Helpful Hints for Loved Ones

Touch or hug regularly. Cancer is not contagious, and this may be the most critical time for a hug or special touch. Of course you want to steer clear if you have any symptoms of infection.

Keep conversations balanced. Undoubtedly much of your conversations will consist of feelings, updates and treatment news. Make sure to talk to your loved one about your life as well. Talking about you will give him or her a chance to talk about something other than cancer and will keep some balance in the relationship.

Find ways to show love. Identify ways to show your friend or family member that you love and support them during their cancer journey. Food is a great place to start. Just remember to ask what is appetizing as food aversions may be an issue. Other ideas may include a personal hand-written note or card, a trip to the park or even just some face time. You could also offer to be babysitter for a few hours if your friend or family member has young children.

Don’t forget about caregivers. If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, offer to help by taking on some of the day-to-day tasks. You can donate a day or just an afternoon so the caregiver can take some much needed time away. If you are a caregiver, give yourself permission to take personal time. Your health and well-being, both physical and emotional, is critical to caring for your loved one.