Cancer can be one of the most frightening things for someone to experience, and it isn’t much easier to watch cancer take over someone you love’s life. As difficult as fighting the cancer and fighting the overwhelming sadness, there are some things you can do to make your loved one forget about their illness for a while.
Small Acts of Kindness
While this applies well to everyday life, small acts of kindness for someone fighting cancer could mean the world as they may not have the energy to do those things themselves. Something very simple can definitely mean a lot.
Don’t Pretend You Understand What They’re Going Through
Even if you know someone else close that has fought cancer, try not to think you know what their experience is like. Cancer rarely affects two different people in the same way, and you should be concerned about this person and their fight.
Patience Is Key
This might seem obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in the treatment and hoping to see results quickly. The person you care about is taking things one moment at a time, and it would benefit them for you to do the same.
Make Sure To Laugh
Even in the most trying of times, a bit of laughter can really brighten a room and improve someone’s mood. Whether it is a good joke, a funny picture, or even a funny movie, make sure to inject some laughter into their life, they’ll thank you for it in between laughs.
Talk About Things Besides Cancer
The person who is fighting with everything they have, each day, probably does not want to continually talk about cancer. Avoid the subject unless they bring it up. Make conversations as normal as possible that way they feel as though life has not been too dramatically altered.
It’s tempting to talk about the future as if it is a sure thing for your loved one, but the sad reality is that it might not be. Instead, be present, notice things about the moments you’re in and express how beautiful they are. Staying in the moment can help your loved one connect and not feel lost from the normal way of life.
Find Support For Yourself
Your main focus probably will not be yourself, but at some point the grief and sadness of the situation will catch up to you. It’s important that you take care of your own physical and mental health during these times, just make sure the person you go to is not the loved one fighting cancer.
While they may not always have the energy to talk for hours, make sure you take the time to listen to your loved one rather than hog the conversation. This way they can steer it in whatever direction feels right for them.
Offer To Help, In A Specific Way
Instead of simply saying “how can I help”, offer to do something that you’re good at or that you know needs to be handled. This way you are not putting the pressure on the person who is sick to figure out all of their needs.
Keep Your Promises
Normally it can be easy to forget or blow off small promises that are made. But when dealing with your loved one, make sure you deliver so they know they can count on you in the most difficult of times. Knowing they have a great support system that is going to keep their promises is a wonderful thing.
Encourage, Don’t Advise
Doctors are in your loved ones life to make decisions about healthcare and give them the advice they need to hear. It does not matter how much you have read, they are seeing a professional physician for a reason, keep your advice to yourself and focus on encouraging them to keep fighting.
If your loved one seems to be pushing you away, it probably isn’t on purpose but is their own way of dealing with the situation. Give them the space they need and when they ask you to be present in their life, make sure you step up and do that.
Try To Live Normally
Depending on the cancer and the stage of treatment, your loved one might still be able to get out and do the things that make them happy. If they don’t need to be bed ridden, try to do things you normally would. If they are confined to a hospital bed, make them feel at home as possible with games, decorations, or the people they are surrounded with.