How to Help Someone Cope With Cancer

By First Posted: Aug 8, 2018 Wed 7:50 AM Updated: Jun 10, 2019 Mon 5:07 AM
How to Help Someone Cope With Cancer
Image Credit: I Had Cancer

Cancer is a big scary word for everyone. We fear this word because we know it has the potential to take away our loved ones. But what happens when someone you love falls prey to it? If someone in the family or a close friend falls prey to cancer, most people have no idea what to say or how to behave. We are never prepared for the situation and nobody knows what is the 'right' reaction to hearing news of cancer!

But if you are trying to help a loved one through this battle, here are a few tips on how to behave and what to do/say.

- Do not ask 'How are you'! What do you expect? You can ask 'How are you this morning?' or 'How has your day been so far?' Ask a question that your friend can answer without bursting into tears.

- Patience is a huge virtue when you are taking care of someone with cancer. The battle against cancer is a huge emotional roller coaster. The journey is full of ups and downs, so be prepared to deal with outbursts, tears, depression, hope and many other kinds of emotions.

- Do not offer advice unless they ask for it. Cancer is not something a layperson can offer advice for anyway! 

- Do not try to identify the reason why they got cancer, do not be judgmental about their food or lifestyle choices. Now is not the time.

- Don't pretend it does not exist! It is okay to talk about it, ask questions and share any information you came across. Be supportive and open.

- Try to make your friend feel that there is more to life than the Cancer. They can still enjoy activities, and laugh at things. Cancer does not have to take away their life.

- When offering help, be specific about what you are offering. Make a specific offer like looking after the kids, driving them to school etc instead of saying 'Let me know if you need any help'.

- If possible, offer financial assistance. Cancer is expensive and they can use every bit of help.

Helping someone who is struggling with Cancer can be very stressful and depressing. Make sure you take care of your own health when you do it!

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