One of the hardest struggles in life is going through a traumatic health scare. Cancer is one of the scariest diseases a patient can be told they have. Being close with someone who has cancer can be tough. There’s a million things you want to do for them but you can’t figure out what you can do to support them in the best way. Here’s some ideas of what you can do to support someone who is going through cancer.
1. Prepare yourself first
Cancer can be a hard thing to go through even if you’re not the one who has it. Take time to learn about the diagnosis, and let your feelings be processed before you try and help your friend. Also, think about it from your friend’s perspective. Think about what you would have wanted someone to do when you were sick, sad, or mad. This will give you great ideas for how to support your friend.
2. Check-In with them
Yes, daily life and busy struggles can prevent you from thinking about anything else. However, checking in with your friend every week, or so, is a great way to show that you care and they have someone there for them. If they are in the hospital, or going through treatment, make sure to check in with them whether it’s a phone call or an in person visit. This will mean the world to them while they are feeling sick.
3. Don’t treat them like they are going through cancer
A lot of cancer patients, report saying that they wished the people around them would not focus so much on their sickness. Treat your friend like you would if it were any other day. If you used to get lunch somewhere, go get some take out from your favorite place and bring it to them. Laugh with them, and try and remind them that cancer isn’t going to be the rest of their life.
4. Allow them to be sad
Some people who have friends or family who are going through cancer can be in denial, and don’t want to act sad, or let the patient be sad while going through treatment. It’s not ok to let the patient be sad all the time, but forcing them to be happy most of the time can also be detrimental to their mental health. Allowing the patient to be sad sometimes is ok, just remember to give them love, support, and to listen to what they have to say.
5. Talk to them
This is a no brainer. Talk to them freely about things that aren’t cancer related, this will be great for them to take their mind off of treatment. However, if you want to talk to them about things that are cancer related such as, their treatment, mindset, giving them advice, or if you want to ask them a tricky question, make sure to ask them permission first. With cancer it can seem like every decision being made is not in the patients control, by doing this it shows that they are in control of their life and what they want.
6. Help them out
If they need someone to feed their dog, get something from their house, or just simply come to them when they are in need, try and do it. It will show that you are by their side through it all –even cancer.
Cancer is tough for anyone, even people not going through it. When you use these tips on your friend or family member going through cancer, remember to give yourself some extra support. If you or anyone wants to be proactive about their health, get your medical imaging done. At Advanced Imaging Centers we offer a variety of imaging procedures that are all preventative measures for cancer. Make an appointment with us today!