“Let me know if there is anything I can do for you!” Many of us have probably uttered this sentence before, and maybe even in the context of learning of a recent cancer diagnosis of a loved one, be it a family member or friend. But what can you really do to be of real help? In today’s blog post, we want to take a closer look at that question.
Every cancer patient is unique
People are individuals with their individual needs, experiences, and characteristics. That, of course, applies to every cancer patient as well:
– They show different responses to a recent cancer diagnosis.
– They need different amounts of time to process the news.
– Some of them might want to talk about their diagnosis outside of a medical setting, others might not.
All of this does not even yet take into account the different ways their body might respond to their individual treatment and the different needs that might arise from that.
How to be there for someone with a recent cancer diagnosis
– Be there for them, but respect their boundaries and need for space.
– As far as talking about the diagnosis is concerned: Take your lead from them. Be open to listening, but don’t press them into a conversation about their feelings.
– Let them know that you are there for them and thinking of them.
Cancer and cancer treatments are often accompanied by a certain amount of pain, fatigue, and nausea. Under such circumstances, even regular household chores can be a strain. That’s why it’s a good idea to concrete offer practical support like:
– doing the grocery shopping
– driving them to their treatments and back
– taking over the kids for a couple of hours
– walk the dog
– cook a meal, or even bring over a bunch of pre-cooked meals
Options for professional support
The cancer treatment journey can be a complex process with not only medical, but also organizational, financial, and legal considerations. In this context, a strong team of cancer care partners can make a lot of difference. If you yourself have received a recent cancer diagnosis or are a caregiver for a cancer patient, let us discuss how Beacon Advocates can support you!
Sources and further information: