Learning that someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer can wreak havoc on your emotions. You might experience overwhelm, anger, depression, or any combination of these feelings. While everyone processes this news differently, the best thing you can do for your loved one is to remain hopeful and supportive throughout their journey to recovery.

Here are some ways to show your support without overstepping boundaries.

Let them decide when it’s time to talk about it.

A common frustration among cancer patients is the feeling that their diagnosis has taken over their life or identity. While there will be days where your loved one may not feel well enough to presume everyday activities, the person with cancer is still a person; still themselves. It’s important that you maintain normalcy in your relationship rather than bringing their diagnosis into every conversation. Even small doses of regularity can serve as a reminder that not all hope is lost.

Just listen.

Unless you’re a world-renowned oncologist, chances are your loved one doesn’t expect you to have the answers. What they need from you, more than anything, is someone to confide in about what they’re going through. They don’t need you to fully understand what they’re going through; just to be there for the ride. Instead of chiming in with solutions or unsolicited advice, show your support by actively listening and reminding them how much you care.

Don’t minimize or compare.

While it’s tempting to comfort your loved one by whatever means necessary, it isn’t helpful to say things like, “At least you have the good kind of cancer.” or “Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine!” These kinds of statements are dismissive of what your friend is going through, and can cause feelings of alienation. After all, cancer of any type or level is very serious.

Educate yourself.

One of the best ways that you can be involved in your loved one’s recovery is by researching and understanding their disease. In addition to showing your dedication, this will better prepare you to care for them. By reading up on the potential symptoms, treatments, and side effects your friend may experience, you are immersing yourself in their world, making you better equipped to handle what’s to come.

Share encouraging stories.

While you don’t want to barrage your friend with story after story about cancer remission, don’t be afraid to share particularly uplifting articles or videos. Cancer comes with a great deal of uncertainty, and inspirational stories can provide a glimmer of hope when it’s needed. And remember – hope comes in all forms, so don’t limit yourself to sending things solely related to cancer. Positivity is a powerful tool in recovery!

Extend a helping hand.

With the stress (both physically and mentally) of cancer, it can be difficult to handle life’s speed bumps. For some, asking for help is challenging, and they may end up with more on their plate than they can handle. If there’s something you can do to help – whether it’s child care, running errands, or even preparing a meal – your support won’t go unnoticed and can offer your friend a sense of relief. If finances are a concern when it comes to treatment, another great way to show your support is by arranging a fundraiser or crowdfunding campaign to raise money.

 

There are so many ways to demonstrate your love and loyalty to a friend in need. By following these basic guidelines, you can show that you’re in your loved one’s corner without causing additional stress, embarrassment, or frustration.

24 thoughts on “​How To Support a Loved One with Cancer

  1. Good evening, do you have any treatment for Sarcoidosis disease? My husband passed 8 years ago at 49 of this disease and I have a friend who’s has battled with it for many years.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Myra,
      Thank you for sharing your husband’s story, we can understand your pain. Pared down to the bare basics, sarcoidosis is essentially an immune system disease. In addition to treating cancer (which we also consider to be partially an immune system disease), we treat many chronic diseases characterized by malfunctioning immune systems. Getting the body back to balance, adding key ingredients needed by the immune system to work efficiently again, adjusting nutrition are just some of the steps needed to get the body back in charge. May we recommend that you have your friend call to schedule a free consultation call with one of our counselors? They will be happy to guide him through his options. (Click here to schedule a call).

  2. My daughter has just undergone her 5th chemo conventional treatment with Taxatere, Herceptin, and Perjeta for her stage IV invasive ductile inflammatory breast carcinoma. Her tumor has shrunk to where it is undetectable to the touch. We would like to now switch to the homeopathic process, keep her immune system intact, and let her body heal the cancer. She is on the Gershon Diet, Curcumin, Vitamin D3, Cod Liver Oil, Immpower, AHCC probiotics from Japan, and the Budwig Protocol. We are sending away for the Greece test to be done. Would you utilize this test? Also, approximately, what amount of expense are you talking about for a stay at your clinic for two?

