Being diagnosed with cancer shakes even the strongest individuals to the core as uncertainty is immediately injected in one’s world and life will never be the same. Your life becomes divided between B.C. and A.C. (Before Cancer and After Cancer). There are, however, things you, family, friends, and friends of friends can do to make the reality of the diagnosis and treatment a little more tolerable.
Here are 10 Things You Can Do to Help:
- Inner circle friends, it’s time to step up. You are perfectly positioned to streamline communications and to provided updates to extended family, friends, and the community.
- Bible study, book club, or community group leaders reach out and make it possible for your friend, your member to remain as active as possible even arranging for their attendance by phone or video conferencing. This helps to minimize social isolation.
- Visitors should call or text before visiting to ensure it’s a good time for your friend and his/her family.
- If you or a member of your household has been sick recently, please do not visit as increased susceptibility to infection is a known side effect of cancer treatment.
- Do not share stories of other individuals you’ve known; each person, every cancer is different and what holds true for someone else has no place in this particular situation.
- Talk about normal things making sure your friend remains in the loop, but don’t forget to let him/her know you are happy to listen if they’d like to talk about their cancer and what they are going through.
- Ask if there are some household chores that you can help out with like folding clothes, washing a load of laundry, or popping dinner in the oven.
- Organize a meal train calendar so that the family is able to take meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep off their daily plate.
- Offer help with transportation back [and] forth to treatment.
- Put together a chemo day bag including things like water, a soft, snuggly blanket and socks, tissues, light reading material if you’re a reader, sudoku or a crossword, and/or a playlist and air pods.