If you have a friend or relative who has been diagnosed with cancer, you are probably thinking about which approach would be the best for them. How to give the best support to a person with cancer? The fact is that there is no universal answer to this question. Only you know how to approach a certain person in order for them to feel your full love and support.
This is completely individual and there are no strict rules you should follow. However, there are some general tips that may be helpful if you are currently dealing with this. Most people who have cancer go through the same things, so accordingly there are several ways you can support someone if they are affected by cancer in order to help them feel better.
1. Don’t rush to do something. Instead, take some the time to prepare
If you find out that someone you love is going through a difficult time because they have been diagnosed with cancer you can feel the urge to do something as soon as possible. However, we suggest that you do not do things abruptly, but take some time to prepare for the conversation and figure out which approach would be best.
While you are under the influence of emotions you can say and do many things that might not be the most thoughtful if you want a person with cancer to feel supported and safe. So, we suggest that you first process your thoughts and emotions and prepare for what is coming.
2. Learn about cancer and what people with cancer are going through
We suggest that the first step is to get acquainted with malignant diseases and better understand how they occur, what happens in the body and what the outcomes may be. Keep in mind that we are exposed to thousands of pieces of information every day, but also that many of them are not accurate.
If you are not an expert in the field of medicine, you have probably had the opportunity to hear a lot about cancer, but have you taken the time to really learn what is true? In case the answer is ‘no’, we advise you to first educate yourself and understand well what type of cancer is in question, at what stage and what is what a person diagnosed with cancer can expect.
When you delve a little deeper into the topic and get informed, you will be a much better interlocutor for a person who is going through difficult times at the moment due to health challenges.
Also, this step will help you better understand what your friend or relative is telling you and you will not get into an awkward situation where you simply can’t understand what the person is talking about, so you can’t give them words of comfort.
3. Deal with your thoughts and emotions before talking to a person diagnosed with cancer
Hearing that someone you love is diagnosed with cancer can be very difficult and shocking. So we suggest that you take the time to deal with your thoughts and emotions first, so that you are mentally and emotionally stable when you talk to your friend.
If you skip this step, you may start to feel panic, fear, and other negative emotions and thoughts during the conversation. Although you have every right to have a hard time because of this shocking news, your focus should be on the person that has cancer.
Your main goal is to support them and make them feel a little better compared to how they felt before talking to you. And you can achieve this only if you are calm and if you have dealt with the chaotic thoughts and emotions that are natural to occur in such situations beforehand. It is crucial that you are well so that you can help others.
4. Look at things from several perspectives, not just your own
If you are a positive person by nature or you know several people who have been diagnosed with cancer, you may feel the need to tell your friend that it is nothing and that everything will be fine. And yes, things may look that way from your perspective, but that’s not the only perspective you should have in situations like this.
It is very important that you can see things through the eyes of a person who has learned that he has cancer and who is currently going through a whirlwind of different thoughts and emotions. Remember that the focus here is not on you, but on the individual you are trying to help.
In case you want them to truly feel better you need to find the right approach. Think about what they would like to hear from you and what they would like to talk about. Will something you tell them have a positive or negative effect on them? Keep in mind that people in such situations are very vulnerable and they need someone to be honest with them, but also to keep a grain of positive and have driving energy. Ask yourself how you would like that person to approach you if the situation was reversed and try to constantly look at things from multiple angles.
5. Refer them to those who can help them even more
Lastly, don’t forget that sometimes it’s best to help others by referring them to those who can help them even more. Of course, your support is important, but don’t forget that there are many organizations and institutions out there that support people who have been diagnosed with cancer and help them get through difficult times.
At www.cancercareparcel.com you can read more about Cancer Care Parcel – an independent company that supports the cancer community.
If someone you love right now is dealing with a hard time due to being diagnosed with cancer you are probably thinking about what is the best way to give them love and support. We suggest that you first educate yourself more in this area in order to understand better what your loved one is going through right now.
Make sure that you first stabilize and deal with your negative thoughts and emotions. Remember to look at things both from your own and their perspectives and refer them to organizations and institutions that can help them even more.