Knowing that someone you know has cancer can be a difficult situation to face. If you’re emotionally attached to the individual, this might be a terrifying and difficult period for you as well. In the event that you are uncomfortable discussing cancer with others, you might not be the greatest person for your friend to talk to at this time. It’s possible that you’ll need some time to process your own emotions. You can even tell your pal that you are having difficulty talking about cancer since you are experiencing anxiety. You might be able to assist them in finding someone who is more comfortable discussing it with them by directing them to support groups or connecting them with a community or religious leader in your area.
For those who feel compelled to assist the cancer patient in their lives, here are some suggestions for listening to, talking with, and being around this individual. The ability to communicate effectively and adapt to changing circumstances are essential for success.
When a loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, it is typical to go through an emotional process similar to that of bereavement. If the sickness is terminal, it’s critical to talk about death and make arrangements for the end of one’s life early on. These conversations can be tough and traumatic for both you and your loved one, but there are ways to make it less painful for you and your loved one as well.
Talking With Someone Who Has Cancer
When speaking with a cancer patient, the most important thing to remember is to be attentive. Make an effort to hear and comprehend what they are going through. Don’t make fun of, judge, or try to change the way someone feels or behaves. Instead, be supportive and understanding. Inform them that you are available to speak with them whenever they feel like it. Alternatively, if they do not feel like conversing at that moment, it is also acceptable. You can offer to listen anytime they’re ready to hear what you have to say.
At times, the uncertainty and worry may cause the cancer patient to appear angry, despondent, or withdraw from others. This is normal and is a natural part of the grieving process for those who have lost their lives to cancer (things like health, energy, time). Most people are able to adjust to their new reality in their lives and go forward with their lives over time. Those affected by cancer may require additional assistance from a support group or a mental health expert to cope with the changes cancer has brought into their lives.
Someone who has cancer may feel guilty, believing that they have done something to bring about their illness. Some people are made to feel guilty by others, who may inquire as to whether they have done anything in the past that could have contributed to the disease. This is referred to as stigma, and it can sometimes lead to a cancer patient blaming themselves for their sickness, or feeling left out, alienated, unhappy, and as if they don’t have much support from their loved ones. It can even have an impact on how people approach their therapy, how they perceive their quality of life, and whether or not they seek follow-up care. If someone you know is feeling stigmatized because of their cancer diagnosis, be reassuring and demonstrate your concern. Encourage them to accept that they cannot change what has happened in the past, but that they can take charge of their lives and care while undergoing therapy and afterward.
Some cancer patients may express concerns about mortality, worry about their own or their family’s future, or express other anxieties related to their illness. You do not have to answer at all times, but you should be prepared to listen to their anguish or any unpleasant thoughts they may like to convey. Please be open and honest if you are asked for your opinion regarding a cancer patient’s illness, treatment, or other aspects of their cancer experience. However, do not attempt to address issues for which you do not know the answers.
If you’re struggling to come up with something to say to someone who has cancer, you’re not alone. It’s possible that you don’t know the individual well, or that you have a close relationship with them. Because the connections with co-workers are so diverse, it can be more difficult in the job. It’s possible that you don’t know the individual very well, or that you’ve worked together for many years and are close friends with them.
The most crucial thing you can do is bring up the topic in a way that expresses your interest and concern for what is happening. You can express your support and/or encouragement in a variety of ways. The most significant professions of care are sometimes the most straightforward. At other times, simply listening is the most beneficial action you can take.
Try to make your response honest and heartfelt. Here are some ideas:
- “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care”.
- “I’m sorry to hear that you are going through this”.
- “How are you doing?”
- “If you would like to talk about it, I’m here”.
- “Please let me know how I can help”.
- “I’ll keep you in my thoughts”.
While it is necessary to be encouraging, it is as crucial not to display false optimism or advise the cancer patient to keep a positive attitude. Doing these activities may appear to them to be a way of dismissing their very real fears, worries, or sad sentiments. It’s also tempting to claim that you understand how the other person is feeling. However, while you are aware that this is a difficult time, no one can truly understand what a cancer patient is going through.
