Ep. 63 What to do when a loved one has cancer

What to do when a loved one has cancer with Catherine Weis. Podcast episode 63 of The Progress Project.

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Today’s episode is a conversation between Laura Farr and Catherine Weis about what to do when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. Both women have the unique experience of having had cancer themselves and having a loved one pass away from cancer so they know from experience what to say, what NOT to say, and how to help!

Here’s what we covered:

  1. Practical and meaningful ways you can help someone who has cancer

  2. How to use your own talents and abilities to serve them

  3. The best gifts cancer patients find meaningful

  4. What NOT to say or do to someone going through cancer

  5. What you need to do to take care of yourself so you can serve the best you can

The absolute best gifts for cancer patients you could give.

Here are links to our favorite gifts for cancer patients:

Recap of Episode

What to do when a loved one has cancer. The best ways you can support them and yourself.

Processing The “C” Word

Whether your loved one has cancer or you do yourself, you need to allow yourself to go through ALL the emotions and at your own pace.

Finding a place to unravel the grief is so important. The grief that I felt for myself was really stronger than I admitted.

This might be crazy to say, coming from a cancer patient, but If you have a loved one going through cancer, that can be just as hard as having cancer yourself! Not the same, but still extremely difficult.

I felt a lot of love and support in the beginning and throughout the process of chemotherapy but once I was done, that was the hardest time for me. Those few months, almost a year after of surviving this and trying to recover, I realized I had to recover mentally and emotionally just as much as I had to recover physically.

How to be there for a loved one who has cancer:

  1. I think the most important thing you can do for someone is to be there for them. But if you can’t physically be there for them, then you can be there for them however feels most natural to you. … Think of how you serve the best and then do it that way.

  2. Mark your calendars to remind yourself of difficult times for a friend who has lost a loved one. The anniversary of a diagnosis, the time of year a death happened, any holiday like Christmas or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

  3. Just being an advocate for him, to be there to take notes or voice memos when the doctors came in to speak to him, to find the right doctors, to find out what was happening for him if he had questions…. Anything that will keep their mind concentrated on the moment…. Anything you can do to take something off their list or find a problem and say, I can help you with that.

    • Food delivery - prepared, even no visiting

    • Cleaning their house

    • Thoughtful Gifts

What Not to say when a loved one has cancer and what to say instead.

Three Things Not to Say or Do When Someone Has Cancer

  1. Be mindful of social media

  2. Be careful when trying to relate to them

  3. Be respectful & considerate wanting to give advice

“You don’t have to be alone in this, whether you’re going through it personally or you have a loved one going through it  -- it’s so scary and there’s so much that’s going on, but you don’t have to be alone. There’s so many people you can reach out to to be there for you. “ -Laura

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