- You may not know what to do, but don’t do nothing! Your feelings may range from uncomfortable to devastated, but they need your support now more than ever.
- Don’t ask if they need anything- just do it! They will say no because it’s hard to receive help from others. Bring food, send money or giftcards for groceries, offer rides to treatments and doctor’s appointments. Walk their dog, run to the grocery store, take their kids out for a bit, look around and see if there is something you can help with.
- Send something practical and useful like a soft cotton scarf (add link to scarves in shop)or sleeping cap (add link to sleep caps) when they are starting to lose their hair. Or send them something that you know will give them comfort. They will know you love and care about them. Family friends sent me a coffee cake in the mail and I cried when I opened it- it had special meaning to me. A friend of mine was given 1,000 handmade paper cranes by a friend who made them for her non-stop for 48 hours after she heard of her cancer diagnosis. Do what you think will give them comfort.
- We know you want to take away our pain and comfort us, but sometimes we just need you to listen. It is not always ok to tell us not to worry, or that it will all be ok, when we are trying to honestly voice our fears. It is not always ok to always try to “fix” things for us when we are trying to share our honest feelings. This is probably one of the hardest things you will be asked to do. Of course there are times when you must be positive for us, but there are also times when we are down and want to cry and complain and bitch about it all. Then, you will have to simply listen and agree and leave it at that.
- Be encouraging but don’t buy them pink ribbon stuff. It may have reminded you of them when you were out shopping or at a fundraiser. But we don’t need a reminder- we know we have cancer. And most likely it’s really obvious without having to wear a breast cancer ribbon. There is a time and place for those items, but not when we’re undergoing treatment. Don’t get me wrong- the sentiment is great and many organizations that fundraise have really been able to change and improve a cancer patient’s outcome. But we don’t want to wear it- not right now.
- Be easy going, do whatever they ask, baby them!
- Cancer doesn’t always need to be the topic of conversation, try to talk about other things.
- Throw an end of chemo party… at Chemo! My friend Linda did this for me- she even brought anti-cancer cupcakes to share with everyone. It was truly a celebration.
What should I say? What should I write in a card?
Here are a few suggestions- but write from the heart. It will come to you-here are some to get you started….
- I’m here for you- whatever you need.
- I’m praying for you.
- I’m so sorry you have to go through this. But I will be with you every step of the way.
- Here’s my phone number- if you would like to talk-I’ll listen. If you want to laugh, I’ll give you something to laugh about, if you want to just scream and yell – I’m right there with ya!
- If all else fails- send a funny card. Nothing heals like laughter and it will take their mind off everything.
CanverVictory.com shares the things that survivors, including myself, learned while being treated for cancer. We are not medical professionals and everyone is different, so please consult your physician about anything you read on this site or on any other site. Your health is important and you should make all medical decisions in consultation with your doctor.