Laughter may be a powerful tool for coping with difficult situations. It can also be used as an alternative method of providing support and encouragement. A excellent method to reduce tension and take a break from the more serious aspect of the problem is to engage in some light physical activity. However, you should never make light of a cancer patient’s situation unless you are confident that the individual will be able to take it and enjoy the comedy. Make sure the cancer patient is in charge of the conversation; it’s beneficial if they notice anything amusing about a side effect, such as hair loss or increased hunger, and you can certainly join them in a good laugh.
Inform them whether they appear to be in good condition. Avoid making negative comments about someone’s appearance when they aren’t looking their best, such as “You’re looking pale,” or “You’ve lost weight.” The likelihood is that they are intensely aware of it, and they may become humiliated if others bring it up.
It’s usually advisable not to talk about cancer with other people if you have family or friends who have had it. Everyone is unique, and these examples may not be of assistance to you. As an alternative, it’s perfectly OK to inform them that you are familiar with cancer because you have shared the experience with a friend. They will then be able to continue the chat from there.
Respect The Privacy Of Someone Who Has Cancer
As soon as someone discloses that they are suffering from cancer, it is imperative that you do not inform anyone else about it until they give you permission. Allow them to be the ones to spread the word. If someone else inquires about it, you can respond with something like, “It is not my responsibility to convey this information, but I am confident that (____) will appreciate your concern.” “I’ll inform them that you inquired about them.”
If you hear through the grapevine that someone has cancer, you might feel a little uncomfortable. You could inquire with the individual who provided you with the information about whether it is public information. If it isn’t, you should generally refrain from saying anything to the individual who has cancer. However, if it is public information, it should not be ignored. “I’ve heard about what’s going on, and I’m sorry,” you could add in a compassionate tone.
If someone close to you fails to inform you of a cancer diagnosis as soon as possible, you may become enraged or disappointed. No matter how close you are to the person, it may take some time for them to adjust to the diagnosis and be ready to share it with other people. It isn’t meant to be taken personally. Concentrate on how you may best assist that person now that you are aware of their situation.
How Does Someone Cope With Cancer?
Throughout their lifetimes, people adopt a variety of different coping mechanisms. Some people prefer to keep their feelings to themselves, while others are more outspoken and willing to share them. These coping strategies assist people in dealing with challenging personal situations, while some strategies are more effective than others.
Some people use humor to cope with the seriousness of their disease, and they find it to be therapeutic. Some people, on the other hand, may become reclusive and isolated from family and friends. A cancer diagnosis brings about a great deal of upheaval. People frequently attempt to preserve as much control as they possibly can in order to feel more secure. Some folks become extremely enraged or depressed. These individuals may be grieving the loss of their positive self-image or the loss of control over their lives.
Some people find it beneficial to just be hopeful and to do everything they can to keep that optimism alive. Various people have different ideas about what hope is. And when it comes to cancer, there are numerous things that people can wish for.
You might think that someone who is upbeat and optimistic must be trying to hide the fact that they are suffering from cancer. If the person with cancer appears cheery and unaffected by the fact that they have cancer, don’t assume that they are delusional. The ability to make the most of every day may simply be their way of dealing with life. As long as they are receiving medical attention, it is likely that they are not in denial, and their method of dealing with cancer should be acknowledged and appreciated.
When considering hospice programs, the Hospice Foundation of America recommends that you inquire whether they are licensed and certified by Medicare or Medicaid, or whether they are certified by other organizations. Find out what services are available, if insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid will cover these fees, and what out-of-pocket expenses are usual in each situation. For services that are not covered by insurance, a sliding-scale payment plan may be offered to accommodate your financial situation.
Consider hospice programs well in advance of needing them, as there may be a waiting list for some of the more popular facilities. Consider what will be expected of you, as well as whether the hospice’s philosophy of care—which may include the use of antibiotics, resuscitation, and hydration—is compatible with the philosophy of care held by your loved one and other members of the family. In addition, inquire about caregiver assistance programs and the availability of inpatient services.
You can reach Melodia Care at any time of day or night by contacting us through our 24/7 online customer support chat or by calling 1-888 635-6347 (MELODI-7).