… offer your presence often, be a good listener when they are ready to talk.
… talk about things other than their cancer.
… say, “I love you” and be yourself.
… ask what you can do to help – be sincere and specific so that they know you mean it. If they can’t come up with anything, ask again in another week.
… use disposable dishware when delivering food to reduce the stress of returning items.
… arrange a phone chain to update friends on their condition, treatment, etc. (Be sure to get approval first!)
… offer to help by driving them to appointments, taking their kids to childcare, and doing housecleaning, gardening, cooking, shopping, yard work, or babysitting.
… respect how they chose to deal with their cancer.
… tell them about the support, education, and hope they can find in their local community (or the Wellness Community – South Bay Cities, CA).
… tell that that everything’s going to be all right because you don’t know.
… tell them you know how they feel because you probably don’t.
… be afraid to admit that you don’t know what to say when you really are at a loss for words.
… be afraid to touch the, but don’t force it either.
… hesitate to call them or leave them a message to let them know you’re thinking of them.
… avoid the subject of cancer if that’s what they want to talk about.
… be afraid to talk about your life. Just because they’re sick it doesn’t it doesn’t mean that they are not interested in hearing about you.
… discount the real feelings they may be having by telling them not to feel that way, not to worry, not to be scared, or not to cry.
… share advice unless asked.
… be afraid to talk about difficult subjects. Ask them how they’re feeling.