When a friend or family member is diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that runs through many of our minds is treatment – what’s the next move in getting your loved one healthy? What are the best facilities? What are the most effective forms of treatment?
Would you believe that some of the most impactful forms of treatment are already available as you’re reading this right now?
A strong support system is integral in any fight against cancer. Many friends and family feel powerless when a loved one is diagnosed, but the truth is there’s so much that you can do to make an impact. As allies in the fight against cancer, we at CamWell have come up with a list comprised of some of the best practices for supporting your special person.
What Can I Do To Support a Friend or Loved One Fighting Cancer?
The simple answer? Plenty.
So many of us feel a sense of hopelessness and doubt when we hear of a cancer diagnosis, but we ourselves hold the power to make a substantial impact on this terrible condition. YOU have the power to make all the difference in the world to your friend or family member.
Where can you start? Our role at CamWell in supporting cancer patients is the natural line of skincare products we developed to help calm the effects of hand-foot syndrome from chemo treatment, and also cream for radiation burns. So those are great ways to ease their discomfort. However, we put together an extensive list for you below that will offer everyone an idea regardless of time, place, or budget. Here they are…
The Personal Touch – Notes & Cards
There’s nothing better than a handwritten note or card letting someone know how much they mean to you. We often underestimate the profound impact such a small gesture can have on someone, but letting your loved one know how important they truly are can bolster their spirits and help aid in their overall quality of life.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about personalizing something for your family member or friend – often, your first thought is the best way to go about it. Every person is different, but these are some helpful tips and suggestions when it comes to creating a heartfelt artifact for someone:
Ask Questions – Your loved one may be feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness and maybe even abandonment. Asking questions, however small they might be, helps let your person know they are important and thought of.
Follow Up – Ending your card or note with things like “I’ll be in touch” or “We’ll talk soon” lets your loved one know they’re continuously on your mind.
Keep it Light – Remember, aside from letting someone know how much they mean to you, laughter is the best medicine! Include some funny, witty comments or stories in your card or note – photos, drawings, and cartoons are even better!
Conversation is the Key
Don’t underestimate how important a wonderful conversation with your friend or family member may be. Many make the mistake of worrying too much about what to say, when the truth is the most important thing is that you’re there and you’re willing to listen to them.
Let your loved one know that the conversation can be steered wherever they’d like to take it – let them know you’re always open to talk, but if they don’t feel like chatting that’s ok too!
While there’s no conversational blueprint, per se, here are some helpful things to keep in mind while you are conversing:
Gear the Conversation Towards Your Loved One – Focus on things that may emote some positive feelings from your person – sports, religion, travel, whatever they find joy in is a great place to start.
Let Them Play an Active Role – The last thing anyone wants is a one-sided conversation. It’s important to actively engage your friend or family member in your conversation – ask their advice, opinions, and questions.
Give Honest Compliments – It’s important to remember that your loved one may be dealing with some self-esteem issues, either as a result of their treatment or their diagnosis. Small compliments go a long way, and something simple can have a profound impact on their state of mind.
Lend a Helping Hand
No matter what type of cancer your loved one may be dealing with, it’s a safe bet that they may have lower energy levels than they’re used to. As a result, projects and errands may be left undone, leading to feelings of hopelessness and abandonment.
What can you do? Wanting to help and offering to be there for your friend or family member is crucial in your support, and there are multiple ways you can do this:
Take Care of Urgent Errands – Whether it’s grocery shopping, mailing a letter, or a household chore, taking care of anything your loved one deems urgent will go a long way in showing your support.
Look for Ways to Help – Your loved one may feel odd about reaching out for help, so take the initiative and see what you may be able to do to help them out. Communicate with the patient so that you help enough but don’t overstep their boundaries.
Make a To-Do List – Not only will this help you get your tasks in order, it will also help the patient feel a better sense of control over their lives. Work together with your loved one to come up with a list of important tasks, then come up with a strategy for accomplishing them.
What’s On the Menu?
We believe that food is the best medicine! You can play a significant role in not only what your friend or family member eats, but how you can make a small gesture such as cooking a meal go a long way.
There’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal, and few things hit the spot better than warm, hearty soup. While your loved one may not have the energy to cook for themselves, friends and family can make large batches of soup – meals that are easily warmed and consumed are a plus.
Who doesn’t look forward to dates? One of the most effective things you can do to support your loved one is scheduled daily or weekly meals together. This not only gives the patient something to look forward to, but lets them know you care enough to carve out dedicated time with them on a consistent basis.
Gifts! What Are The Best Cancer Patient Gifts?
While much of what we’ve talked about here has focused on emotional support, physical support (more specifically, gifts!) can be just as important.
A gift, no matter how small it may be, has a major impact on your loved one. Coming up with a thoughtful gift idea lets your friend or family member know how much they mean to you, and will help give them a sense of belonging.
Of course, there are so many different options when it comes to gift-giving, we couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, these are some of the better gifts we’ve come across:
- Comfy or silly socks
- Pictures of friends and family
- Pajamas or a robe
- Funny or inspiring movies
- A journal or notebook
Some of the best gifts for cancer patients come in the form of care packages. Care Packages provide different beneficial, thoughtful gifts in one convenient package. We have put some together because we realize this can be challenging.
We at CamWell offer wonderful cancer care packages, specifically curated depending upon the type of treatment. Our chemo patient gifts and cancer patient gifts for those undergoing radiation therapy. Inside of each care package, patients will find:
- Five (5) CamWell maximum strength herbal creams. Oncologist-formulated, non-toxic, and specifically created for patients undergoing either chemotherapy treatments or radiotherapy
- One ultra-soft healing blanket, printed with beautiful waterfall scenery and inspirational notes. Good for cuddling up to, but can also double as a scarf, pillow, or home decor
- One calming herbal tea bag, ideal for helping patients relax. This healing herbal tea is GMO-free with no fillers – only the best herbs are included. Creates the perfect cup of hot or iced tea within two minutes
YOU have more power than you think when it comes to supporting your friends and family in their battle against cancer, and the CamWell team is proud to be your ally in the fight!