It’s a tough topic, my favourite kind! What to say when someone has cancer .. the more we share ideas and shine light on his conversation the more people know how to support others well. It has taken me many years to find some peace after my own family’s experience with cancer, it was something that rocked us in the midst of another tragedy. It was all a bit of a blur at the time to be honest, being thrown into the role of carer in your teens is about as traumatic as life gets! Since then my levels of resilience and wisdom have soared, and this deep sense of ‘knowing’ has allowed me to go on and support others.
My first piece of heartfelt advice is simply not to ignore, cross the street or pretend that someone you know is OK with you not acknowledging their cancer diagnosis. I’m sorry but as functioning adults this is just not acceptable or excusable. I know that it still happens, in so many areas of life. I have lost count of my own friends (and family) who chose never to speak about my Mother’s tragedy and death. It is the same story with my ongoing mental health issues. It is one of the hardest things to endure as a human being, trust me, just don’t do it.
If you cannot find the words verbally, there is no excuse not to use another method of delivery. A text, a note, a card, a letter, a private message on social media, a voicemail, a carrier pigeon. There is no excuse not to say or write something.
Here is a collection of words and ways to support someone who has cancer:
♡ I am here for you.
♡ What do you need?
♡ It’s perfectly OK if you don’t want to talk about cancer today.
♡ What are the practical things at home that I can help with?
♡ Can I come around and bring some meals for the fridge, would that be helpful?
♡ How about I come along with you to your next appointment or chemo?
♡ I have dropped a little care package at your front door (include things like magazines, healthy snacks, candles, resources from Cancer Council, crystals, healing herbal tea).
♡ How about I collect the kids from daycare/school today?
♡ If you ever feel like some alone time, taking a nap or just a break I will come and grab the kids for a few hours.
♡ Is there anything on your TO-DO list that I can take care of?
The most important thing is to use these words with genuine love and intention. Follow them up regularly, ensure that they are not simply empty offers. A lot of people are deeply resistant to accepting help. The truth is that accepting help is one of the greatest ways to cope and heal, it is also an honour to the person offering the help. It involves a lot of trust and vulnerability and it can deepen a friendship so beautifully.
Jura Coffee contacted me recently about their support of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. I’m sure you have heard of this huge national fundraising event, it raises the funds needed to provide many different types of support for people living with cancer and their loved ones, as well as research. If a brand contacts me I immediately think about how we can put more goodness and joy into the world and how we can help others so I knew this would be a lovely fit with this conversation.
You can DONATE here.
HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a comment on this post choosing which of the suggestions above you would use to open up the conversation with a loved one, colleague or friend who has cancer. Or please share something else you have said or would suggest might be helpful. Please also leave your email address in your comment. (All of the official details of the giveaway are at the end of this post)
By entering you are not only eligible for the prize but you are helping to open up and shine more light on this incredibly important topic of what to say when someone has cancer.
A Morning Tea Hamper valued at $100 containing:
♡ Robert Gordon Porcelain Round Platter (27 cm)
♡ Annabel Trends linen tea towel
♡ San Antonio Single Origin coffee beans
♡ Bonne Maman assorted French Jam
♡ Charlie’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Mini Melting Moments
♡ Recipe cards
OFFICIAL GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
This is a game of skill, all entries will be judged on their relevance, creativity (and kindness).
Entries close at midnight on Monday 27 June 2016.
One entry per person only.
Only open to residents of Australia.
The winner will be notified by email, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment/entry.