When you find out that someone that you know has cancer, it can be extremely upsetting. You might want to help them, but you're not sure how you can do that. Here are some ways that you can support your friend.
First, you need to get your feelings under control. It is affecting you of course, but you need to remember that the focus is on them, not you. Therefore, you need to make sure that you process all of your feelings before seeing them, so that you can be a positive force in their life. If you have fears and concerns, of course you should express them. But save the bulk of your pain for other friends and family in your life. Try not to burden your friend with cancer with your own feelings too much.
Sometimes when people find out of their friend has cancer, they all of a sudden start acting very sad around them or treating them as if they are a different person. Your friend is still the same person. They need you to be their friend. You don't always have to talk about cancer when you are with them, you can just enjoy each other's company the way you used to. That can be extremely comforting to someone with cancer. It can be really refreshing for your friend to relate to someone who remembers them as being a vibrant person. That person is still there!
Offer to help with errands and chores. Your friend with cancer is going to need some help. This is especially true when they are receiving chemotherapy. Ask them if they need a ride to the doctor, or if they need help cooking meals. In fact, they will likely say they do not need help, so volunteer to do things for them. Bring meals to their home and show up when you know they need a ride.
Listen as much as you can. The person who has cancer is likely to have a number of feelings at any given time, so your job as a friend to listen when they need you and to support them. You don't even have to offer solutions necessarily. They will feel better just knowing that they have someone to talk to at any time of the day or night, especially if it's someone who cares about them the way you do.
Attend doctor appointments with your friend. Doctor appointments are necessary for people with cancer, and sometimes there can be some upsetting news that your friend must deal with. It is a good thing for them not to have to go to those appointments by themselves. Being there for moral support will help your friend. You might even help them remember important information that they have to share with their doctor.
Of course, the most important thing is that you are available to your friend when they need you. Being there is very helpful, so make sure that you use the tips in this article to help you be the best friend you can be during this difficult time.