Unless a person has faced cancer, they do not know what to say. Things like” I understand might come to mind” or “you will get better” are always a go-to in some conversations. However, saying these things really won’t help. You do not know if things will be okay, and you probably do not know how they feel.
Cancer patients take devastating treatments and, most times, make them feel weak and nauseous. If you are not sitting in the chemo seat next to them, you have no idea how they feel, so the best thing anyone can do is be there. A strong hand of a friend is worth more than anything a person might say.
If you have gone through a similar illness, the things that work for you may not fit their problem. Everyone is different; so is any illness. Of course, similarities are always there, but doctors treat each patient individually, so be there with a supporting shoulder.
Feeling like receiving visitors is a problem for cancer patients. Getting dressed and making things look presentable is a bit difficult if you are throwing up. So, be mindful of their privacy. Keeping a high energy level while suffering from cancer is practically impossible. So, be considerate.
If they have a caregiver, find out the best times to request a visit. People taking medications may not keep good visiting hours since rest is usually required. Because a person is not in a hospital does not mean they are ready to take on a busy lifestyle.
Avoid saying insensitive things; you should have taken better care of yourself. No one really thinks about this when illness strikes, and if they do, it’s a bit late; So zip it. Once cancer hits, a person only wants to figure out how to get better. So, keep the I told you so’s.
If a person has cancer, chances they are dealing with professional healers, so keep the snake oil remedies to yourself. Anyway, certain items can interfere with certain drugs. Therefore, unqualified medical advice might be dangerous to the patient. The goal is to help, not harm.
Ignoring a Cry For Help
Cancer patients sometimes are guilty of pretending to feel okay. They do not want to pity or burden others, although most friends and family only want to help. So, as much as possible, without making them feel they are stealing your time away, make yourself available.
If they are taking outpatient treatment, offer to drive them when possible. They will appreciate someone to lean on even though they may never ask. So, volunteer, and be considerate, do not smoke.
Dwelling on the Sickness
Talking about the condition of a cancer patient will only make them feel worse. Leave the diagnostics to the doctors. Let quiet times happen- Patients do not feel like talking all the time. Sometimes they feel sad, and that is ok.
Now, here you are with a sick friend. Take the time to listen and be there for quiet moments or conversations ranging from silly stuff to changing the world. Engage in moments you will both cherish; You may find you will gain info and hope you never need it, but be sure, it will make you stronger in the future.
Instead, talk about silly things that happened. Indeed, everyone has a grab bag of stupid experiences from the past. Ironically, these happenings made perfect sense at the time, which is why they are great ways to make them laugh. Laughter is a natural medicine unexplained by medical science.
Overwhelming With Activities
The beach is a fun place to go, and it is true vitamin D is good for you. However, this has limits for cancer patients, and taking them on a sunny beach is not the best idea. However, looking at the ocean from a protected vantage point is a great idea.
Remedies for insensitive statements:
A list of great hats: Helping a cancer patient feel good about their appearance is a beautiful thing. When the hair gets patchy or ultimately falls out, or the head gets shaved, a cancer patient does not stop wanting to feel good about how they look, even if they are feeling lousy.
Help them dress with a cheerful attitude:
Helping people is a tricky thing because no one wants to feel helpless. However, helping too much is not good either. Creating an atmosphere of you have got to try is one way of helping people fight cancer. The “Oh, you poor dear kind of help is a no-no.” Treat people as normal as possible while remembering they are ill.
Find things to laugh about:
Laughter is one of the best medicines known to man. No matter how awful a person feels, if they can manage a smile, even pain responds. Not many people want to make the ball head a style; however, some people can carry it off. Still, a chapeau is a neat wardrobe item. Failing that, try chemo caps.
There are many things people say with well-meaning intent. However, refrain from saying something that will make their already bad day worse; For example, “it’s just nerves, or perhaps you should speak to someone.” Quote unquote, “you are out of your mind.” Unless it is your body, you should hold judgment and listen when and if the person is ready to talk.
You may love getting your junk food craze on but stow it for a while. You will probably look and feel better for it. Avoid Junk Food when around cancer patients. It should be a rule; people are not allowed to eat foods, not on the list of foods you can eat when people are sick. So, be kind. Do not eat things you know the patient cannot eat. Help them stay on a healthy diet, and help yourself stay healthy too.
Staying healthy is a battle, and emotional wellbeing is a big part of this battle. Those in direct contact with cancer patients need to remain upbeat and ready to help upon request.