November 2017

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How to Keep Positive if a Loved One Has Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating for both the patient and their family. An individual can go through many emotions and fears about the future. It is during this time that many people need the support and kindness of relatives and close family members.

If a loved has cancer, it can be a challenge to know how to talk to someone with cancer. It is also challenging for a cancer sufferer to know what to say and how to talk about their condition.

This article looks at various practical ways that you can help a loved one keep positive if they have cancer.

Be available to talk

First, it’s important to be available to talk to your loved one with cancer. Very often, you can take their lead about what they want to talk about. More often than not, your loved one wants to feel as normal as possible and are usually willing to talk openly about their condition.

Don’t minimize their feelings

One of the challenges in talking to a person with cancer is knowing what to say. Avoid expressions like, “don’t worry, I’m sure you will be back on your feet soon.” With cancer, no one knows that. So, you can say that you are very sorry about their diagnosis. Or, you can say that you are always there for them. Remember, if your loved one wants to talk about their condition, then it is best to do that and not hide from the subject.

Stay connected

Cancer can isolate people and make them feel lonely. It is important for cancer suffers to know and feel that people love and care for them. So, go out of your way to make this known. Why not send some cards, pop in to visit them, give them a call, and always promptly return their messages.

Don’t tell them how to feel

To help a loved one with cancer, you should avoid telling them how they should be feeling. Everyone reacts differently and copes with cancer in their own way. Avoid saying meaningless phrases like “I know how you are feeling,” or, “keep positive.” Although these thoughts are well-meaning, they may make your loved feel that they are doing something wrong.

Take a break

No, don’t take a break from staying connected with a person suffering from cancer, but take a break from talking about it. Find encouraging and positive things to talk about or read a book when visiting. So, don’t feel you always have to bring up the subject of cancer, but use humor and talk about funny events.

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

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