When you find out that a friend, loved-one or colleague has cancer it can be hard to know what to say and do. And there are sometimes many questions you want to ask but don’t feel you can. Well, you are not alone. Most people feel like this when confronted with this issue. The first thing to realise is that you should not ignore the issue or the person. So many people find the situation so awkward that they avoid heir friend with cancer. This is both hurtful and non-productive. Talking to someone with cancer may be hard but it is always better than not talking to them. There are things you should probably not say, but as long as you are respectful you presence will be appreciated.
It is important to understand that each person responds to their cancer diagnosis in their own way. Some may want to talk, others may not and sometimes, the person’s need to talk changes from day-to-day. So you need to let your friend know it’s okay if he or she doesn’t reply or want to talk. What is important is that you are there for them.
There are other ways you can help a friend with cancer. If you understand how (or if) their diet has changed due to the illness you can make them appropriate meals. Or you can do some everyday tasks for them that they used to do but now find difficult but haven’t got time for. Such as tidying up or shopping.
If they are going through cancer treatment such as cheotherapy they can be dealing with difficult side effects. They may need a morale boost either during or after treatment.
The most important thing is that you are present for them. If you commit to doing something that you keep to your commitment. And that you let them know that they can rely on you for the cancer journey.