In ‘Coping with Cancer‘ Holly Bertone has written a very insightful article describing the how people may react when told they have a friend with cancer and suggests appropriate responses. Shes says that her friends need to know that “While going through cancer treatment”:
- I may be needy;
- I may push you away.
- I might be depressed and angry about the diagnosis,
- I’m probably obsessed with finding out everything I can about my disease.”
Although these all normal reactions and emotions, what needs from is for them to listen!
How not to treat a cancer patient
- Don’t offer advice unless asked specifically. Everyone’s diagnosis and treatment is different and the decisions made are personal
- Don’t tell say they will be fine. Those words belittle the severity of the treatment.
- Don’t tell them you know what they are going through unless you’ve been through it too.
What to do with your friend with cancer
- Tell them you love them. Tell them you’re there if they need you. Tell them you’ll help take care of their family.
- Know that you can’t take the cancer away. You can’t take away the pain, the anger, the fear.