A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, and watching a loved one struggle is often heartbreaking. Being supportive can have a profound difference on how they view their diagnosis. Using the right strategy will ensure you provide the best possible support, and you can start by using the helpful guide below.

Do:

Be present.

cancerNot everyone manages emotions the same way. You don’t want to crowd your friend or be too distant, so simply make yourself available. Let them know they can reach you by phone, text, email, or video chat whenever they need you. This ensures they’re getting the optimal emotional support for their needs.

Help out around the house.

A non-verbal way to show support is by handling general tasks for your friend. Offer to cook meals or grocery shop for them. You can help clean up around the house while they relax after a chemotherapy session or run errands for them.

Offer to drive them to their oncologist’s office or to pick up their medication. Any stress you can remove is going to make their day easier.

Don’t:

Share medical advice.

A lot of myths circulate about cancer treatment and management options. You don’t want to recommend to your friend to pursue an alternative self-treatment that has no medical backing or make them question their doctor’s opinion. Leave the medical advice to the experts and help your loved one stick to the guidelines instead.

Be unrealistic.

If your friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s important to be realistic. They’re facing a steep hill with a limited likelihood of recovery. Always foster hope, but don’t push them beyond what they’re comfortable with.

Focus on the short-term, such as small, daily achievements. Highlight how well they’re managing their side effects and how much support they have from friends and family.

 

 

If your loved one is living with cancer, Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC can help you manage the disease. Based in Garden City, NY, this health care center specializes in immunotherapy and can help your loved one establish a treatment plan for cancer, AIDS, and autoimmune diseases. Call (516) 759-4200 to schedule a consultation and explore their practice on their website.