What People With Cancer Wish You Knew | Part 2
If you haven’t read the part 1 of these article, you can do it here.
You don’t have to gush
It’s fine to give your loved one a compliment. But you don’t need to make a fuss over how good someone looks. They may wonder if you expected them to look awful. Remember that you can’t see cancer and or any pain someone may be feeling. And they probably don’t want to hear that they look tired or that they should be resting.
Touch is powerful
Offer a hug. Cancer can often involve a lot of physical pain, from chemotherapy, ports, surgeries, and a wide range of side effects. Someone who’s going through it might want to have some form of physical touch that doesn’t hurt. They might appreciate a hand massage, a hug, or a back rub. Ask them first.
Try not to give medical advice
It’s great to ask how treatment is going and show your support. But don’t suggest alternative treatments to replace their medicines and remember that someone else’s plan might not be right in this case. Encourage your loved one to share their concerns and questions with their doctors.
Pep talks are tricky
You might want to say, “You will beat this!” And that might be true. But some people don’t like battle language, especially if their cancer is in a later stage. Their idea of “winning” might be different from yours. Also, your friend or loved one might want a cheerleader but not unrealistic talk. Listen for how they feel about their condition so you can show them your support, encouragement, and care.
What not to bring up
Don’t ask about their odds. If they want to bring it up, they will.
Don’t call their cancer “the good kind.” They’re all hard to deal with, even if the outlook is good.
Don’t ask if they ever smoked, what they ate, or other lifestyle habits that could provoke shame or guilt.
Remember their family too
When one person has cancer, the family feels it, too. Ask close relatives how they’re doing. They may be having a tough time and a lot to do. Be there for them, too. It will mean a lot to your loved one who has cancer.
They may have mixed feelings
Your loved one wraps up their cancer treatment. They might feel relief and gratitude to be done with it. Or they might feel concerned about the chance that their cancer could come back. Or they might have waves of all of those emotions. Plus, they might not have the energy or feel like their old self. After cancer, people need time to adjust.