Tips for Support
Updated: May 7, 2020
1. Send well wishes, cards, messages and texts, but don't overwhelm her. Let her know that she doesn't need to respond if she's not up to it.
2. Make or deliver meals, and drop them off in containers you don't need returned. Or have food delivered from her favorite restaurant.
3. Focus on the person instead of the illness when you ask her how she is. Ask her what she's been up to or what she's reading. Stroll down memory lane or talk about future day trips you can make together. Don't always talk about cancer. Remember it takes energy to talk about it and she needs her energy.
4. If you're a very close friend, offer to be the sieve for messages, phone calls and gifts. Having someone who is able to field concerns, and well wishes can be a welcome relief for your friend so she doesn't get overwhelmed or tire herself out trying to respond to everyone.
5. Don't offer medical advice or question her choices.
6. Make frequent, shorter visits rather than lenghthy stays that may exhaust her. Call ahead first to make sure she's up for it.
7. Accept her coping mechanisms. We all have different ways of handling stress and sickness. Understand that if she grows distant, she's just trying to grapple with this huge change. Be there for her when she decides she's ready for company. If she's angry or lashes out, understand that anger and frustration are part of the process. Love her anyway.