For Friends and Relatives

Hints for Friends and Relatives

Food is love.
When taking food to your friend (and to the family too), ask what they would like and can eat. Use a dish that does not need to be returned. Try to help out more than once as treatment lasts months.

Make trips fun.
Combine a required trip to the physician or therapist with a fun activity. Make arrangements to go out to lunch, stroll a mall, or do whatever he or she would like to do.

Keep your friendship a two-way street.
Although you will no doubt spend time listening to your friend, talking about your own life (both good and bad) will allow your friend to feel needed and to contribute something in return.

Touch or hug your friend at every appropriate opportunity.
People who are sick rarely get enough hugs. Cancer is not contagious. Greeting cards, postcards and humorous emails are another way to express your love. Avoid “Get Well Soon” messages unless that is the case for sure.

Use the same language as your friend uses.
If he says cancer, you can say cancer. If he says tumor or malignancy, use those words.

Everybody’s battery needs recharging.
If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, take over her duties for an afternoon to give her a chance to do whatever she wants to do. If you are that caregiver, give yourself adequate time off. Leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time.