How Can You Help?
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
~ Walter Winchell
"Let me know if there is anything I can do..."
We've all heard these well-meaning words and we've all said them many times ourselves. People are
simply at a loss as to what would be appropriate and more importantly, what is needed when a
loved one faces this battle. Here are some practical suggestions of what you, as a friend or family
member can do:
- Phone - don't be worried about disturbing our rest - we'd rather talk to you. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions and try not to judge the answers. Listen.
- Send a funny email - we may not be "up" everyday but you can probably get a chuckle out of us.
- If you can, offer to drive the patient to chemo or their checkup. It's one less day someone else has to take off work.
- Schedule a manicure/pedicure/massage. If your friend is on chemo, make sure it is at a time in their cycle that they are not at high risk for infection.
- Take the dogs for a long walk.
- Bring over a new movie.
- Do something special for the caregiver - remember that they need support too.
Here is a list of some very well-meaning, but not-so-helpful comments - the journey isn't without humour!
After studying my chart an ultrasound nurse said:
- "Aren't you supposed to be dead?"
And then there is:
- "You've got the worst case of bed-head I've ever seen."
- "Have you read the book...?" ("Chasing Daylight" - a very sad book about dying!)
- "Do you think you're going to make it?"
- "Losing your hair isn't really a problem."
- "Cancer is a blessing."
- "You look so well." (You would too - it's called chemo-glow.)
- "You've put on weight."
- "Have you tried...(insert any number of homeopathic/herbal/vitamin suggestions)?"
- "I'm sure you'll beat it this time." (3rd recurrence!)
- "Imagine having to get cancer to be a size 2."
- "You've got such nice veins."
- "Never mind, we've all got cancer in us."
Believe it or not, most of
these things were said to me...
Might I Suggest:
We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments.
The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a
substitute for medical advice.