Finding out that someone you know and care about has cancer can be extremely difficult. You may have many questions about the cancer itself and whether or not there is anything that can be done to alleviate the situation. In addition to the questions, you will also be experiencing a wide range of emotions. Depending on how close you are with the person, this can be an incredibly emotional and stressful time for too.
Now, as much as we want to remedy the situation, we have to realize that every person reacts in his or her own way. It is normal to feel sad and stressed when hearing such tragic news. In fact, it is never easy learning and accepting the news as the realities of your life. As much as you want try and forget, you have to understand that this person needs your love, attention, and care now more than ever. While they may be going through their own emotional changes and turmoil, you want to make sure you are there giving them the support and encouragement every step of the way.
When helping, the one thing you want to make sure you establish is a strong line of communication. Communication, in any sense of the word, will be key. Continue to visit them, talk with them, and engage and understand their needs. Do not feel like you always have to talk about the cancer. Instead, include them in the day-to-day activities and events going on in your life. If there isn’t something, talk to them about how they are feeling or anything of that nature. As long as you keep inviting them in, you will be able to make that transformative change that is necessary in fostering that relationship.
During treatments, the situation itself may require you to provide an all hands on deck support system, especially if the person is an immediate and close family member. These specific circumstances may require the following: driving to treatment appointments, running errands, car giving, etc. Whatever is the case, it is imperative that you show your support. As stated above, these individuals are going through their own set of emotions. For them, this is a time where they need your support. As taxing and stressful as it may be, you want to make sure you can show them that there is someone looking out for them each and every day.
Last but not least, try and rally the troops! What this means is try and gather other family members to show their support and solidarity. During this time, family will be key. For many cancer patients, it is human nature to distance themselves from others when they become ill. As much as they want keep to themselves, show them that they have a wide range of support. Having that extra effort can provide hope and encouragement during this difficult time.