels cheap and flippant. It’s a ridiculous thing to say to a cancer patient. So is “you got this” – um, no I don’t. Maybe science does and maybe God does but I certainly do not know how to fix cancer! The other one about being a fighter-I guess. I have no choice- it’s not about fighting hard enough- don’t put that on me- in fact I feel pretty weak and not in control of it all. I’m a pretty positive person but most of these quotes are terrible and I expect more from this organization.

Oh, Vicki, my heart goes out to you! It is so painful to see your child suffer. You’d like to just take it on yourself or make it all go away, but you can’t. Please keep loving her even if it seems like she doesn’t respond. Don’t take offense at her actions or attitude. Be there for her even if it means you don’t say a word. Above all, pray for God to comfort, guide and provide for all your family’s needs. Cast your burden on him, because you can’t handle it, but he can.

Vicki, anyone who says cancer strikes only the patient has only to read your words here to understand how false that statement is. You express your pain so eloquently, I can’t help wondering if you’ve ever tried writing to your daughter. Of course, maybe realizing that you, too, are in pain is what makes it so hard for her to share with you. You both want to protect each other, and while there is no more truthful evidence of love than that, it also seems to be standing in the way of cementing the relationship you and probably she long for. Try telling her in writing what you told us here. May you both be blessed with only the best life has to offer.

Thanks for the quotes. I was recently diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. Set up my CaringBridge was the best thing I did. The vision of 80 people who care about and love you has made the difference between feeling isolated to feeling a group hug that protected me from loneliness and despair. It rekindled old friendships and loving exchanges of memories and acknowledgment of my impact on the world. I wrote in my journal that it was like the old Coke commercial with people from all over the world perched on a hilltop, singing, I’d like to teach the world to sing In perfect harmony I’d like to hold it in my arms And keep it company.

So I continue to feel loved and supported and connected and hugged. But there is one wire I never want to hear, and that is the hollow promise that it will be okay. It is a well intentioned but false promise. No one knows how things will turn out and to me it is like reassurances given to a child while patting them on their head. I would rather they tell me they have seen how strong I am, that I am loved and present in their hearts, minds, hopes and prayers, that they treasure our friendship and support me in any way they can. Those are the words that create that comforting hug I visualize and feel as they join me on my journey. Thank you, CaringBridge. You have made all the difference in my ability to cope with and fight my cancer.

How wonderful for you to send out these words of comfort from those who have been conforted by them. I feel blessed to have read this article today. I want to be ready when the time comes for me to remember others in their grief and struggles.

My. Daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer about 4 years ago. I cried and prayed. She went through treatment and was cancer free for awhile. But came back and sense then it come with a vengeance. I hurt and cry and pray. I want to take it all away for her,but I can’t. Lately I’ve just I guess kinda stepped back. I think she wants me in there willing to fight along side of her. She’s said things like that. But when I’m there with her instead of keeping me in her support loop, I’ve felt more put pushed away then a mom I need you to. Maybe I’m being selfish or Im not understanding what she needs .but I call her she seems to preoccupied with other things or people. When I’m at her house she seems to spend more time in other rooms with people shes around on a daily basis. I dont understand what she expects from me anymore. I have alot of health issues myself but I always try to go see here and other family when I go there. She doesn’t make the trip to see me and family up her. According to a couple of daughters I was even used as an excuse to have a glass of wine. I’m writing this hoping someone can tell me what is going on If I’m in the wrong. I feel like I’m invisible. It hurts me too. She doesnt come to me she goes to her friend’s. I love her so much but shes killing me by pushing me to the back. I dont know if she realizes it.

My favorite is: “You are NOT a statistic.”

All these comments show that what is a comfort for one person, does not work for another. Peace and good wishes that you get exactly what you need today, whether you have cancer, are a caregiver, or are any other kind of sentient being.

Thanks What a lovely way to think about cancer.

My only words for 2 people very dear to me at this time with serious cancers I’m thinking of you and keeping you and your doctors skills in my prayers along with comfort and peace.

Just breathe, and know that God is in each breath. The “right” decisions will be made, because He will help you make them. With much love

I strive to make at least one, or more, people I interact with each day to at least smile and hopefully laugh. It is perhaps selfish on my part but somehow I hope it lightens the other person’s mood. It helps me, too. I don’t do it in a demeaning or negative way.

Thank you for these. Sometimes it is hard to know what to say to someone with a cancer diagnosis.

