Cancer doesn’t affect just the people diagnosed with it, but everyone close to them. We worry about them, we are scared we’ll lose them, we pain with them, and a lot of the time, we simply feel helpless.
It’s important to know how to approach it and truly be a friend in these sensitive situations. Most of the important things, as mentioned in an interview with health reporter Lori Hope, are:
“.. more about being than doing: be there, be generous. One woman [in the survey] had a friend who brought her a special gift for every chemo treatment. I had someone — and this was a remote colleague — who brought me a jar of homemade biscotti and some self-addressed cards for ordering more: plain, chocolate-dipped, chocolate with almonds. I don’t think I ever re-ordered, but I still have the postcard. I’m looking at it right now.”
And if you want to help, Lori advises:
“.. the nonspecific offer: Let me know if there’s anything that I can do. The patient is overwhelmed with decisions about health care, fears, concerns and isn’t thinking about day-to-day needs. If you really want to help, sit down, take a couple of minutes to think about what the person might need: Can I drive your kid to practice? Can I pick up your laundry? Can I take you out of lunch? Can I research something for you online? And if the answer is no today, ask again in a week. Check in.”
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