For many cancer patients and their families, the experience of cancer is intensely stressful. Therefore, emotional support is important for most cancer patients during their illness and/or chemotherapy treatment.
Research has shown that people with cancer need support from friends. Other studies have found that cancer survivors with strong emotional support tend to better adjust to the changes cancer brings to their lives, have a more positive outlook, and often report a better quality of life.
Giving emotional support is one thing, but to ask for it is another and is often not easy in either situation. People are often afraid of saying the wrong thing to someone with cancer. If you are open, honest and show your concern then you can be a great support.
It is normal to be in disbelief. Sometimes, it is not what you say, it is what you do. Listening is one of the best ways to show you care. If your loved one wants to talk about how they feel as though none of this is fair and how they do not deserve this, let it be. Family and friends can help manage and acknowledge their fears and concerns while offering a shoulder to lean on. Do not worry about trying to solve the problem, just be available to them.
It is common for cancer patients to feel like less-able than those who are healthy. There is no correct way to show you care. Just being there for your loved one is more than what most could ask for.
At New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, we care for each patient like family from the moment they first arrive. We will be there for you every step of the way.