On top of being diagnosed with cancer, another worry for many patients is returning to work or working during their treatment. Will anyone notice? Will I be treated differently? Will i be able to keep up? Here are some tips to try to help you be more sensitve to how your coworker might be feeling after they have been diagnosed with cancer.
What to do:
- Give them Privacy. They might not be ready to talk, but when they are just be there to listen.
- Leave thoughtful cards/notes on their desk. Little acts of kindness go a long way without being overbearing.
- Offer to bring them dinner or if they have kids babysit while they go to dinner.
- Get together group care packages.
- Send words of encouragement.
- Talk to them about things going on in life besides their cancer.
What not to do:
- Do not tell horror stories or any experiences about someone you know who has had Cancer in the past. This only makes people worries more about what might happen to them.
- Do not plan fundraiser or start go fund me's without their knowledge.
- Do not say "im sorry" or " I feel so bad for your family and kids" or "it sucks you have to do this". They already are overwhelmed with their diagnosis, its better to just have small words of encouragement.
- Do not spread the word about your coworker being sick. It is their decision to let everyone know what is going on.
This is a tough time for them and their family. Be sensitive to their emotions and respect their privacy and wishes. Keep the mood light. Be a good coworker. Be a good example for others.