It can be hard to know how to help a friend going through cancer. It’s a sensitive, vulnerable time for them and you likely don’t want to over-step, but you also want to help in some way that is meaningful and valuable to them.
Below are a few ideas to support your loved one through their cancer treatment.
Listen to them
- Don’t feel like you have to solve the situation for them. Simply listen.
- You can ask some probing questions if they seem open to it, but what they likely need most is a listening ear from someone who loves and cares for them.
Remember that your loved one may have cancer but they are still the person they were before diagnosis
- Maintain a sense of normalcy despite the obvious challenge they face. They’re more than a cancer patient and may crave some sense of their old routine.
- Visit them, hug them, be with them. If you can’t be with them in person, stay actively in touch with email, texts or phone calls.
Help them with every day tasks
- Don’t ask them “what can I do?” Just pitch in, specifically,
- Help them take care of their kids or pets
- Drive them to treatment
- Cook for them or help with other household tasks like dishes, laundry or cleaning.
Send a thoughtful, useful care package
Great gifts for those with cancer include:
- A warm, cozy blanket for the chemo chair. The rooms are often freezing cold and a beautiful, warm blanket will help them stay a bit warmer. We suggest this one.
- Warm, cozy socks, for similar reasons as above. Treat them to cashmere socks and make it an extra luxurious gift.
- Therapy wraps that can be used heated or cooled to help ease tense and/or aching muscles.
- Body butter or body oil that is safe and extra gentle to ease extra dry skin. This is our favorite body butter and our favorite body oil, both of which were created by cancer survivors and their families.
- Activities that help take their mind off their immediate situation. We recommend beautiful puzzles, adult coloring books, journals and other inspirational books. Check out our full collection of activities here.
All of the above advice is based on our own families' experience and extensive research and interviews.
Do you have other suggestions? Please comment below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you for reading!