A few tips when your friend/patient/client has cancer

Asheville-1

 

A brief follow up to yesterday’s post. It can be awkward/stressful/difficult if you know someone with cancer. Based on my experience here are a few tips for the world in general:

If you are the flower delivery guy: don’t say “congratulations” with every delivery. Not everyone just had a baby. It did give a us good laugh though at a time we needed it.

If you are the lab tech: don’t say “I thought I was having a bad day, until I looked at your paperwork.” Followed by detailed story of how her grandmother was ravaged by breast cancer. Uhh.

If you are a nurse: care for the family as much as the patient. They are aching too. Be cautious joking, and instill a sense of confidence in your patient. Even though procedures and surgery are routine to you, they are terrifying to the patient and family.

Never tell a cancer patient (or anyone for that matter) they look tired. They ARE tired, emotionally and physically.  They know they look like crap, so find anything positive and focus on that.

If you are a friend: send snail mail, leave a gift bag on the front porch, send a text saying you are thinking of them, send a scarf or hat or earrings. Food gifts can be tricky so find out what is appealing.

It is the little things that make the biggest difference. When i let my mind go back there I am easily brought to tears by the kindness of friends, co-workers, family and strangers.

 

 

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