According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer kills almost 600,000 people in the U.S. each year. Over 1,685,210 new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year. If a friend or family member is diagnosed with cancer, they will likely have a hard road ahead. There will be chemotherapy, a lot of doctors visits and a lot of stress. Some things can help make their suffering a bit easier.
Offer Your Support
Do whatever you can to help them out. Offer to clean the house, walk the dog, take out the trash or even drop the kids off at school. A little bit can go a long way, and it will be appreciated. Cancer patients are often fatigued after rounds of chemotherapy and will need the help.
Give Them Something Unique
Making a gift for someone may be in the wheelhouse of some supporters, other, not so much. But, if you are into arts and crafts, making them a homemade gift will brighten their day. It may not be diamonds and pearls, but it will a little something to brighten their day.
Talk to the Patient and Listen
Be a shoulder to cry on, but also listen to the person’s concerns. There is a great fear of the unknown, and they will need to be comforted along the way. Show empathy and let the person know that you will be there. People with cancer need a reliable support system. Sometimes all they need is a friend to make them feel better. Keep in mind that some days will be better than others.
Make a Chemo Gift Bag
Chemo treatments can take a while. Sometimes a person can be hooked up to a machine anywhere from 4-6 hours. There is nothing lovelier than putting together a helpful chemo bag filled with goodies to brighten their day. Fill it with things like mints, inspirational items, buttons, hard candies and other edibles. Sometimes people may want to watch a movie or listen to music during chemotherapy. All of these things will make the time go faster and will be hugely appreciated.
Don’t Crowd The Person
Although cancer patients need a lot of support, they don’t want to be smothered. All of the hugs and kind words go a long way, but don’t overdo it. You can’t force yourself on the individual. People going through this process will have mood swings. Some days they just want to be left alone. Don’t take it the wrong way: just respect their feelings. Still, let them know you love them and you will come back when they feel better.
Use Your Passion to Help
People are passionate about many things. Find yours and use it to help your friend or family member. Some people have a passion for writing. Others have a passion for singing, food or creating things. Whatever yours is, use it to help the patient. If you are a nurse, creatively apply your nursing skills.
People who have cancer need a lot of support. The diagnosis is terrifying, and they’ll need help whether they want it or not. Let them know that they have friends and family who are ready and willing to support them. Help them stay strong and find comfort in a higher power if necessary. Do whatever you need to keep their spirits high on good days and bad. And if the cancer case becomes malignant, help the individual find peace. Whether they have only a few days, weeks or months, let them know you love them.