Scroll down and read Ann’s suggestions from January 2, 2020. There are some really great ideas and thoughts that fit the situation for two of my friends who have had a cancer battle over the past year. Even if you aren’t close friends with the cancer patient there are some wonderful suggestions in her comment.

“You are not your Cancer”

Some of these feel like it’s on me to heal- am I fighting hard enough? Is my faith strong enough? I would avoid anything like that.

Ralph and I are praying for a good outcome. Praying for the medical staff also.

It really helped me when my surgery was aborted because they found a metastasis and I suddenly was stage 4 to read the definition of cancer survivor from the National Coalition of Cancer Survivors: “All people diagnosed with cancer are considered a cancer survivor from the day of diagnosis, regardless of the outcome.” It took away my sense of failure.

You have cancer….but it doesn’t have YOU.

DO NOT EVER SAY, “Everything will be OK.” That feels cheap and annoying and untrue and aloof. TRY: “Things seem so different now, but I’ll /we’ll be with you no mater what…”

Remember the person going through cancer still exists-talk to them as you would normally before their diagnosis. They do not want to be treated as if you are walking on eggshells around them. Be sensitive but be normal. My husband took his sister to Karmanos appointment and in the waiting room he saw a patient with a scarf covering her head. Everyone knew my husband to be very religious(handing out Father Solanus badges to everyone) and also very personable and funny at times. He looked at the young lady and said : bad hair day? His sister was upset and said Raymond-how could you/do you know where we are at? The young lady started laughing and thanked him for being the only one treated her normal. A few months later Raymond’s sister ran into the young lady and she was happy and in remission. Oh yes-Raymond gave the young lady a Father Solanus badge.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer same breast 2nd time I said “I am not going down without a fight”

You’re a victor over all circumstances with your faith and we stand with you!

What a fabulous post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you . You are right, sometimes one runs out of the correct things to say that will give cancer patients and their families the strength to continue.

When I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer the SECOND time, I was defeated. But overnight God whispered that He did not create me to be a defeated person, but a winner. So, I put on the armor of God and went to battle. Created a battle plan between my oncologist, people that would uphold me and of course the Lord. “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, (cancer) for the battle does not belong to you, but to God.” 2 Chronicles 20:15. There is my hope!

Mt 19:26 says, ‘all things are possible with God’ – there are many things that are impossible for us humans. So please be careful not to communicate False hope.

Cancer has taken several of my family. Just recently my niece with brain tumor. I never said any of these quotes to her but I went to live with her and her husband to help take care of her for one and one half months. I prayed and sang with her and talked with her about going to be with her loving Savior. She was always positive but accepted God’s Will would be done. Her faith and the grace of God gave her peace and comfort until the end. Everyone should be talked with about their personal relationship with God. which will help them more than anything you could say. I have had miracles in my life as my son lived and is now 61 years old He had acute lymphatic leukemia at 5 years old when there was no cure. I think the best thing I did with him was to let him have a normal life as well as he could and pray

This is not an accident I’m reading this at this moment. I was just with my mom earlier today as she just got diagnosed with breast cancer.

As a cancer survivor of 2 different types, and just having recently lost a friend to his 5th different type of cancer I will simply offer that these clichés were not at all helpful to me, and I can see the real potential to do some harm. I am sure they were with good intentions but everything does not apply to everyone. Empathy must be delivered in context to the situation and the individuals involved. This group of “one size fits all does not work” and can be toxic and make things worse. Please rethink advice like this before you send it out. I am a 2x cancer survivor of nearly 40 years. Some words by others to me were very supportive and helpful, but many were not although well intended. The empathic statement also depends on one’s relationship with the cancer diagnosed individual, and must be delivered with appropriate facial expression, tone and pitch of voice–and circumstantial to the situation. I have learned from being on both ends of this dynamic–if u do not know what to say it is better to say nothing. It is better to say “I am at a loss for words, but want you to know that ….. and you fill in the rest based on context. Remember Americas Prisons are a “History of Good Intentions”. Get the point? Peace

Kylyssa Shay: Amen to your list. Publish it—and let’s go viral on social media. Or, give me permission to do so on hour behalf with your name attached. You could write a great advice book about how your experiences have shaped you as a caregiver. Bravo! (Breast cancer survivor)

wow. Both the quotes and the comments.

