What’s a Cancer Doula?

dou·la
/ˈdo͞olə/
noun
a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.

The power of a cancer doula is the presence the doula provides from the time a friend is diagnosed with cancer and lasts for as long as it last. It may be years, a brief time or it could be intermittent. Cancer patients have several experts but the cancer doula is an advocate and best friend during the cancer journey. The social support of a doula improves the physical wellbeing and health of the patient. The doula is a valuable member of the care team. You don’t need special training to be a cancer doula. You can simply be present.

“One of the hardest things we must do sometimes is to be present to another person’s pain without trying to ‘fix’ it, to simply stand respectfully at the edge of that person’s mystery and misery.”                                                                                                                                                       – Parker Palmer