Cancer Diagnosis: Supporting a Loved One Who Has Cancer

Cancer patient holding her friend for support.

Many people remember the exact moment when they find out that their loved one is terminally ill.

I, Patrick Palmer, remember when my wife was first diagnosed with a brain tumor. My dear Angela was a 10-year breast cancer survivor when we got the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. 

I wanted to know more. I wanted to help her. 

 And I wanted to say all the right things. 

I also wanted more information about caring for my wife—physically and emotionally. But I was never able to find it in support groups. So, I turned to books and found myself at a loss there as well. 

 There were no books written to guide male caregivers on caring for their loved ones. So, I wrote one based on my experience as a tribute to Angela. It’s called “A Husband’s Guide to Hands-On Caregiving,” and it helps men like me learn how to support a loved one who has cancer. 

I’m sharing some of the lessons I learned here. I’ve also talked about the emotional and financial aspects of being a caretaker. 

Here are three lessons for supporting a loved one who has cancer: 

Women flaunting breast cancer ribbon

Be There 

 If you can’t find the right words to say, just know that being there is also the right thing to do. If your loved one doesn’t want to talk, don’t push them. Instead, just be there with them and respect their wishes. 

Listen And Don’t Offer advice

Always listen without judgment. Don’t offer advice and solutions and be a cheerleader. Sit with them and gently encourage them if needed. Hold their hand and let them know that you will be with them throughout. 

Educate Yourself

It is a good idea to take on the task of researching. Understand the diagnosis, look up treatment options or search clinical trials. This can be very helpful for your loved ones and will encourage them to seek treatment. 

Read About Cancer And Best books on caregiving

Read books and guides from writers who have been in the same shoes. Learn from their experiences.

 I am a caregiving and cancer research advocate. And I have written books to support for caregivers of cancer patients and other diseases to help them prepare to be caregivers.

My books ‘A Husband’s Guide to Hands-On Caregiving’ and ‘Are You Prepared to be a Caregiver’ can help you understand the process and know how to be supportive.

To know more about my journey, visit my website or get the books from here.