I am saddened by the notes of “this is terrible advise”. Yes cancer is horrible. Some of these comments make me believe that all you should do is curl up and die when given the diagnosis. You have to be a fighter! Faith may give you 2 more minutes with someone before you leave this world. That is 2 more minutes that you would have had. Everything will be ok. So we all know it may not be. But continually worrying about it, TRY to take it 1 hour at at a time that it will be OK. You are not a statistic. True, they may say 3 months, you may get 2 years. Your body and its fight is differant than anyone elses. I am a cancer survivor. 6 months out of chemo for stage 3B colon cancer. I will fight everyday. My friend is stage 4 pancreatic cancer and he will fight till the end. These words may be the uplifting thing that someone needs to have a few more minutes of joy.

Remove this terrible advice!

What a bunch of hurtful, patronizing, dismissive junk. I believe they call it toxic positivity these days.

No, it will not be OK. Cancer is likely the road to death. All six of my loved ones who had cancer died of cancer.

Cancer is often the final chapter in existence. Cancer often kills slowly and painfully. It’s devaluing, patronizing, cruel, and gross to try to get its victims to act positive so you can feel better about or be in denial of their months or years of suffering. Real world work to reduce their suffering is the ethical, kind, and good thing to do instead of telling them to keep their chin up and keep fighting. Support cancer’s victims by literally helping them individually, by lightening their load of work and responsibilities. Support them by supporting medical research and science-based education. Support them by knocking down trash like this blog post that blames them for being downers while they’re dying.

Cancer can, and does, destroy both hope and memories. Clearly, the author has never watched anyone die of cancer. Sometimes, cancer directly destroys memories via damage to the brain.

Faith just makes some people more miserable when they are dying of cancer. People like you frame cancer as something that can always be overcome if you just fight hard enough and pray hard enough. It’s not. All that does is leave believers (like my sister was) hurting and wondering what wrong they have done to deserve the torture of death by cancer. She was the kindest, most giving person. She helped people, even saved a few lives, and she never hurt a fly. Yet folks like you chose to create a culture of victim-blaming to hurt people like her.

Why not help your readers to actually help their suffering loved ones instead of just helping your readers to feel better about cancer by blowing sunshine up their bums? Cancer sucks. It’s not the job of cancer victims to inspire you.

I’ve cared for six loved ones through cancer to death. They just want to be loved, valued, appreciated, included in life, and kept as comfortable as possible.

Some ideas instead of spouting victim-blaming platitudes dressed up as faith-

1. Cook dinner, clean house, run errands, and do all the disagreeable tasks for your loved one. For example, I made it so my sister never had to scoop the catbox or do any other disagreeable household tasks again once she was diagnosed. I did so by either doing them myself or by arranging to get someone to do those tasks every day.

2. Be present. Listen. Let them know cancer isn’t their fault, just a consequence of being an organic living creature. Let them know they’re loved.

3. Keep well-meaning people with quack cures away from them.

4. Recognize to them that cancer really, really blows. Recognize their grief and your own. It’s OK for them (and you) to get sad, angry, or whatever else they feel about having a possibly or definitely terminal illness. Don’t minimize the situation. This is their life, and maybe their death. You don’t get to tell them it’s not that bad.

5. Cherish them and give them every physical and emotional comfort you can. Show them there are good days left by making them good when you can. Enable them to continue doing what they love as long as possible. Help them keep their independence and dignity as long as possible. Be there when there are no more good days left, and grieve with them if they need you to.

6. Be on their side, always.

7. Love them fiercely. Any one of us can die at any time. Cancer is your wakeup call. Love them like living is a limited-time offer, because it is. You lose nothing if they survive cancer and you both gain from the closeness created. And if they lose you first, they’ll have memories of your love.

Man, this list misses the mark so hard. Here’s what you can say when someone is sick so the person knows you love them: I love you so much. Here’s what you can say so the person knows you’re sorry they’re going through this: I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Here’s what you can say so they know you want to help: I’m here for you. Here are some things I can do to help: make a meal; babysit on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, any time after 5:30 PM; Laundry on Me- I’ll take your laundry to the laundromat to have it done and I’ll drop it off to you when it’s done. I don’t mind doing the laundry myself but I know some people feel funny having people deal with their dirty clothes, so I don’t mind having it done for you. I can do other things, too, but I wanted to give you a few ideas. On Saturday mornings, I’ll text you to see if there’s anything I can do that week. No need to respond at all. I know you’re busy. I just want to put the invitation out there. Here’s what you can say to make the person feel better: [hear that? That’s silence. It makes people uncomfortable so they try to fill it with noise. Don’t do that. Silence is okay. It lets people know they aren’t alone because there’s quiet but there’s also company. Someone showed up. How kind and generous and loving to just show up. There’s nothing you can say to make someone feel better when they’re facing such an enormous challenge. Of course there are exceptions and some people appreciate platitudes and that’s fine. Most people don’t, though, and that has nothing to do with you. So just show up. It’s enough,] Here’s what to do to make them feel better: [Maybe showing up will make them feel better, maybe it won’t. Still do it. Just don’t look for the gold star. Do it because it’s the loving thing to do. Take nothing personally. No one expects you to fix everything. Or to fix anything. No one expects you to make them feel better. Illness is hard. Let it be hard. Show up when it’s hard. That’s what you can do. Show. Up. Visit if they want visitors. Text every afternoon if they don’t. Do both. Do neither but put a card in the mail every Wednesday. Just show up in a way that will feel meaningful to that person. Be okay with the idea that you may not be able to make them feel better. Love them so well that they don’t feel the need to pretend to feel better around you. Love them so quietly but with such fervor that they don’t need to pretend anything with you.]

