Another guest blogger. EnjoyA cancer diagnosis can be a very isolating experience. In hopes of sparing themselves the grief of a drawn-out “goodbye”, friends and family have theunfortunate tendency to distance themselves from their afflicted loved one. Others distance themselves because they simply don’t know what to do to help. Here are four ways for family and friends to support their loved one, and to lend a helping hand when it’s needed the most:
1. Volunteer to perform a simple, helpful, task and follow through.
Something as simple as providing one home cooked meal a week can make a huge difference in the lives of a cancer-stricken patient and their immediate family. Make sure to ask what would make their day-to-day life easier. Some families, for instance, might benefit more from having childcare two hours a week than from having a meal delivered. Use your imagination and feedback from the family to determine how to best contribute.
2. Coordinate efforts to obtain community financial assistance.
Cancer has a way of draining family finances, whether through an interrupted work schedule or due to insufficient medical coverage. There are numerous local and national organizations that provide money and services to individuals who have cancer. Some will even help cover the cost of car payments, rent, and other
3. Suggest support groups for cancer patients and their families.
Your loved one isn’t the only one fighting cancer. Some people take comfort inknowing that others have fought cancer and won. Others simply don’t want tofeel like they’re the only ones targeted by the disease. Family members will find these resources useful, as the role of caretaker can often be thankless and tiring.
4. No matter how dire the situation might become, don’t disappear.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t end your relationship with your friend or family member. No matter how powerless you might feel to change the situation, it will only be made that much worse if you contribute to the isolation that commonly results from a cancer diagnosis. Having a friend who doesn’t always know what to say or what to do to help is better than having no friend at all.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at
In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and
avoiding her laptop.
avoiding her laptop.