Helping a Lady with cancer

So, what can you do for a friend or loved one going through cancer? Cancer doesn’t always allow the patient to plan, so as a supporter, you’ll have to be a little flexible. Here are a few ways to help the lady in your life:

  • Don’t ask; just do. If you see something that needs to be done – putting dishes away, sweeping the floor, folding laundry – just take the initiative to take care of it.
  • Feed her body and soul. When someone is sick, often the first thing people turn to is food. With a cancer patient, you must consider that her sense of taste may have changed significantly. Ask her what sounds good, or, instead of a meal, consider providing snacks or treats. Or you may consider supplying a meal for her household.
  • Offer to take your loved one to doctor, lab, or therapy appointments.
  • Run errands. From doing grocery shopping to getting the children to soccer games to running to the post office, there are likely many opportunities for your help.
  • Clean up. Remember, as someone goes through treatment, she may be quite sick and her immune system compromised. So, cleaning a room, really disinfecting a bathroom, for instance, is an outstanding offer of support.
  • Just be there. Sometimes the most wonderful thing you can do for a loved one going through cancer is just to be there with her. Listen and look for clues to guide your conversation. She may want to talk about what is going on with her, or it may be the last thing she wants to talk about at the time.
  • When visiting with a friend or loved one, be very careful with the time. Know that the lady who can typically talk for hours may be exhausted after 30 minutes, and she may not want to tell you.