This list is full of what a friend of mine refers to as toxic positivity. What utter nonsense.

Are you kidding! Most of these will reduce cancer patients to gibbering rage. Patronising, spiritualistic, unhelpful hogwash.

These are truly thoughtless quotes. They don’t even rise to the level of bumper-sticker platitudes.

“Cancer may have started the fight, but you will finish it.” Really? Please explain to me how my wife “finished the fight”, as cancer ate her alive.

“Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.” Fantastic. So, apparently everyone is a Christian. Note to the world’s billion Hindus, half-billion Buddhists, et al — you’re outta luck.

“Everything will be OK.” What’s your definition of “OK”? “Dead”? Really; that kind of claim just makes me want to rip the speaker’s tongue out by its roots. No, it will bloody well NOT “be OK”; not by any reasonable definition of the word.

Cancer sucks, and grief is hard, but it literally adds insult to injury to parade some kind of Pollyanna, “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” rubbish around as if it’s profound wisdom.

Remember…the big C in your life IS NOT cancer… it’s CHRIST!

I received this message from two dear co-workers when I was going thru treatments in 2011. I’ve carried this in my heart to this day and try to pass it on as often as possible !

I’ve heard/seen this before and loved it so want to share it with you. Perhaps you too have seen it, but this it bares repeating. “Cancer cannot cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy peace, kill friendship, suppress memories, silence courage, invade the soul, steal eternal life nor conquer the spirit.” Blessings and hugs, always hugs, even from afar!!

Thank you for these quotes. As I journey through multiple myeloma, God has placed in my path many people with cancer. Encouraging them encourages me too. These quotes encourage me and I will use them to encourage others.

Caring Bridge allowed me to quickly notify family and friends about the progress of my cancer treatment. Now in remission I’m so grateful for those folks who have been there for me!

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My colon cancer journey

November 03, 2014

BY Rose Johnson

Nearly 13 years ago, my doctors gave me six months to live. It had started as an ordinary day. I was getting ready for work when I noticed something protruding out of my navel. It scared me, so I went to my primary care doctor. He had never seen anything like that before, so he sent me to someone else. I ended up going to five doctors, none of whom could give me any answers. Finally, a doctor ran some tests and told me I needed to get to MD Anderson as fast as I could. He said I had colon cancer . I had no other colon cancer symptoms -- not even pain -- but I did as I was told. A surprising colon cancer diagnosis After a barrage of testing, my doctors at MD Anderson finally told me that I had stage 4 colon cancer, and that it had metastasized to my liver, lungs and ovaries. They projected that I had about six months to live. My family and I were devastated. The Texas Medical Center was like a whole new world to me. I felt worried, nervous and anxious, wondering if I was going to live or die.  I was 60 years old. At age 50, I had gotten a colonoscopy, and everything was fine. But during the 10 years between my colonoscopy and my colon cancer diagnosis, I had developed colon polyps, which turned into advanced colon cancer. I did not have cancer in my family, so this came as a surprise. My colon cancer treatment and recurrence I began my colon cancer treatment at MD Anderson right away. After three rounds of chemotherapy , the nodule that had been protruding from my navel fell off. I continued chemo for a year and then underwent six months of radiation treatments . My doctors were amazed at how my body took to these treatments. Later, my cancer returned to my lungs. But after a surgery, I was cancer-free. A year later, cancer returned a third time. This time, it was near my esophagus. My doctors called me their miracle patient because they didn't understand how my body had responded so well. Giving back after colon cancer treatment After I finished my first round of chemo, I felt like it was my duty to volunteer at MD Anderson. I had no one to talk to when I was first diagnosed with colon cancer, no one to tell me everything was going to be OK. So, I wanted to volunteer to let people know that cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. A diagnosis is just the beginning of survivorship. I also started my own foundation to help increase colon cancer awareness.

