Got a Friend with Cancer? 4 Tips to Help Support Them

So, you have recently learned that one of your close friends, neighbors, or colleagues has been diagnosed with cancer. You have never had to deal with anything like this before, so you really don't know what you need to do. The only thing you know is that you want to lend a helping hand in some way or another. Here are a few tips to show them that you care and support them in their time of need.

Tip #1: Always Ask Whether It's Okay to Visit.

You may have been used to stopping by unannounced for a visit, but it's time for that to stop now. This is because cancer is unpredictable. One day your friend may be feeling fine, but the next day may be a completely different story. Therefore, it is important that you always call or write ahead and ask for permission to come by for a visit. Also, when you do visit, don't stay for extended periods of time. Remember, your friend will likely wear out more quickly and easily than they did before. Also, keep in mind that if you have a lunch scheduled, and they cancel at the last minute, you shouldn't take it personally and should make sure to be understanding.

Tip #2: See Whether You Can Help with Some Daily Tasks.

It is often hard for people to ask for help, but that doesn't mean that you can't offer your assistance. In fact, there are ways to do it without making it seem as if you're "helping" them. For example, if you are heading to the grocery store, give your friend a call to see whether they need anything. However, it doesn't hurt to simply ask whether there is anything that you can help with, such as laundry, babysitting, pet sitting, and so forth.

Tip #3: Be a Good Listener.

One of the most helpful and meaningful things that you can do is listen. Sometimes, your friend will just need someone to talk to, meaning they just need someone who will listen to how they're feeling. Be that person when no one else can.

Tip #4: Keep in Mind That Cancer Is Different for Everyone.

There are many different types of cancer, from skin cancer to colon cancer. All cancers have varying types of symptoms, and that means that the diseases are very different from one another. Therefore, don't try to compare your friend's cancer illness to someone else's cancer illness. While you may know someone who has a certain type of cancer and is not doing great, this doesn't mean that your friend is in the same boat. Every case is unique. Don't try to be a doctor; simply be there for your friend in their time of need.

Talk to a cancer treatment center in your area for more tips.