Cancer is one of the world’s most powerful, deadly diseases. Of course, you hope a loved one is never diagnosed with any form of cancer; however, with over 12 million Americans living with some form of the disease, the chances that you or someone you know will develop cancer someday are fairly high. According to Cancer.net, over 20,000 individuals will be diagnosed with brain cancer each year. It’s never easy to deal with a loved one being sick, especially not with an illness as serious as brain cancer. Nonetheless, it is important that you show your support for them during this tough time, and here are four of the best ways to do so:
1. Help them. Chances are, your loved one will need a bit of help when dealing with brain cancer. How much will depend on the stage of their cancer and whether or not it has spread to other body parts. Because the brain controls so many of our actions, brain cancer patients may lose the ability to perform simple tasks, including feeding and caring for themselves. Always offer to help them, but don’t baby them. Remember that they are still capable of feeling emotions and can become easily embarrassed or upset at the realization that they can no longer care for themselves like they used to.
2. Avoid making a fuss. When you make a big deal about your loved one’s illness, you may be drawing too much negative attention to it. Cancer patients are aware of their illnesses in ways that you may not even be able to imagine and often feel frightened by them. Don’t make too much of a fuss or you may make it worse. Avoid talking about their illness in front of them unless they bring it up first. Instead, show support and converse with them as you would have before they were diagnosed.
3. Show your support. While you won’t want to make a fuss over their illness, it’s still important to stick by your loved one’s side and show support. Listen to them when they talk about their illness and any fears, concerns, or questions they may have. You may not know the answers to their questions or know what to say in response, but simply being a good listener can help them feel like they aren’t alone. You may also want to visibly show your support by wearing a cancer awareness pin or doing awareness fundraising to help give them confidence about their ability to fight off the disease. While there’s no cure for cancer currently, it can still be defeated. Help your loved ones feel empowered to fight the disease and raise money for research and awareness to find a cure.
4. Avoid getting emotional. It is easy to let our emotions get the best of us when people we know have cancer. However, it is very important to be strong around our loved ones and to not give in to negative emotions. Concentrate on ways to make your loved one feel happy, confident, and hopeful that they will prevail against cancer. Never let them see you cry and never let them know that you are afraid.
Cancer is never an easy thing to experience, whether you’re the patient or your loved one is. However, if you follow these four tips, you’ll be able to help your loved one and make them feel less alone during their illness. Similarly, your loved one will feel your compassion and may be better able to manage their own emotions.