A cancer diagnosis is just the beginning of survivorship

Rose Johnson

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The Cancer Journey

The Cancer Journey and Integrative Cancer Care

The Cancer Journey and Integrative Cancer Care

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” — Ambrose Redmoon

Cancer is more than a diagnosis, it is a journey. It is not a journey that is chosen or wanted. It begins with the actions leading up to hearing the words “you have cancer” and continues through the maze of the medical system and treatments, through personal challenges, of relationship and financial issues. The journey has its ups and downs, encounters and lessons, many of which are similar to those found in the iconic transformation process called The Hero’s Journey by the mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell.

Campbell described the Hero’s Journey as a transformative process, a series of steps or stages as a response to challenges that have been found in cultures and times throughout history. Examples of stories of the Hero’s Journey can be found in books from the Bible to Star Wars. The journey starts in the hero’s Ordinary World, but things change suddenly with an unexpected problem known as the Call to Adventure. Likewise, many times in our lives we get a “call” of some type that we have not consciously asked for, yet we must deal with — and particularly with a cancer diagnosis, the Call feels less like an Adventure, and more like a curse. And then, the Hero embarks on the journey, beginning with a descent and trials, guidance appears, ultimately leading to mastery of the challenge, often in ways that look very different than what he or she expected at the outset.

Gathering the Resources for the Cancer Journey

Cancer is a complex illness — a collection of 100 different diagnoses, in fact, each with its own set of unique treatments and side effects. Dealing with a serious and life changing event like a cancer diagnosis requires a cache of internal and external resources. Just as the Hero gathers his support for his or her journey, those on the cancer journey gather the resources to tackle the illness, the treatment and side effects of treatment.

The effects of treatment can be short-term or long-term, and at times, the side effects can be worse than the illness itself. Many of the side effects of cancer treatment are perplexing, often those that doctors consider “difficult to treat,” such as fatigue, neuropathy, anxiety, lymphedema, insomnia and pain. The mainstream medical treatments for side effects may not be satisfactory for some patients, and sometimes the side effects of the treatments for side effects are debilitating too. Some people on the cancer journey could be looking for more than treatments, for more healing on deeper layers than just the healing of the body. In either case, there is an opportunity to explore options for other modalities for healing support, to possibly take a journey into the world of integrative therapies.

Exploring the Benefits of Integrative Cancer Care

Using integrative therapies can look very different depending on the situation. In an ideal world, if a person diagnosed with cancer wanted to include integrative therapies, his or her medical team would integrate standard Western or allopathic cancer therapies with appropriate complementary or integrative therapies in an intentional and strategic manner. However, if the medical team does not take the lead on this, the patient can initiate this integrative care process.

Current research is showing benefits for cancer patients and survivors in the areas of many integrative cancer care therapies, including the following:

  • Yoga for Cancer Care
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  • Reiki and Energy Work
  • Nutrition and Healthy Living
  • Massage and Body Work
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
  • Therapeutic Writing and Art
  • Spirituality and Joy
  • And Many Other Modalities.

Integrative Cancer Review: Supporting the Cancer Journey

In Campbell’s Hero’s Journey story, the hero faces an array of tests and tribulations, meeting mentors and allies, finally returning to the ordinary world with the elixir he has found. The elixir that he has found to get him though the trials he now shares with others in his ordinary world.

The cancer journey is never easy, but it is good to know that it doesn’t have to be traveled alone. We at the Integrative Cancer Review hope to support heroes on the cancer journey — the people diagnosed with cancer and their families and friends, researchers, healers, health and wellness professionals and all those who support them.

The Integrative Cancer Review features interviews, articles and research reports on leading edge, evidence-based therapies and the time-tested guidance of wisdom traditions for dealing with cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment. Our intention is to promote safe, effective and accessible integrative cancer therapies, in order to alleviate suffering and promote happier, healthier living in people affected by cancer.

This site is also dedicated to supporting health and wellness professionals working in the cancer community with information on resources, training and industry practices, so that they can practice with greater ease, confidence, professionalism and economic sustainability.

Should you have questions, comments or ideas, please contact us  or visit our Facebook page .

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Cameron Mathison Opens Up About His Cancer Journey and New Game Show 'Beat the Bridge' (Exclusive)

Cameron Mathison is feeling healthier and looking toward the future more than four years after he was declared cancer-free .

