There are many ways that you can help people with cancer or the people who are caring for them. Having help with some practical or everyday parts of life can allow the person with cancer and their caregivers to concentrate on other things, such as treatment or getting rest.
One way you can help is offering to become a source of information. Be sensitive to the fact that everyone's need for information is different. Some people with cancer may want as much information as can be found, while others may not want to know details about their illness. You could find out more about the type of cancer the person has, or help by finding out about programs and services available in their community. Services may include many things such as wheelchair rentals, nursing care at home, wigs, prostheses or support programs that connect someone living with cancer with a trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience.
You can also:
Keep offering support
You may find that while offering help and support is easy at first, it gets harder as time goes by. Try to remember that your support is important. It may help the person find the courage they need to lead as full a life as the illness will allow.
Sometimes cancer and cancer treatment will mean that a person's daily life will have to change. The adjustment may mean that they have to do special exercises, get help around the house or be trained for a new job. Be aware that all of this can take time, and that it affects not just the person with cancer but the whole family as well. Along the way, you can offer help and support.
Prepared by the Canadian Cancer Society. This information appeared originally on the Canadian Health Network Web site.