Just how medicines and therapies help cancer patients to revive back to the normalcy in their lives, so do small gestures of their near and dear ones help them to revive rapidly.
Celebrating milestones can be a boost to many patients because they would feel motivated to take the next step and their belief of getting cured can get more concrete.
With celebrating milestones I would mean a patient who probably is attending chemotherapy sessions of say 2 months can celebrate their completion of treatment with their near and dear ones with a small gathering or the family members and friends calling/mailing them up to congratulate on their success.
Clearly, a lack of hesitation is required to make people loved and cared. Opportunities to make each other feel appreciated, needed and motivated should not be let gone.
Get them something that is dear to them – May be not everything in the world, but small and affordable things and gestures that can lighten up their days. For e.g. a day out for a movie, cooking their favorite dish (definitely after the health requirement check up)
Avoid chanting “Everything will be fine” or “You will be fine soon” and such statements that have no basis. You hardly can predict the future. So avoid giving them false hopes.
If you are a cancer survivor, go out there and care for those who are fighting cancer. You are probably the best fit 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. The more a person grieves, the more lesser is he internally burdened is what is believed and has also been experienced.
Laughing can be a good medicine for cancer patients. Hence sit with them, share some old memories and stories. Listen to them. Join them in their humor and play along too.
Don’t make all things about YOU – Let things not be about you. Listen more to them, talk to them about them or about anything else that they may show keen interest in. If you are a survivor, you would very well know that when a patient narrates his/her pains ad grieves, you listen to them and discuss more about 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. 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 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.