Mathison -- who previously worked as an ET correspondent -- recently sat down with ET's Nischelle Turner and opened up about how he's feeling, what he's learned about himself, and his lessons for others when it comes to his health journey.

"I'm feeling so great," Mathison, 54, shared with a smile. "You know that I work really hard at this and I take it real serious, as far as this transformation and rebounding from the cancer journey, specifically. But also [in terms of] longevity and continuing to do blood work and gut tests and hormone tests and then doing my MRIs and CT scans. And I keep on it the best I can."

In 2019,  Mathison revealed that he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and underwent an operation to treat it . Luckily, it was caught early and was the least aggressive form of the disease. At the time, the  General Hospital  star shared that his doctor said his healthy diet and lifestyle kept it from "growing and spreading to other areas."

"Obviously, once you get cancer, it's not great. It's not a great prognosis after that," Mathison shared. "So all we can do is get ahead of it and and I try to do that and stay positive."

Mathison noted that he has always tried to "spread awareness as best as I can."

"I took health seriously [before my diagnosis], and I thought, 'I know a lot!' And I think I did, from one perspective, for sure," Mathison said. "But what saved my life... was paying attention to my body."

"For two years, I insisted on this MRI, and eventually, they they said, 'Maybe we should get one,'" he explained. "My blood work was a little off, not substantially, but I could feel it. I knew something was off."

"One of the big takeaways that I love to spread is to really be your own best advocate for your health," Mathison added. "Pay attention. It doesn't mean you have to run out and get an MRI every time something's off. But at the same time, you know, just listen to your body."

Mathison spoke to ET back in December , revealing that he had just gotten his four-year checkup and felt "healthy, cancer-free, doing great, [and] stronger than I've ever been."

Now, with his mental and physical health in balance and being cared for, Mathison is also celebrating his new role as a game show host, helming the new Game Show Network series Beat the Bridge.

The show features two teams of contestants who must cross the titular bridge by answering challenging trivia questions. Correct answers get cash added to each team's bank and allow the player to keep on crossing. However, incorrect answers mean the player's journey across the bridge comes to an end.

"For me, it's something that I've wanted to do," Mathison told ET of hosting a game show. "I've always felt it was gonna be a great fit. I don't know if you've noticed in our friendship, but I got a lot of energy. I got a lot of enthusiasm. I'm a pretty positive guy. And I just thought it would be a good fit -- and it really was."

When it comes to hosting a game show, Mathison explained that the role requires "a unique set of skills," which he's honed over years on TV.

"I want to know these contestants. I want to know their backgrounds, what they're into, their likes, so that when they're playing, you can listen and be spontaneous," Mathison shared. "You've got to drive it, you've got to know what's coming up, you got to know what's at stake. So that's the set of skills that you got to have in the back of your mind. But then, you've just got to be in there and be in the moment."

Beat the Bridge airs weeknights on the Game Show Network.


Cameron Mathison Gives Health Update After Being 4 Years Cancer-Free

'General Hospital' Stars Cameron Mathison, Laura Wright Tease #Crew

Cameron Mathison Gives Health Update After Cancer Battle

Why Cameron Mathison and Wife Vanessa Were Nervous Acting Together

Cameron Mathison Talks ‘General Hospital’ and Life After Cancer

Cameron Mathison Opens Up About His Cancer Journey and New Game Show 'Beat the Bridge' (Exclusive)

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“If you knew me…”

What is cancer journey™ coaching.

Cancer Journey Coaches (CJCs) work with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers of all ages, all cancer stages and all walks of life.  Wherever you are on your journey, a CJC will meet you and walk with you to discover your inner strengths and wisdom.

Cancer Journey Coaching is coaching at its most powerful and impactful. 

What is Cancer Journey™ Coach Training?

Cancer Journey Coach Training is an experiential curriculum that teaches our proprietary coaching method.  Our maps, models, tools and techniques combine to create both a robust mindset and skill set for guiding clients through one of life’s most confronting, overwhelming and potentially-rewarding turning points.

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Your Cancer Journey may be one of the biggest hardships in your lifetime. During my own journeys (and there've been 5!), I wanted insight into the emotional journey I was embarking on. That's why I created the Cancer Journey Institute. I don't want any patients, survivors, thrivers, or caretakers to have to struggle and travel this alone. I'm offering you a free download of our "Meeting Your Cancer" guided visualization to welcome you to the caring, supportive community of the Cancer Journey Institute.

