Supporting a friend or family member with this disease is not always easy, but there are some guidelines that can help manage it.
Cancer is increasingly present in our lives. Facing the diagnosis and dealing with the disease is complicated for the patient, but also for their loved ones. We cannot prevent the pain that comes with bad news related to health, but there are some guidelines that can help us cope and help our loved ones.
Keys to helping a loved one with cancer
First of all, we must bear in mind that when it comes to assimilating bad news each person reacts in a different way. In some cases, the strategy is avoidance. While others tend to positivity so as not to worry their surroundings. However, in general, there are some keys that we can apply to help a loved one with cancer and that are summarized in the following:
- Availability. Venting with someone you trust is a fundamental point when it comes to assimilating bad news. Therefore, the first step in helping that loved one will be to be available. He/she probably feels sad, affected or down after the diagnosis or treatment of the disease, so having a space in which to vent and feel supported is very important.
- Love. In addition to being available, showing closeness and affection is also important to help a person cope with what is happening. Sharing activities that interest this person or simply keeping that person company can make all the difference.
- Respect. Our worry can sometimes lead us to ignore the other person’s needs. Therefore, it is essential to respect the person own space in order to give what this person might need at all times. Questions like “how can I help you?” or “do you need anything?” can help us better understand that person’s mood in each part of the process.
Taking care of yourself to care
We must not forget self-care when facing the cancer of a close person. Taking care of ourselves to take care of others is something essential, which will help us support our loved one in the best possible way. Therefore, we must not forget to take our time and ask for help when we are overwhelmed by a situation as complicated as cancer.
In this video of the Spanish Association Against Cancer you will find more tips:
There are also other previous videos in the association’s psychology videoblog that may be of interest in these cases: