Suggestions for Caregivers

Food is love
Ask what your friend would like when taking food because preferences can change when getting chemotherapy. Remember to bring a dish that doesn’t need to be returned.

Keep in touch
Remember treatments last 3 months on average. Greeting cards, postcards and humorous emails are another way to express your love. Avoid “Get Well Soon” messages.

Make appointments fun
Combine a doctor’s visit with a fun activity—go out to lunch, stroll a mall, etc.

Keep your friendship a two-way street
Take time to listen to the cares and concerns of dealing with cancer and treatments, but continue to share your life with them too. As someone accepting kindness and generosity, your friend will appreciate the opportunity to reciprocate.

The human touch is healing
Hugs encourage and reassure. Hold their hand to let them know they are not alone when receiving news or test results.

Use the same language
If the patient says cancer, you can say cancer. If the patient says tumor or malignancy, use those words.

Everybody’s batteries need to be recharged
Take over caregiver duties for an afternoon. If you are that caregiver, give yourself some time off. Leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time.