Friends of people with cancer often don't know what to do, but want to help in some way. Studies have shown that emotional support is one of the best things you can give to a Friend during their cancer journey.
As you spend time with your friend and learn more about how cancer is affecting their everyday life, keep your eyes open for other things you can offer. See how your friend responds to different activities, and know that the situation may change as treatment goes on.
Here are some good suggestions on how you can be helpful:
1. Call and text uplifting messages. They dont have to even be cancer related. It can be a fun picture of your pet or something that would make them laugh.
2. Ask Questions on how they are or whats going on in their life.
3. Check in with them or their caregiver to see what they might need.
4. Invite them to do things, but be sensistive to what they might or might not be able to enjoy.
When you visit them:
1. Always call before you go to make sure they are feeling up to it.
2. Offer to bring them a treat or something they enjoy.
3. Offer to go on a walk with them to get outside if they are up to it.
4. Offer to bring them somewhere other than their house.
5. Plan a get together with their closest family and friends.
6. If they enjoy movies and books, offer suggestions on good ones to read/watch while getting treatment or during the days after.
7. Don't visit if you are sick.
8. Give hugs! (Its Fine)
9. Have a great conversation. Let them steer the topic so it doesnt feel like you are bombarding them.
10. Give honest compliments! They will appreciate it.
Some Simple Gift Ideas:
- Soft or silly socks
- Fun hats or scarves
- Bright, soft washcloths, towels, or sheets
- Silk or satin pillowcases
- Pajamas or a robe
- Unusual toiletries, such as soap and lotion
- Stamped postcards
- Favorite or unusual foods or snacks
- Self-care items, such as a cancer resource book, a special pillow, or a heating pad
- A massage device
- A small cordless phone
- Pictures of friends
- A CD or download of your friend’s favorite soothing music or nature sounds
- Funny movies
- Audio books
- Journal or notebook
You can make a big difference in your Friends Cancer Journey! Offer to help them, whether its picking up their kids, bringing them dinner, or watching a movie with them. Just be there!
**Some tips taken from the American Cancer Society.**