One of the most common problems when trying to help a person with cancer is knowing where to start.
It’s important to first find out whether or not your help is needed and also exactly what is wanted. If you’re the parent or partner of someone with cancer, you may not need to ask them what they need. Once you know if your help is wanted, you can offer to help with one of the things they need. It helps to be specific, so for example, rather than saying, ‘Let me know if there’s anything I can do.’ you could ask,
- ‘Shall I do the shopping?’
- ‘Would you like me to pick up the children from school?’
You can also say that you’ll keep in touch to see if there are other things you can help with.
Some people find it hard to accept support even if they need it. This means that your offer may be refused. Although this may hurt your feelings, it’s worth remembering that this is not about some failing in you; it’s more likely to be because they aren’t ready to accept help yet or about their sense of pride and their wish to be independent. You could make the offer again at a later date, when they may be more able to accept your help. Or you could let them know that you’re available if they ever need any support. Don’t pester your relative or friend into accepting your help – some people are happy to do things on their own.