Unfortunately we are all impacted by cancer. If you aren’t diagnosed with cancer in your lifetime, there is a very high probability someone you care about will be. The cancer diagnosis can be a very scary and overwhelming journey. Friends and family often have good intentions but may not know how to help. This week we are discussing how to support someone who has received a cancer diagnosis. I have multiple family members and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. Admittedly, one of the hardest parts of loving these dear ones is me wanting to help, but not knowing how. Many people will say things like “Let me know how I can help” or “Let me know what you need”. Although these offers come from a very caring place, to the cancer patient it can feel like an empty offer or something you’re “supposed” to say.
Be specific in your offers to help your friend or family member. For example, offer to take them to an appointment, bring them dinner, or watch their children. Be very intentional in offering to do these on specific dates, instead of making an over-encompassing offer of “Just let me know”. Understand that it can be hard for a cancer patient to ask for help, and they don’t want to inconvenience you.
When my dear friend was diagnosed with cancer this summer, another friend set up a meal, childcare, and driving schedule online. Using sites like carecalendar.org can help you organize help for the loved one. Just make sure to include them in the planning so that they don’t feel overwhelmed!
Continue to read this week as we discuss more ways to support someone who has cancer.
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.