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Letter of Hope from Cari Low, MD, FACP

Read Time: 2 minutes Author: Cari Low, MD, FACP , Supportive Oncology and Survivorship

Supportive Oncology and Survivorship Team

Dear Patients, Families, and Loved Ones,

The phrase, “you have cancer,“ can be the most daunting anyone can hear. It creates uncertainty, fear, and a flood of questions about the future for you and your family. While the journey ahead feels overwhelming, I want to assure you that you are not alone. As part of the Supportive Oncology and Survivorship (SOS) team, we are here to support you every step of the way and help answer each of your questions.

As a palliative medicine doctor, I often encounter misunderstandings about my field. Many are unfamiliar with the term “ palliative medicine ,” confusing it with hospice care. I am not “the hospice doctor.” Instead, I like to think of myself as the “quality-of-life doctor.” My role is to help you manage the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges through your entire cancer treatment journey.

“Many patients describe their treatment journey as a roller coaster. We are here to help you navigate the ups and downs.”

Our team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and chaplains is focused on helping you live well with your diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. We address symptoms like pain, nausea, depression, and anxiety so that you can focus on the things that bring you joy.

Working closely with your oncologists, we can ease some of the burdens, stress, and worries that come with a cancer diagnosis and its treatments. While they oversee your treatment, we dedicate our time to understanding how your illness and treatment impact your life and loved ones. While there may be difficult decisions to make, we will navigate this journey together with compassion and dignity. Above all, we respect your wishes and are here to ensure you receive care that aligns with what matters most to you. Many patients describe their treatment journey as a roller coaster. We are here to help you navigate the ups and downs.

When patients and families meet with our team, initial misconceptions quickly fall away. Feelings of apprehension are replaced with relief and comfort knowing there is an entire team here to listen, support, and encourage.

I’ve witnessed incredible strength, love, and resilience in patients like you. Your courage is an inspiration, and it is my honor to walk beside you on the path forward.

Sincerely, Cari Low, MD, FACP

Our doctors and researchers are sharing hope with patients and their loved ones. Read more Letters of Hope .

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If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, deciding what’s next can be overwhelming. ACS CARES™ (Community Access to Resources, Education, and Support) is the only app that equips those facing cancer with curated content, programs, and services to fit their specific cancer journey.

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Introducing ACS CARES, the mobile app that provides you, your family, and your caregivers with the resources to navigate your cancer journey with confidence.

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The ACS CARES mobile app provides people with cancer, their families, and caregivers an easy, free way to:

  • Access personalized, quality cancer related information that updates as you age, as your situation changes, or as new information becomes available.
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  • Find reliable information on addressing important topics such as emotional health, finances, transportation, and dependent support.
  • Connect virtually with trained community volunteers who share the same cancer experience and background including diagnosis, location, military status, race and ethnicity.
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A Timeline of Kate Middleton's Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

From her abdominal surgery in January to when she began preventative chemo, here's everything we know about the Princess of Wales's diagnosis and treatment.

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Kensington Palace did not specify when Kate learned she had cancer, only saying she was made aware of the diagnosis "once post-operative tests had been completed and results reviewed." Here, a full timeline of the Princess of Wales's cancer diagnosis and treatment:

January 16: Kate undergoes planned abdominal surgery.

Kate: grace under pressure.

Kate: Grace Under Pressure

Kensington Palace publicly shared the news of her surgery a day later. "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to The London Clinic yesterday for planned abdominal surgery," Kensington Palace said in a statement . "The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery. Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

They added, "The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private." At the time, it was understood her surgery was not cancerous.

January 29: Kate is discharged from the London Clinic.

After thirteen days in the hospital, Kate was discharged . (Coincidentally, on the same day King Charles was discharged from the same hospital .)

"The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," Kensington Palace said in a statement . "The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided. The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."

She began recuperating at home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

Sometime in February: Kate begins chemotherapy treatment.

Following her surgery, post-operative tests found cancer, and at some point in late February, Kate began "a course of preventative chemotherapy," according to a Palace spokesperson.

"The surgery was successful," Kate later shared in a video message . "However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment. This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family."

March 22: Kensington Palace announces Kate has cancer, and releases personal message from the Princess.

preview for Kate Middleton Speaks Out About Her Cancer Diagnosis

News of Kate's cancer diagnosis was made public in March, along with a video message from the Princess ( watch above ). The Palace said they will not be sharing what type of cancer Kate has. "The Princess has a right to medical privacy, as we all do," a Palace spokesperson said.

