Helping Someone With Cancer
Do you know someone
with cancer? A cancer diagnosis can be crippling in itself,
inciting fear and anxiety over an unknown or perhaps dreaded
future. Victims worry about their health, their looks, and
their families when a doctor pronounces this terrible
sentence. If a friend or family member is struggling with
one of the many forms of cancer, your support and
encouragement are likely to be most welcome.
But how do you help someone who has cancer? There are
several things you can do to make your friend or loved one
feel more at ease.
1. Treat the person the same as always. Donít approach
her gingerly, as though she might break or fade away. Nor
should you overdo it, however, by talking too much or
roughhousing with children who may be physically fragile.
Just treat the person the same as you would if he had not
been diagnosed with this condition. Of course, if the
diagnosis is grim, you need adapt your attitude accordingly
and not gloss over serious implications.
2. Offer practical assistance. As you have time, run
errands or bring in a home-cooked meal. Grocery shopping,
letter mailing, and kid drop-offs at sporting events can
save the sick personís time and energy. Depending on how
well you are acquainted with the victim, you might want to
come over a few hours each week to clean house, baby-sit, or
cook meals for freezing.
3. Be an encouragement. Send a funny get-well card or an
inspiring note. Drop off a humorous video or suggest praying
together before you leave. Using discretion, you might want
to let others know about the ill personís indisposition so
they can possibly help out, too.
4. Be willing to listen. Sometimes those facing a serious
problem like cancer, especially when a terminal diagnosis
has been given, may simply want to reminisce about the past,
discuss future plans, or share difficult emotions. Just
being available to listen in person, by telephone, or via
the Internet can provide a beautiful source of support.
Donít push or pry, however. Wait until the person is ready
5. If the situation warrants, consider donating financial
support. A single mother with two fatherless children may
need to get connected to social service agencies. Or she may
have some general support already, but lack a little extra
money for holidays or birthdays. You may want to send a card
with a $20 check that could help pay for special occasions
or real needs, needs, like medication, above and beyond any
6. Provide transportation. If the person grows weak or is
unable to drive and family members work at jobs that keep
them from driving the sufferer to appointments, ask if you
can take the person when you are available. Getting around
is one of the greatest challenges facing people who become
immobile with serious illnesses.
Whatever your circumstances, chances are you can offer
some kind of help to a person who is struggling with cancer.
It will certainly be appreciated!
For more information about helping someone who has cancer
or to get help for a loved one or yourself, visit Cancer