Being there for a Friend With Cancer

Being there for a Friend With Cancer


By Kenny F. Jean

If your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you may wonder, how best can you support him or her. You may feel overwhelmed and unprepared; that’s normal. But you should also know that caring for a seriously ill Friend/Spouse/Partner often strengthens the bond and relationship.

Here are some of my tips to help your loved one through diagnosis and treatment:

  1.  Ask your Friend/Spouse/Partner what he/she needs. Encourage them to share his/her feelings. Don’t hide your emotional journey. Be honest about your needs and feelings, too.
  2.  Spend some time to get through the initial shock and to make decisions. You might also use this time to map out a plan for household duties and finances, and even childcare.
  3.  Let your Friend/Spouse/Partner cry, ramble or howl at the moon if he/she needs that. Don’t take the show of emotions personally. Ask: Do you need anything right now?
  4. Everything can’t be focused on cancer. You’ll both need a break sometimes.
  5.  Cancer treatment can be overwhelming. You can be a big help if you schedule appointments, pick up prescriptions, call for test results and accompany your Friend/Spouse/Partner to doctor visits.

Join a support group or talk to a neighbor who has gone through this same thing. If you have young children, find resources to help you communicate with them.

Maintain your health and sanity by going to yoga, catching a movie with a friend or participating in your weekly bowling league. Have a massage or get a pedicure. Even possibly…. just take a walk. It will surely ease some pain. Know that it’s OK for you to enjoy life.


 I am talking from experience. Nothing I would ever wish upon anyone, but going through what I went through… made me a much stronger person, and made me appreciate L.Y.F.E. even more. 

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