A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. Most people will be touched by cancer in their lifetime whether it’s ourselves or a loved on. In addition to actually managing the condition itself, there are psychological aspects as well for both the patient and their loved ones. The following contributed post is entitled, How You Can Help A Friend With Cancer.
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You can hope that everything is going to run smoothly in life, but the fact of the matter is that you can’t always predict what’s going to happen. And eventually, the sheer randomness of life will dictate that something bad happens. Recent studies have shown that around 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer at one stage in their life, which makes it extremely likely that you’ll know someone close to you that has to battle the disease. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few ways how you can help your friend after they are diagnosed.
Process Your Emotions
Before you try to help your friend, or even before you visit them, it’s important that you take some time to process your own emotions. It’s understandable that this will be tough for you, so don’t feel guilty about looking after yourself too. Ultimately, once you’ve processed your own reaction, you’ll be able to help your friend more. When you visit them, the focus should be on them, not you. Ultimately, if you’re in a good place, then you’ll be able to be the rock of support and strength that they need.
One of the best ways you can help a friend who is suffering from cancer is by educating yourself about what they’re going through. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding cancer, and by gathering as much information as you can, you’ll be able to chat with your friend about their diagnosis. People who are suffering from cancer can often feel alone since no-one else knows what they’re going through. As such, educating yourself is one of the more considerate gifts that you can give them.
One of the less-discussed difficulties of going through cancer treatment is trying to stay on top of all the regular tasks that comprise life. Things like preparing meals, cooking, and the like take a backseat, but they still have to be handled. This is where you can come in. You could help to prepare meals, using cancer fighting foods as ingredients. It’ll help to free up some of their time, and will also ensure that they’re eating well. You can also look at helping to tidy their home when you’re visiting.
Room For Sadness
One of the more difficult aspects of managing a relationship with a friend going through an illness is trying to figure out whether to keep things light or to embrace the sadness. While your friend should set the tone, it’s generally best that you don’t try to avoid the sad feelings. They are present, after all. Some people try to act as if everything is fine, but this can only help to make the friend feel alone.
Finally, try your best to stay yourself. This is a unique, unwanted situation, but it’s not as if it has to change everything. Do your best to stay yourself: your friend will appreciate having a familiar presence in their life.