This is a question to ask yourself when someone else you know is sick. If you’re mowing your lawn this week, or making a big batch of burritos for your family, or borrowing some good books from the library, then consider just going ahead and doing the same for your friend while you’re at it. There’s power in just DOING because many people will not ask for help even when they need it. Or they won’t even have the time/energy to figure out what exactly in their daily life needs attention. (One big caveat, however: There’s a delicate balance to maintain here. For some things, it’s very important to ask first — especially if it’s about visiting a sick person at home or in the hospital. But for other things, saying “Let me know if I can help” is much less helpful than just doing things unprompted. Everyone is different, though, so it’s up to you to figure out what is actually beneficial for your friend.) Continue reading What am I doing for myself this week that I could also do for [name]?
This question hits many of the recommendations that Cancer.net encourages friends of cancer patients to practice. 1) Ask permission (don’t just show up at your friend’s house – he might not be feeling up to hanging out). 2) Make plans (recovery is helped significantly by having things to look forward to). 3) Talk about and do things that don’t have anything to do with illness. 4) Treat your friend the same. 5) Be there! Continue reading Can I come over next Thursday to watch ____________ with you?
It’s the last word in this question that makes the difference. When someone is suffering from a long-term illness like cancer, “How are you doing?” can seem like a crazy question. How am I doing? Terrible! I have cancer! By contrast, if you ask “How are you doing TODAY?” you give people the opportunity to answer honestly about the ups and downs. “Today” gives them the space to be pessimistic, optimistic, angry, grateful – the full range. Continue reading How are you doing today?