What To Know About a Loved One with Cancer

Cancer. The word alone is enough to bring tears to your eyes, whether you’ve seen a loved one lose their battle or someone overcome the odds, the tears can be both sorrowful and overjoyed. Odd how something so destructive can have such a spectrum of emotions. Can you imagine that spectrum when you’re the one who’s actually fighting?

For someone with cancer it’s a time of wishing people knew what you were going through so they could relate and assist with coping, but it’s also a diagnosis you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

Simply stated, cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country, which means if you haven’t experienced the pain of cancer in some form, you are almost guaranteed to meet it eventually (we hate to be pessimistic, but unfortunately it is statistically true). We’re not saying you are destined for a cancer diagnosis, but given all of the factors such as family history, poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and obesity, environmental factors, as well as for no pre-existing reason at all, there will come a point where you will personally know someone who is affected.

When that time comes it’s difficult to know what to say or how to be there for the one you love for a multitude of reasons. Having experienced the loss of a loved one from cancer as well as experiencing a friend’s victorious fight, this article was one I wish was available years ago.

Written from a cancer warrior’s perspective, Kim Helminski gives guidance on what your friends with cancer want you to know (but are afraid to say)… (These are the main bullet points of Kim’s article, to read the entire article with full explanation and detail, please visit: http://roadkillgoldfish.com/friends-cancer-want-know/).

 1. Don’t wait on me to call you if I need anything. 

2. Let me experience real emotions.

3. Ask me “what’s up” rather than “how do you feel.”

4. Forgive me.

5. Just listen.

6. Take pictures of us.

7. I need a little time alone. 

8. My family needs friends. 

9. I want you to reduce your cancer risk.

10. Take nothing for granted.

 Full article can be found at: Roadkill Goldfish, “What your friends with cancer want you to know (but are afraid to say)”

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Elle Michels

Elle Michels

Based in Washington, D.C., Elle Michels is a contributing writer to Womenshealth.com.