When you first get the news that someone you love has cancer, it can stop you in your tracks. You may be stunned, anxious or overwhelmed; maybe you’re a combination of all three. Maybe you’re numb and have entered full planning mode.
No matter how you’re feeling, know that those feelings are normal and valid. Our community members have been through the same things and are ready to tackle any questions you may have.
Here’s a list of 5 things you can do now for yourself and your loved one:
Take a breath. This is a horrible situation and your head is spinning. Take a moment to breathe. You’re surrounded by people who have been in your shoes before and are here to help you navigate this especially difficult time. If you have a moment, take time to meditate or just pause to sit quietly as you process all the new information you’re receiving. Your mental health is important too, and taking care of it will ultimately help you to be a better supporter for your friend or loved one.
Confront your fear of the unknown. In the days ahead, we’ll be walking you through some basics about cancer in our checklist. Our checklist will give you a step-by-step guide as to what you’ll be experiencing, in addition to research on cancer basics and some common side effects. If you’d like to delve deeper, you can head to our videos section or one of these medically approved research sites.
Be a good listener. As your friend or family member is experiencing cancer, they are also going through an emotional roller coaster. Ask them specific questions about what they need and what they’re feeling. Now more than ever, it’s important for you to listen empathetically to what they are experiencing and allow them room to vent.
Offer to help them navigate their newfound situation. Whether you live near or far, there are plenty of ways you can help simplify your loved one’s experience and play a role in their care. If you live nearby, you might offer to go to doctor's visits with them and take notes or to deliver a meal. If you’re not able to visit in person, you can help them to research their diagnosis and treatment questions on OneVillage or have a meal delivered from UberEats or Sunbasket.
- Check in to say hello, even if they don’t feel like talking. Navigating through all of the intense emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis is hard on everyone, especially for the patient. Even if they don’t feel like talking or texting back at the moment, it’s nice to feel cared for, so be sure to make a quick call or send a text to check in and let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready to talk.
Learn More About Your Loved One’s Diagnosis With OneVillage
Regardless of where you are in your cancer journey, OneVillage is here to help. OneVillage is dedicated to providing the support, information, goods, and services that cancer patients need. Whether you’re wondering how to come to terms with your loved one’s diagnosis or trying to find a community of people like you, OneVillage is here. In addition to highly personalized recommendations and checklists to help you navigate your new normal, through our WishList feature we also allow supporters to contribute to a fund for your medical trips and other expenses. If you have any further questions about what OneVillage offers and site features, don’t hesitate to contact us.