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  • Writer's picture Marcia McGee Ashford

Cancer Patient Support Tips from a Survivor: Family and Friends Help Needed!

Updated: Apr 2

When you receive a difficult diagnosis it is easy to find yourself regressing, falling

backwards into a childlike state. That is okay!

dealing with cancer diagnosis

As a matter of fact, it is perfectly normal. You have a boo-boo and no matter how old we get we turn to our family to fix and mend what we can't.

We know this is beyond their scope too but still look to them for comfort and support. We all know it is important, if possible, to be surrounded by those you love and love you in return.

Family members and close friends, please don't get upset when we put on the "happy" face for you. We are only trying to protect you by hiding how we really feel. Inside our heart is aching because you have to see us with the Big C.

family support

As a patient there is a lot of accepting you have to do. First, you have to accept your diagnosis. That's the tough one. But there can be a bright side. One you can accept with gratitude and love.

Cancer tends to bring out the best in our family and friends. They want to help so enjoy the showers of kindness headed your way.

Prepare for a great big love attack!

Families care about you and of course, they worry. No matter how much you tell them NOT to worry they will worry anyway!

Sigh, just understand, worrying is somehow a major part of love.

Emotions are fluctuating all over the place.

What can you do to help?

Here are some suggestions for family and friends:

  1. Remind her that this is temporary!

  2. Pray with her and for her.

  3. Let her whine but no permanent pity parties allowed.

  4. Don't quit loving because YOU can't stand to watch her suffer.

  5. Hugs may hurt-hug with caution!

  6. Keep a close eye on her as the treatments start adding up. There may come a time she literally cannot take care of herself.

  7. Remember someone may look good on the outside but cannot manage eating, drinking, or personal medications.


As we discussed in the last blog if you have a notebook, journal, and/or calendar you can keep track of your journey. Dates, times, treatments-medications and how you feel are all good to write down.

A separate, pour your heart out journal is also a good idea. Even if you tear the pages out after you write; you are releasing the inner pain you feel. Let it out!

If you don't feel up to writing have someone write for you. It will feel good to look back at your journal years from now when you are in another stage of life.

Don't forget to write down the fun stuff too. Laughter heals and gives us joy. Remember pain and trials fade away at the end of each day but giggles last forever!

wig stand  for cancer wig

One of my giggle days is the day I walked under a tree limb and my long, flowing wig stayed behind. I didn't even feel it happen. My friend Janice politely walked back and took the wig off the tree. We both had to laugh!

Note: I always doll up my wig stands-makeup and all. Makes you smile!

family together

Family and friends want more ways to help?

1.Someone take over day to day chores your loved one can no longer do such as garbage, floors, dishes, laundry, etc.

2. Put a barf pan and peppermints beside the bed in case of night nausea

3. A cold, wet washcloth works miracles when we don't feel well.

4. Fresh flowers on a bad day can do wonders beyond words. If your loved one can't tolerate smells plastic will still brighten their day

5. Smile! Try to find laughter and share it with her/him.

lion and cub

The 3 most important words, in any language, you can say are

"I love you!"

No one to help right now? Ask a counselor, social worker, nurse at your doctor's office, church or a neighbor. I bet you will be surprised how quickly they can find a driver, meal delivery, and other things you might need.

Always remember you are very special, and as my friend Amelia always reminds me, "You've got this!"

heartstring productions

Wishing you the very best and Happy Spring from Heartstring Productions! Hope these cancer support tips have encouraged you & feel free to refer to them in your difficult times.

author marcia mcgee ashford books
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