Last Thursday (4th February 2021) was World Cancer Day, which is a celebration of uniting people with a cancer diagnosis and even cancer survivors too, to celebrate those who battle against a disease like cancer, which affects about 360,000 people in the UK every year. In this blog, we would like to talk about how to support a loved one or a close friend with cancer so that you can provide the best help and support to them.
If a loved one and close friend is diagnosed with cancer and broke the news to you, make sure to do your research about the type of cancer they are diagnosed is. This is because there are so many types of cancers and they tend to have different symptoms and diagnoses. By doing your research on the type of cancer a loved one may be diagnosed with, it means that you are able to support them and if they take you to their medical appointment, you will be able to understand the next steps for treatment of their cancer diagnosis
Check up on their mental health
People who are diagnosed with cancer tend to suffer from mental health issues and would need someone there to talk to about their issues. This is a reason why you should check upon them and take a moment to allow them to talk to you so that they do not feel lonely in their diagnosis. Talk about good moments to keep them feeling positive and see cancer in a positive way than in a negative way. This is so to not make your loved ones scared of them but to motivate them to be strong to beat cancer. Even if you cannot be them physically during the pandemic, offer to a phone call or video call them to be able to tackle loneliness.
Offer practical support and help your loved one
Make sure to help your loved one around the house and in public as well. This can be as simple as cooking food, cleaning the house, take their pet for a walk or even driving them to the hospital for medical appointments. By offering the littlest things to them, they will be so grateful and appreciative that you were there for them. By offering these practical supports, they are able to focus on getting better with their treatments.
Make sure to make them smile with small gestures
Examples such as giving them gifts and maybe a thank you note to make them smile. If you are able to make your loved ones smile through these small gestures, they will feel grateful to have you by their side whilst battling with a life-threatening disease. Think about what their average day is like and what might make it a little better. It’s always good to laugh and smile, too, so look for fun things to do with your loved ones.
There are so many resources that help to help people with cancer and their loved ones to go through a time like this: