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  • Writer's picture Marcia McGee Ashford

Cancer Patient Support Tips from a Survivor: Cancer Requires a Team and Important Lists

Updated: Apr 19

Cancer Patient Support Tip From a Survivor Tip #1

Make a Plan. Take a moment and put that thinking cap on. I KNOW how you feel.

cancer patient support tips from a survivor

You do not want to be practical right now but realize that a few simple things done now can save you time and stress later on.

You will need a personal cancer support team. These will be individuals in your life you know and can count on. Take some time and brainstorm together. Ask people you know that have been on the cancer journey for suggestions and special tips.

When you get some new tips please share with all of us!

Cancer Patient Support Tip From a Survivor #2

Make a list. As a mom, teacher, writer, and traveler I believe in the power of lists to keep myself organized. I tend to make lists and then lists of the lists, ha!

Bet you have done the same thing, but, when it comes to cancer, it can be a whole new thing.

How do you make a list or two? Have some great lists for you, thanks to my family and friends who became my organizers on the path.

learning how to deal with cancer

Let's start with a list for doctor and hospital visits. Remember friends and family can help you get all this together!

When visiting doctors and clinics be sure to have all your bases covered.

If you are organized when you walk in, it will make the initial paperwork easier you and the office staff.

Doctor and Clinic   

  • Driver's License or Legal ID

  • A second form of ID with a picture on it

  • Insurance card with policy numbers printed clearly

  • List of current medications with dosage (bring meds if you want)

  • Allergies to medications/food/environmental

  • Dates and places of past serious illnesses and surgeries

  • Emergency contact names and phone numbers

  • Your family physician's name, number, and office address

  • A check, cash, debit or credit card to pay insurance deductibles

  • List of questions and concerns to ask the doctor


Some medical and hospital bills will come in the mail later.

therapeutic music for cancer patient support

My friend, Lynn put together a travel bag for me. You know the kind that can be taken to every doctor appointment, cancer treatment, and day surgery.

All disposable items are miniature in size making it easy for you to carry. She included things to keep us mentally organized, physically presentable and emergency ready.


Antibacterial soap

Barf bag, wipes, and gloves

Big envelope to store receipts

Chewing gum, cough drops

Contact holder and solution if needed

Cooling towel

Emergency twenty dollar bill/Checkbook/Debit Card

Eye drips

Ink pens, sharpie, pencils

Kleenex -small pack

Unscented lip gloss or Chapstick

Ziploc bags-different sizes

Change of clothes


Numbing cream for port if you are in chemo

A notebook for notes, and writing tool

Any personal items you need on a regular basis

cancer patient preparing for treatment

Another great idea Lynn had-have a small suitcase packed and waiting at the front door in case of an emergency hospital visit. The list came in handy for me on my very first ambulance ride to the ER, so get those bags packed just in case.

Lists and lists of list can be boring, I know. But they can also be very helpful, especially during a quick change in our lives. So hang in there!

cancer patient support tips

Always remember you are very special, and as my friend Amelia always reminds me, "You've got this!"



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life after cancer

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