Tips From Rock the Treatment: Supporting Your Friend With Cancer
There is no profile of a “typical” cancer patient. Everyone handles their diagnosis and treatment differently and has unique needs. One person may shut down while another person may blog daily about her journey. One person may become depressed over losing her hair, while another enjoys donning a variety of hats. You might know someone who is getting chemo who has no side effects and another who can’t get out of bed.
Although each person with cancer is unique, there are some generally accepted suggestions for giving help and showing support.
Cancer.net offers the following tips when helping someone who has cancer.
- Before doing anything, ask permission. Whether it is visiting, asking questions, delivering meals, or giving advice, ask first. Tell your friend that it is ok to say no.
- Make plans in advance. Schedule something at a time convenient for your friend. He may want to wait until he feels well enough to go out.
- She may prefer a home visit and a chat over a cup of tea. You can give your friend something to look forward to by making plans for a date in the future.
- Be flexible – the plans might need to be changed or rescheduled.
- Allow for sadness AND laughter. Light, funny conversation can be the best pick-me-up for your friend. But be sure not to ignore difficult topics or feelings if your friend wishes to discuss them.
- Check-in frequently – A call or text to check-in or send love is more important than you might think. Make sure your friend knows that you don’t require a response.
- Offer to help with specific tasks. For complex reasons, many people do not like to ask for help, even when they need it. Offer to help prepare meals, clean, shop, provide childcare, pick up medication, or walk the dog. You can be persistent but should not force yourself on your friend.
- If your friend accepts your offer for help, follow through.
- Try to talk about non-cancer topics. You should treat your friend the same as you always have, whenever possible. Whether it is chatting about the old days, discussing the news, or scrapbooking, try to hold on to the characteristics that defined your friendship before cancer.
Rock The Treatment Helps You Support Your Friend Who Has Cancer
We all know someone with cancer. People living with cancer include our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members. Do you find yourself wondering, “what else can do to help my friend who has cancer?”
At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.