Caregivers

How friends and family can help when a loved one has cancer.

What to Expect:

  • Shock of diagnosis of a life-threatening disease
  • Confusion with choices of surgery and treatment
  • Concerns about self-image due to surgery and treatment
  • Worry about reactions of friends and family members
  • Fear and uncertainty about the future

Do:

  • Listen
  • Offer specific help with household chores, meals, transportation, child care, etc.
  • Take cues from the person
  • Let feelings be expressed
  • Expect mood changes
  • Be there 

Don’t:

  • Tell the person what to do
  • Avoid the person
  • Share horror stories
  • Be afraid of the person’s sadness; it’s normal.
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