A cancer diagnosis puts a strain on the individual directly affected, but loved ones are also heavily impacted. When someone learns a friend or family member has been diagnosed with cancer, a flood of emotions and questions enter the mind: What does this particular diagnosis mean? Will they recover? What kind of help do they need?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Every situation is unique, and your ability to help typically depends on what stage the cancer is in when detected; however, there are a few general ways you can help support loved ones diagnosed with the disease.
Take care of household chores
Radiation and chemotherapy are exhausting treatments. A person dealing with cancer is not only dealing with the stress that comes with a diagnosis, but they are also dealing with intensive treatments. While they work with doctors by day and rest their bodies by night, you can help relieve some of the added stress by ensuring household chores are taken care of.
Simply stopping by the house a few days each week for an hour or two to tidy up can go a long way to boosting your loved one's self-esteem. Nothing screams, "I feel helpless," more than having to watch your home fall into shambles because you don't have the energy to take care of it. Don't let this burden plague your loved one and help them keep their home as normal as possible.
Don't focus on their cancer
Remember: your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, but they are not a walking disease. When you converse with loved ones, try to add a sense of normalcy to these talks. Don't always speak of treatments, doctor visits, and progress. Instead, talk about the latest movies and books, debate sports, and share stories from the past. Overall, keep your talks as "normal" as you can, and refrain from focusing on their diagnosis.
Do something thoughtful – and get creative
When you've been diagnosed with cancer, everything about your life changes. You are in a constant battle with your thoughts. People will be there for you initially, but the loving gestures may eventually fade. As a supporter, you can make sure those gestures don't stop, and you can do this by taking it up a notch.
When you try to do something nice for a loved one going through cancer, make it more unique. Don't merely buy them something; consider crafting a gift. A homemade present is one-of-a-kind, and it shows the affected that you're willing to put the time in to make them feel special.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to our viewers' health and well-being, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.