Cancer has become a scary word in our society. April has been designed as Cancer Month by the Canadian Cancer Society. All of us have been affected by cancer in some way. We may be fighting a battle, recovering from treatments, caring for someone with the disease, grieving a loss, or know someone going through this traumatic journey.
As first aid trainers, we teach response to an injury or medical emergency which in most cases is a physical injury.
I’d like to talk outside the physical injury zone and speak to emotional aid and support. Here are some ways you can support someone with cancer:
- Often, we just need to listen and let someone tell their story or feelings. No response or action is needed, just lend an ear.
- We may think that they want to be left alone but that’s not necessarily true. Ask them if they feel up to a visitor. It may take their mind off of their fears and, again, provide someone who will just listen.
- There are many ways to support not just the person going through the diagnosis, but their family or friends. Offer to pick up groceries or make a meal, clean up when you visit, share books to read, provide transportation, or take them out for walk.
On average 555 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day. That’s 555 families who can use a helping hand, a friend, some aid in some way – a cheerleader!