8 Ways to Help a Family Member or Friend with Cancer Treatment

Patients facing cancer treatment often feel isolated and alone. Treatment can leave a patient exhausted and unable to participate in normal activities. Since many cancers can leave lasting effects and changes, normal get-well cards and other common get-well-soon items are not appropriate. Instead, there are other ways to show those going through cancer treatment they are loved. 

Meals on Wheels with a Twist

Cancer treatment often includes radiation and chemotherapy, which can leave patients with less than a healthy appetite. The family of a patient may appreciate large family meals while smaller meals catering to personal tastes and favorites will be more appreciated by the patients themselves. Since cancer treatment can also affect the ability to taste or tolerate certain tastes and textures, it is important to check on a patient's preferences.

Chore Band Wagon

Treatments can leave a patient exhausted and unable to complete even common daily chores. Offering to do laundry, vacuum, dust, or even unload the dishwasher can take the stress of household chores off both patients and their families. A clean home will provide a relaxing environment to recharge from treatment effects.

A Digital Movie Fest

Many cancer patients find themselves in need of down time but are restless and unable to sleep. Setting up a digital movie fest or other form of media entertainment can take their mind off their treatment. Gifting a subscription to a streaming movie service is also a wonderful way to provide distraction.

Become the Bookmobile

Offering to pick up books from the library, bookstore, or even an e-reader full of options is another great way to help a cancer patient. Books and e-readers can be taken to treatment sessions and provide great distraction. Regular visits to exchange books or download new content is also a wonderful way to stay connected and offers a basis for discussion that is not focused on cancer.

Pet Walking and Grooming

Those who are in active treatment or recovering from its effects may not be able to care for their pets as they once did. Offering to take pets for daily walks and helping with their grooming and upkeep can reduce pet parents' stress and keep pets healthy and happy. 

Personal Shopping Delivery

While the digital age offers great advantages in shopping online, sometimes items are needed more quickly than delivery will allow. Offering your services as a personal shopper and delivery service can help patients regain some sense of normality in choosing groceries or other items for themselves and their family. 

Private Secretary for a Day

Some patients struggle with writing or other forms of communication as a result of their cancer or treatment. Providing your services as a personal secretary to write letters or responds to texts can help patients stay in touch with those who are unable to visit themselves.

Babysitting in the Digital Age

Some cancer treatments require patients to isolate themselves from large crowds or public places. For patients with children this may mean missing important events. Offering your services as a videographer can allow a parent to see what they missed. Live streaming options can even help them feel part of the action. 

It is important to remember that a friend or family member undergoing cancer treatments will often be reluctant to ask for help. Offering to help in a variety of ways will give them options to choose the help they need the most.