It can be difficult to talk to a loved one about his or her cancer treatment and diagnosis. Often we simply don’t know what to say that can help. We may not know how they feel about going through treatment or how we can help them feel better.
The Cancer Research Institute has been working to fund revolutionary breakthroughs to cure all types of cancer. Every dollar spent goes to programs to find the best treatment and a cure for cancer. Donating a car to the Cancer Research Institute can help them find a cure.
Here are 8 ways to help support your loved one and feel comfortable talking about their cancer.
- Let them know that they are in your thoughts. Say things like, “I am here for you.”, “I love you and we can get through this together,” or even “I’m not sure what to say.” You can also send a card that tells them you are thinking about them.
- Follow their lead. Let your loved one talk about what he or she wishes to talk about. Let them set the tone. It may not be about the cancer. Typically, they want to feel as normal as possible. Allow them to choose when they want to talk about their cancer.
- Don’t be grave. Remember that your words have power to them. Be positive, empathic and genuine. Try not to be mournful and grave. Use words that express hope.
- Simply listen. Just being there to listen, and truly listen, may be the best thing you can do.
- Refrain from commenting on their appearance. They do not need your physical assessment of how they look. If anything, speak of their strength and beauty.
- Show love with affection and service. Never underestimate the value of a good hug. You can also bring their favorite smoothie, magazine, or music. Bring a meal for the family, offer to babysit or run errands, do some house chores, or find another way you can serve them and ease the load on the family.
- Don’t minimize. Be careful that you don’t use words that minimize your loved ones experience. Avoid saying things like, “Don’t worry, it’s all going to work out” or “You will be just fine.” Try saying something like this instead, “I’m really sorry”, “You are in our thoughts,” or “I hope it will be okay”.
- Share uplifting thoughts. Offer your loved one encouragement through success stories of long-term cancer survivors. If you are a person of faith, offer to pray for your loved one and share stories that build their faith.