5 Ways to Help a Friend with Cancer
This week’s blog is from our friends at MyLifeLine.org. The mission of MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation is to empower cancer patients and caregivers to build an online support community through free, personalized websites. MyLifeLine.org is the only personal website service that consolidates all community communication needs in one place, while focusing 100% on people affected by cancer. Research shows that increased social support during a cancer diagnosis can improve outcomes. Every day, MyLifeLine.org provides free, personal and private websites to patients and caregivers to help them easily connect with family and friends, because every cancer patient should feel supported. To learn more, visit MyLifeLine.org and check out the MyLifeLine.org blog.
When your friend is diagnosed with cancer, the first thing you want to do is help and the last thing you want to do is say the wrong thing. But it’s hard to know what will actually be helpful.
Just the fact that you’re willing to be a supportive friend is very important. In fact, research shows that cancer patients who have strong support communities have an increased chance at better outcomes. What does it mean to have a strong support community? It’s simply a social connection between people.
Here are some ways you can show your support and provide caring assistance, rather than feeling helpless.
- Stay informed about your friend’s health and well-being.
- Send encouraging messages and photos.
- Learn about your friend’s specific cancer type and treatments.
- Volunteer to help with meals, mowing the lawn, child care, or rides to treatment.
- Share a smile, send a joke or a funny image.
Managing a support community can be a difficult challenge for cancer patients and caregivers. Returning every phone call, text and request for information can be exhausting. That’s why MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation provides a free tool for this purpose. We’re a nonprofit organization that encourages cancer patients and caregivers to create free, customized websites.
A patient – or a friend or family member like yourself, can create a site and invite guests to visit and participate in the online community, where updates, cancer information and encouraging messages can be centralized and tools like the helping calendar and giving angels can easily be used to coordinate volunteers and raise funds. Our ultimate goal is to help relieve the burden of communications for people affected by cancer, so they can focus on healing.