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Getting Support

At City of Hope, we treat the whole patient, not just the illness, by attending to the emotional and spiritual effects of cancer. For any of us, maintaining spiritual and emotional strength makes a genuine difference in our ability to cope with disease.

Living with cancer might easily be the biggest challenge you’ve ever encountered. It’s normal to feel stress in that situation.

Stress is an everyday fact of life, but now you have the added challenge of dealing with your illness and your treatments.

Besides concerns about your health, you might also be worried about …

  • Feeling alone
  • Feelings of denial
  • Feelings of anger or shame
  • How you’ll talk to your family about your cancer
  • How to cope with cancer as part of a couple
  • How your children should talk to family or friends about cancer
  • Proper parenting if you have a child with cancer
  • Finding support from others with your specific cancer
  • Dealing with your job, school or college, or other commitments
  • The financial consequences
  • How to prepare your home, family, friends and self for changes brought on by being a cancer patient
  • How your illness may affect your appearance


Call on Our Supportive Care Medicine Services

Long-term stress can affect your overall health and harm your ability to cope with cancer. That’s why emotional and social support can make a big difference in dealing with stress, and it’s why City of Hope offers extensive services for patients in need of support.
The Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope is staffed by mental health professionals, child life specialists, physicians, nurses, cosmetologists, patient navigators, health educators, clinical social workers and chaplains. It’s your at-the-ready resource for kindness, compassion, counseling and useful information.
Our Spiritual Care Chaplains 
Dealing with serious illness and the effects of treatment can bring on spiritual distress. You may find yourself turning to your spiritual side to help you cope, and it’s not unusual to experience doubts about your faith, or have strong negative and positive thoughts and emotions that are hard to manage.

That’s a normal reaction for many cancer patients and their families and caregivers, but it’s important to draw on the experience of others who have taken this journey before you.

Talking to one of our Spiritual Care chaplains can help. They provide interfaith care and support that best serves your needs. They are even available for those who don’t identify with a particular religion or spiritual practice. How can they help?

How can they help?

  • Offer spiritual compassion and empathy
  • Listen to and address spiritual or religious concerns
  • Aid in the provision of sacraments and religious materials
  • Offer prayers and end-of-life support
City of Hope’s Spiritual Care Department can be reached at (626) 256-4673, ext. 63898.

Our Clinical Social Workers
Our Clinical Social Workers are skilled at helping you reduce stress throughout treatment by helping you and your loved ones to approach stressful situations differently and by modifying the situation so there will be less stress to confront.  Among the services social workers provide are:
  • Supportive counseling and problem-solving to help patients and their families adjust to illness and provide coping skills
  • Financial benefit guidance and assistance for state and social security disability, and paid family leave
  • Assistance completing advance directives
  • Arrange family meetings for patient, family and staff to discuss treatment choices
  • Grief and bereavement counseling
Our Patient Resources Coordinators
A Patient Resources coordinator helps patients, their families and caregivers by working to connect them with the various aid resources available through local and national agencies. That takes a big weight off patients and their loved ones, letting them stay focused on their care and treatment.

A Patient Resources coordinator can help with transportation to appointments, finding financial support (including for rent and utilities), community health care referrals, childcare, legal concerns, medication assistance, housing for out-of-town patients, meal delivery for homebound patients, and connecting patients with the right support groups.
Get More Information
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, located on our main City of Hope campus, is where you’ll find information, education and support for patients looking for support during their cancer journey. The Center is near the entrance to the Main Medical building, and can be called at (626) 218-2273 (CARE).

Diagnosed with a blood cancer? Join a community of people who understand what you’re going through …

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Community is an online community of people living with or supporting someone with blood cancer. Get connected and share your voice to drive change.