Cancer patients fight every day to bring back a little normalcy into their lives. Small gestures from people close to them can really help alleviate their mood which helps them recover quicker.
Celebrating milestones can be a boost for many patients because they would feel motivated to take the next step and their belief of getting cured can get more concrete.
Like for example, the end of chemotherapy can be a huge milestone and can be celebrated by going out or with a small gathering of immediate family and friends. Even a simple phone call from people can be a huge boost.
You should always take the opportunities to make each other feel appreciated and loved. This can be a big motivator for a fast recovery.
Get them something that is dear to them – small and things and gestures that can lighten up their days. For e.g. a day out for a movie, cooking their favourite dish (definitely after the health requirement check-up)
Avoid chanting “Everything will be fine” or “You will be fine soon”, such statements have no basis. You can hardly predict the future. So avoid giving them false hope.
If you are a cancer survivor, go out there and care for those who are fighting cancer. You are probably the best suited to encourage them and boost their morale towards fighting the disease.
Let the person grieve over their situation. The old saying goes like this – Shed all your tears and Walk away. It is believed that a person who is allowed to grieve has lesser internal burdens.
Laughing can be good medicine for cancer patients. So sit with them, share some old memories and stories. Listen to them. Join them in their humour and play along too.
Don’t make everything about YOU – Listen more to them, talk about them, or about anything else that they may show a keen interest in. If you are a survivor, you would very well know that when a patient narrates his/her pains and grieves, you should listen to them and discuss their fears rather than narrating to them your pains and fears. This isn’t Mathematics. Things won’t cancel out here!
In short, BE WITH THEM. Do not make them feel uncomfortable or do not let them think about themselves as a burden to anyone around them. Let them feel that they are being treated in the usual and normal way. If they feel that people are abnormally going out of their way to care for them or do their work, they might bombard their minds with thoughts of guilt and declare themselves as a burden in their own minds.
Advice for the relatives and friends of people with cancer
- Be available to the person who is ill.
- If the person who is sick withdraws and does not want to talk, continue to be present and to offer help quietly.
- Remember that the illness is tiring: if the person who is ill does not feel up to doing something together today, they might tomorrow. More than them, you need to remain positive.
- Do not give up. It might be at times de-motivating dealing with cancer patients because the majority of the time they remain low and negative about their condition.
- Family friends, relatives, work colleagues, or friends can drop by at regular intervals which can lighten up the patient’s mood.
- For patients who have children, one can take up their responsibility temporarily. Like getting them ready, helping them with homework, making them food, dropping them to school, etc.
- For spiritual patients, indulge in prayers with them.
Author- Sebi Verghesse, Abhinita Singh
Editor- Akriti Gupta