I feel compelled to start this post with the words… I am not pretending to be a cancer expert in any way shape or form (you know for the people who can find fault in everything)
I was recently asked to speak at a cancer event because I’m one of a billion people on earth who may not be afflicted by cancer, but they are definitely affected… So I jotted down ways to support a loved one with cancer (or any life threatening illness really) and I thought I’d share it here too.
To date I have lost two very dear friends to cancer, my godmother who was basically my second mom and who I was incredibly close to passed away from cancer.
My grandfather very recently passed away from cancer and my grandmother is in remission from breast cancer.
I attended the cancer talk as a guest of my aunt, someone I’m very close to, and who is going through her fourth cancer treatment.
I also have two good friends who are cancer warriors, so when I was asked to speak at the event I chatted to them because I wanted to find out what we as loved ones could do to lighten their burden (I also wanted to check that I was not being offensive in any way)
5 ways to support a loved one with cancer
1.Be there in a practical sense
It’s all good and well to send love and light and to pray for someone but if it’s someone you are really close to. Get your hands dirty. Make some meals, drive them to the doctor, pick their kids up from school. These are the places you can be most useful.
2. Lighten the financial burden.
The medical costs and costs of things like missing shifts at work and buying the right food or the right clothes for your new body can add up fast. This isn’t the best time for the economy but every little helps. Buying groceries or putting petrol in their car can lighten their load.
3. Respect their wishes
There are many treatment options available and your opinion might differ from that of your loved one, remember that ultimately it’s their choice and their lives so don’t try to force your opinion on them.
4. Educate yourself
The library, book store, oncology hospital and our old friend Google is a wealth of information when it comes to cancer and its symptoms. Educate yourself so you know what to expect.
5. Find a way to help
Not everyone is equipt to play carer… Even in the bible Mary and Martha had differ jobs. Im not the best when it comes to caring for sick loved ones but I can sew a heating pad or buy a water bottle. There is also alot to be said for assisting those who can play carer. If there is a person who has taken up the duty of caregiver, support them because ultimately they can’t pour from an empty cup.
— In all honesty this list was an eye opener for me as well, I have not always done all these things. But if you know better you do better.
Please feel free to comment with ideas of your own