This Is What a Woman Battling Cancer Really Needs You to Do
When a woman is battling cancer, she needs her friends and loved ones around her more than ever, even if she’s putting on a brave face. It’s not always easy to anticipate another person’s needs, especially when they’re sick. However, if you want to support someone who’s facing a diagnosis, you do need to take the initiative.
Cancer patients are often too overwhelmed or exhausted to ask for help, but you shouldn't make the mistake of thinking she doesn’t need it; one simple gesture could make her day. Therefore, if a friend or family member has been diagnosed with cancer or is undergoing treatment, here are just some of the things you can (and should) do to make her life a little easier.
Send Messages of Love
She might be hiding it well, but underneath she is vulnerable and scared – just like we all are when we’re sick. Offer your emotional support by sending a thoughtful text message, email, or better yet, leave her a personal voice message letting her know you love her. Make sure you add that there’s no need for a response, as cancer patients don’t always have the energy to hold a conversation or even say thank you. Remember: this is one time in your life where you should give unconditionally, without expecting anything back, so don’t be offended if she’s too tired to see you or return your calls.
Buy Thoughtful (and Practical) Gifts
Sending flowers is a thoughtful gesture, but a floral bouquet is not always the most practical gift for someone with cancer. For starters, some fresh flowers can pose an infection risk for patients with weakened immune systems, so buying them for someone in hospital is always risky. Maintaining a fresh bouquet also requires some effort (something a friend battling cancer might not have the energy for), so this is one gift that’s best avoided. If you want to send flowers, silk bouquets are a thoughtful alternative, as they last for years, and there’s no need to worry about infection.
Other thoughtful gifts include jewelry, books, cotton pajamas and fashionable headwear. Your friend might also appreciate a gift in the form of a donation to a cancer charity. The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) store sells some truly unique mother's day gifts that give back, which can easily be tailored to a female friend or loved one in need.
Help With Errands
Life still goes on after a cancer diagnosis, and your friend is probably overwhelmed by emails, mail and household chores that need taking care of. Sometimes the best gift you can offer is your practical support, so offer your assistance wherever it is most needed. For example, could you look after her kids or walk her dog? Alternatively, would your time be better spent sifting through her emails or doing laundry? Don’t wait to be asked, just tell her you want to help and that there’s no need to socialize – you’re just here to take a load off her shoulders
It’s easy to feel helpless when someone we love is battling cancer, but there are plenty of things you can do to help make their lives easier and let them know you love them. Just be sure to take time to process your own feelings about your friend’s diagnosis, and always ask permission before visiting or offering help.