The Palace has not shared a specific timeline regarding Kate's recovery, end to her chemotherapy treatment, or when she could return to her public duties . In her message, Kate said, "My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

A day after Kate's diagnosis was made public, Will and Kate thanked the public for their well wishes . A Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement, "The Prince and Princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness' message. They are extremely moved by the public's warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time."

April 29: Kate and William celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Kensington Palace shared a never-before-seen picture of the couple from their wedding day , taken by photographer Millie Pilkington (who just photographed King Charles and Queen Camilla for their 19th wedding anniversary ). "So excited and honored that they should wish to share it," Pilkington wrote on Instagram.

May 20: Kensington Palace gives an update on Kate's work.

Kensington Palace gave an update on the Princess of Wales's business task force , and a spokesperson said she was "excited" about the developments . However, the spokesperson added, "This should not be seen or reported on as Her Royal Highness returning to work. The work of The Prince and Princess’ projects is ‘always on,’ and that has been no different for the Centre over the past five months with a great deal of progress being made…Early childhood is a huge priority for the Princess and so she has been kept fully updated throughout the development of the Taskforce’s work and she has seen the report."

A senior royal aide also said "she will return to work when she has had the green light from doctors," but what that "green light" looks like is as yet unclear. The Palace has not provided any specific timeline for Kate's return to royal duties .

June 11: Kensington Palace denies rumors Kate is receiving treatment in Houston.

After online speculation emerged that the Princess of Wales was receiving cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, a Palace spokesperson denied the rumors to the Houston Chronicle .

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Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram .

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A source told the outlet that Kate’s role when she resumes royal duties might be different. Her team is “reevaluating what she’s going to be able to take on when she comes back. She may never come back in the role that people saw her in before.” They added her recovery is “going well.”

Kate publicly shared her cancer diagnosis in March, saying cancer had been found in her body after she had planned abdominal surgery in January.

“At the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” she said. “The surgery was successful, however, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should go a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment.”

She asked for privacy, saying, “We hope that you’ll understand that as a family, we now need some time, space, and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I am able. But for now, I must focus on making a full recovery.”

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Prince William Responds After Being Asked About Kate Middleton’s Health Amid Cancer Treatment

Prince william provided insight into how kate middleton has been doing as she continues her cancer battle privately during the 80th anniversary of the d-day landings june 5..

Prince William is giving a new update on Kate Middleton .

As the Princess of Wales continues her cancer treatment out of the spotlight, William shared how her health journey has been going.

While visiting veterans at the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Portsmouth June 5, the Prince of Wales explained that Kate was getting better and added, "She'd have loved to be here today."

"I was reminding everyone her grandmother served at Bletchley Park," he continued in a video shared to  video on X  (formerly known as Twitter) June 5. "So, she had quite a few in common with some of the ladies here who were at Bletchley." (Kate's paternal grandmother Valerie Glassborrow worked at the historic World War II spy base, where Alan Turing would crack the Enigma code that was used by Nazis to encrypt covert messages.)

And it seems William—who shares kids Prince George , 10, Princess Charlotte , 9, and Prince Louis , 6, with Kate—will continue attending events solo as the 42-year-old focuses on her health. In fact, she will be absent from the Colonel's Review ahead of the Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 8.

"This year General James Bucknall K.C.B., C.V.O will carry out the role of Inspecting Officer," a Kensington Palace spokesperson told NBC News May 30, "on behalf of HRH The Princess of Wales at Colonel's Review as she continues her recovery."

While Kate has chosen to battle the disease privately, William assured the public that she and the kids are staying positive .

"All doing well, thank you," the 41-year-old shared, per The Daily Mail  back in April. "We're all doing well."

As for Kate, she highlighted how supportive William has been since she stepped back from her royal duties in March to focus on her health.

"It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family," she said in her video message . "Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance."

Keep reading to catch up on all the royal news worldwide.

(E! News and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Kate Middleton Focusing on Health

Nearly two months after the Princess of Wales went public with her cancer diagnosis, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said the royal has no immidiate plans to return to her public-facing duties .

"The princess is not expected to return to work," the rep said in a May 21 statement to BBC, "until it's cleared by her medical team."

New Role for Prince William

On May 13, King Charles III bestowed the title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to his oldest son, sparking controversy as many royal watchers believed the title would be more suited for Prince Harry , who trained and served in the military branch.

Kin Charles III Returns to Public Duties

On April 26, nearly three months after sharing his cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles will return to public-facing duties . 

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of  King Charles III , making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition .

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana 's niece  celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post . "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton , was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer .

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th . 

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George , Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis .

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!


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