When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. Showing your support through planned visits, practical help and thoughtful gifts can help him or her get through this challenging time and further the healing process.
Your friend may not want to talk about the details of his or her diagnosis, so it is best to learn about it from a mutual friend or spouse before visiting. It can be emotionally and physically exhausting to repeat information, and your friend may want to keep some information private. However, be open to listening if he or she wants to share their thoughts or feelings. Remember to always plan your visits and be flexible when plans change.
Offer to help your friend with specific tasks such as cooking, cleaning, child care, pet care and driving. It is likely they will appreciate the help and take you up on your offer. Follow through on any commitments you make to help.
Thoughtful gifts are a wonderful way to show your love and support. You can create a Get Well Basket to include items such as magazines, books, CDs, gift cards, pillows, warm slippers, socks, scarves and hats. In addition, include special items like Milkweed Balm to help soothe muscles or quilts to provide warmth and comfort during treatment. The chemo quilts can also be personalized with colors, quotes or favorite teams.
Your friendship and support can make a lasting impact on someone living with cancer. Be thoughtful with your words and actions.