Support a Loved One Through Cancer Treatment With These Simple Gestures
By: Scott Sanders
When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it can come as a shock. With one in three people dealing with cancer in their lifetime, it’s likely that someone you love will be touched by the disease at some point. That’s why it’s important to know how you can best offer support and comfort when someone close to you is going through cancer treatment. Here are some simple ways you can make a real difference in their lives.
Be Willing to Listen, No Matter What
When someone is fighting cancer, they’re likely going through many different emotions. The psychological effects of cancer are enormous. Anger, fear, and anxiety are common among cancer patients. You can be a comfort to your loved one by allowing them to talk about their feelings. It’s tough to hear someone you love talk about serious subjects such as death and illness. However, it’s also helpful for loved ones to be able to express themselves in a free, open way. Don’t let your own discomfort prevent this from happening. If your loved one seems overwhelmed by their emotions, encourage them to seek professional support.
Help Out with Tasks Around the House
Chemo can sap energy from those in treatment. Even the simplest of tasks, like taking the dog out or folding laundry, can take some serious effort. Since it’s important for your loved one to focus their energy on treatment, offering help with daily tasks can take a lot of pressure off. Go to the store to pick up supplies or groceries they need around the house. Take their dog for a walk or offer to pet sit for a day or two, to allow your loved one some time to relax. If you can’t get to these tasks yourself, think about hiring someone to help.
Put Together a Meal Train
Going through cancer treatment can make it tough for patients to eat. Nausea, mouth sores, and other discomforts require foods that will help them heal. Make it easier for your friend to get the nourishment they need by organizing a meal train. Make sure the people participating have access to recipes that will be beneficial to someone being treated for cancer. Ginger is a great option to include in meals, but there are other foods that can help as well.
Go with Them to Treatments
Treatments can be stressful for patients. Help take your loved one’s mind off their treatment by providing some much-needed companionship during chemotherapy sessions. You can bring magazines, games, or anything else that you think will help distract them from discomfort. Check with your loved one to see what their treatment center allows and make sure they are okay with you coming along.
Offer Rides Around Town
With the constant nausea and weakness that accompanies chemotherapy, driving is often out of the question. Support your loved one by providing rides around town while they aren’t feeling up to driving themselves. You can take them to treatments, to the grocery store or to support groups. If they feel up to it, take them out for some fun as well. You can go on a relaxing walk in a park or catch a comforting movie. Getting out of the house can be beneficial for those who are going through treatment.
Just Be There
Supporting someone you love through cancer treatment really doesn’t take a lot of effort. By simply being a shoulder to cry on, a heart to listen, and hands willing to help, you are making a real difference in the life of your loved one. Even something as simple as letting them know you’re there can help them stay strong. So show your support in whatever capacity works for you. Just be there.
Cancer treatment is tough, but having the support of friends and loved ones can make the battle a little easier. With the simplest of gestures, you can make life a little easier for someone you love and find a deeper connection in the process.