    1. Dear Tom,
      We will certainly use any information you provide us from prior tests, including the Greece Test. The information related to chemotherapies that arises from the Greece Test will not be very useful because we don’t use chemo in the first place. Without minimizing the importance of cancer-causing genes, we do believe that it is not the genetics, but the epigenetics (triggering of gene expression) that is strongly related to cancer. Epigenetics can be controlled in a variety of ways, including through immune modulation, nutrition, detoxification, as well as emotional/spiritual healing approaches. Finally, we would carefully review the natural substances that the test suggests might be valuable in your daughter’s treatment.

      I have forwarded your email address to our patient counselor team who will be reaching out to you very soon. However, to expedite the process, please feel free to click here to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to helping you and your family in your daughter’s recovery.

  3. My mother has cholangiocarcinoma. She will be going to the Mayo Clinic in Tucson to get a second opinion and see if she is a candidate for surgery. Although she has Medicare and tricare for life, this insurance will not cover the costs. We are looking at every other option and would really like some feed back please.

    1. Hi Teri,
      I am glad you reached out to us. Cost aside, it is very important for your mother’s well being and recovery that you clearly understand your options, including the benefits of integrative medicine. I will forward your information to one of our patient counselors, who will be happy to reach back to you. In the meantime, I would suggest you fill out the two stage form available on every page of our website (www.hope4cancer.com) which will help us speed up the process of scheduling your free consultation. Our prayers and best wishes are with you and your mother in this journey.

    2. My Dad was just diagnosed with the same cancer – he has a tumor on liver ( Bile Duct Cancer ) – not a option to remove due to location – he is 84 yrs young and normally robust . I too would like to know more about your treatment .
      Daughter
      Kathy Adams

      1. Our treatments are non-toxic and are gearded towards helping build up the patient’s immune system and preserving their healthy cells, rather than tearing down all cells in general. Many conventional treatments focus on the destruction of cancer cells which can weaken the patient’s immune system. A patient’s immune system needs to be strong to be able to fight off disease.
        Here is a list of our therapies: https://hope4cancer.com/seven-key-principles/non-toxic-cancer-therapies/. Also, here is a short film about our approach to treatment: https://hope4cancer.wistia.com/medias/6451ru6rta.w

  4. Hello. My husband has stage 4 bladder cancer. He had 4 cycles of chemo which did not help. There now planning on trying immunotherapy treatments. We go to the Mayo in Rochester Minnesota. Do you have any suggestions for us? His cancer is in the lymphnodes in the pelvis area. Please would love advise.

  5. Hola buen día mi hermanita tiene 27 años y la diaxnosticato con cáncer de mama triple negativo hay alguna cita para ella ya le aran la radical en este mes solo quiero saber costos muchas gracias

    1. Los costos pueden variar en función de lo que un médico recomendaría para el paciente. Mientras que yo mismo no soy parte de nuestro personal médico
      para hacer planes de tratamiento, tengo la capacidad de ponerlo en contacto con un miembro de neustro personal que puede. Todas las consultas son completamente gratuitas y están destinadas a te ayuda a tomar una decisión informada por ti mismo. https://hope4cancer.com/schedule-a-call/

  6. I would like to know how can we get financial assistance for my husbands alternative treatment plan? He has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic/liver cancer. We have a go-fund-me page started but we need more funds and quickly. To date we have almost raised half of the money needed for the treatment. I just wanted to know if there was financial aide available.

  7. I was just told a close friend of mine is diagnosed with pancreatic last week and it has spread.

    This came a week ago. She was in good health mostly. Then she had stomach swelling, pain, weight loss and could not move her bowels. She went to ER and they told her the diagnosis. After three days in the hospital, she was sent home to be in hospice care with no hope for survival. Can you help her? I feel so helpless.

    1. Hello Jennifer and thank you for reaching out. We are so sorry to hear about your friends recent diagnosis. We are not able to give medical advice directly through our website, but please contact our admissions office at 888-544-5993 or go to https://hope4cancer.com/schedule-a-call/ and fill out the form and one of our admissions officers can get you a consultation with our doctor.

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