Coping with A Cancer Diagnosis: Suggested Resources

A colleague writes: I have a request to consult tomorrow with counseling staff at a high school regarding a staff member just diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor. Looking through your rich web site I'm saying to myself, "Articles, and books and messages, oh, my." Can you help me go to materials on anticipatory grieving, or feeling our own mortality/vulnerability, or helping someone cope with a terminal illness?? You may be able to help me sort through so I can go straight to the meat this busy day before I must show up ready to help! Many thanks if you can help at this last moment.

My response: You might consider taking with you several copies of my article, Helping Another in Grief, to give to the staff members. You can also refer them to my Helping Someone Who's Grieving webpage, at

Just so you know, there are many sites on the Internet devoted to cancer support, some better than others, of course. I think the best place to find what you need is on my Care Giving webpage, at There you will find dozens of links to sites I've personally reviewed that are devoted to supporting families struggling with a terminal diagnosis. You can preview some of the sites yourself, and /or you can refer people to them, either by sending them directly to the Care Giving page on my site, or by printing out a list of sites you've reviewed and selected that you would recommend.

Here is just a sampling I've pulled for you, to give you (and others who may be reading this) an idea of what is "out there":


American Cancer Society: Online Communities and Support

Association of Cancer Online Resources

AARP Caregiving Guide

Cancer Care Support Services

Cancer Care Connection

Cancer Guide: When You Need the Right Questions

Cancer Hope Network


Cancer Support Community

Online Forum for Cancer Support

Cancer Support Services for Patients and Families: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Coping with Serious Illness

Life Without Judgment

National Cancer Institute: Coping with Cancer -- For Families and Friends

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Terminally Fabulous: Navigating the Cancer Minefield

Walking with Jane: NET Cancer Information


Anticipatory Grief and Mourning

Should Our Dad Be Told That He's Dying?

Be Prepared for Emergencies As Death Nears

Anticipating the Death of A Spouse

Breast Cancer, Never Give Up

Cancer Guided Imagery Gets to All the Right Places for This Patient

Chemotherapy, Expectations and Heavy Machinery: Warnings and Suggestions

Confronting a Terminal Diagnosis As A Family

Coping with Cancer: 10 Steps Towards Emotional Well-Being

Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I'm sorry. I didn't get it.

How to Cope After Losing A Loved One to Cancer

Living with Cancer: Don't Call Us Survivors

Sexuality and Illness - Breaking the Silence

The Conversation Project

The Ultimate Guide to Looking Your Best While Overcoming Cancer

Voices: Anticipatory Grief Poem ~ "Edge of Day"

Walking the Tightrope of a Terminal Diagnosis

What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient

When A Loved One Is Terminally Ill via


Here are some books I would highly recommend (for caregivers, family, friends and co-workers) on coping with anticipatory grief:

Being There for Someone in Grief

Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living

Companioning the Dying: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers

Final Gifts : Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying 

The Four Things That Matter Most : A Book About Living

Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

"I Have Cancer": 48 Things to Do When You Hear These Words

Lean On Me: Cancer through a Carer's Eyes

Living with Grief When Illness is Prolonged

Loving, Supporting and Caring for The Cancer Patient

Smiling through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief

Hoping this helps, and good luck tomorrow!

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC

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