If you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to be there for her during the journey through treatment, recovery, and beyond. Your friend or loved one needs friends, supporters, a shoulder to lean on, and people around them that will keep their spirits high, keep fun in their lives, and take their minds off of their battle.
It’s important to help your friend have some fun, let loose, and keep her positive and happy during this difficult time. Here are some fantastic ways to support a friend with cancer during her journey:
1. Be a great listener.
This is a learning experience, not only for your friend, but for you, too. Most people want to give unsolicited advice to friends when they’re going through rough times, but the best thing you can do for a friend with cancer is to listen.
If she wants to talk about her diagnosis, her fears, her dreams, and her worries, then let her. It’s important to be a confidante and a trusted friend who will listen, no matter what subject may come to light. Let her talk out her decisions. Let her cry to you, laugh with you, and get frustrated with her cancer. Don’t give advice, rather sit there and let your friend talk out whatever is bothering her.
Consider taking notes for her and ask if she needs someone to come with her to appointments and treatments. You can help her document important information so she can focus on other things.
2. Create a Facebook page for her fight.
Social media is so powerful. Create a Facebook page that’s dedicated to your friend’s fight and her journey. Celebrate her milestones, gather support, and ask your friends to share their well wishes on the page. Take photos of your friend at different stages in her journey, having fun with her family and friends, trying new things, and doing whatever makes her happiest.
If you don’t want to create a Facebook page, there are dozens of websites that are created for cancer support, survivor networks, patient websites, and more. You can even start a blog, too! Be a cheerleader for your friend during this difficult time.
3. Send her daily inspiration and surprise her with gifts.
Sometimes the smallest gestures make the biggest impacts in someone’s life. While your friend goes through this journey, send her small gifts every week. Don’t just send her gifts on special milestones or goals; every day is a special day for someone who’s battling a disease like cancer. These gifts will take her mind off of the cancer and will boost her spirits.
Send her a vase of her favorite flowers. Write cards, send emails, and drop notes in her mailbox. Text her inspirational quotes when she wakes up and before she goes to bed. Create special gift boxes, such as spa gifts to pamper herself, a stack of classic novels, fun magazines to take to treatments with her, a handmade blanket, or a basket of wine and chocolate. Sending her favorite things will make her feel loved and cared for.
4. Throw a head shaving party!
If your friend is going through rigorous treatments and needs to shave her head, don’t let her do it alone. Do it together! Consider shaving your head in honor of her and invite your friends to do the same. Host a head shaving party so everyone can be together and celebrate the occasion.
Bake a cake, invite your friends, and ask them to donate to a fund in her name to support her treatment and medical costs. Host a potluck and ask everyone to bring one of your friend’s favorite dishes. Buy beautiful scarves and wigs you can all try on and take home as party favors. Snap some photos of the group and post to your Facebook page for support!
5. Take a cooking class together.
Grab a group of friends and attend cooking classes together with your friend who’s battling cancer. Don’t feel like going out to learn the art of cooking? Create your own home cooking party with your favorite ingredients.
You can help keep your friend’s strength up with healthy, hearty meals that are full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Include as many organic, seasonal ingredients as possible. Help your friend plan ahead and create meals for the next few days or the week. Food prep will help keep her life less stressful, and when she’s hungry, all she has to do is heat up her meal and go!
6. Exercise with her.
Exercise is very important for those battling cancer. It’s important to keep your body—and your mind—strong and stress-free. Go for long walks together. Jog or run together around the neighborhood or in the park. Take yoga and practice meditation. Try a unique or one-of-a-kind fitness class, like paddle boarding or something that’s relaxing, fun, and a great workout! Whatever you choose, try to get your body moving, have some fun with your friend, and keep her mind in the present moment.
7. If she has kids or pets, help her out.
For someone battling cancer, it can be difficult to keep up with everyday tasks and help keep everyone’s minds off of cancer and her battle. If your friend has kids or pets, ask if you can help her with making life a bit more normal for her.
Take her kids out for meals or fun activities. Give her a “girls night out” and arrange for childcare for her. Take her pets for walks and to get groomed. Go with her kids to their appointments, pick them up from school, and get them out of the house when she just needs some time alone or needs to rest. Be her go-to person when she needs to make life more normal.
Have you helped out a friend with cancer? Share your favorite ideas to help someone who’s battling this disease below!