After a Cancer Diagnosis: What You Can Do to Help

With all the pain and heartache that comes with battling cancer, it can be hard for those struggling to beat their cancer to remember what they are fighting for. You can make a difference and help show them all the reasons why they should keep fighting for more birthdays, more hugs, and more chocolate cake. Here are some of the ways you can help those who are standing up to cancer remember what they are fighting for.

What You Can Do Now to Help

Share your favorite stories of wishes granted with your friends on Facebook. If you would like to do even more, donate your extra air miles to Make-A-Wish to help a child’s wish come true!

  • Like Community Pages on Facebook and Contribute

Like Interest Pages on Facebook to learn about upcoming cancer research community events you can participate in with your family.

Supporting a Friend or Family Member

Having a loved one diagnosed with cancer can be devastating. But it can also be a great opportunity to show that person how much you love them by supporting them through their fight. Here are some ways that you can help your friend or family member when they’ll need it most.

  • Find ways to help them laugh

The amount of painful tests and treatments cancer patients have to go through can create a lot of anxiety and fear. Help them to stay lighthearted by sending them funny cards the day before treatment, watching comedy shows together, and joking with them the way you used to before they got the big C.

  • Buy them groceries instead of making them meals

Many patients who go through chemotherapy can lose their appetite or have their taste-buds affected as a result of the treatment. Buying groceries for your friend or family member lets them have the flexibility of deciding what they want to eat that day without the guilt of letting your homemade lasagna go to waste.

  • Volunteer to help with their kids

Being diagnosed with cancer is hard on the whole family. Parents want their children to have a normal childhood, even though mom or dad may have cancer. Offering to take care of their kids for a few hours so they can go to their doctor’s appointments will ease a lot of stress so that your loved one can focus on getting better.

  • Offer help to their caregiverTwo young girls washing dishes.

For a spouse of someone diagnosed with cancer, the burden of keeping up with day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning, and driving the kids around can be overwhelming. You can help simply by offering to do small things, like picking their kids up from school, doing the dishes, or making dinner for their kids.

The American Cancer Society is currently making big efforts in Utah to help families of cancer patients by building a Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City. The Lodge recently opened on September 17th, and is providing a place close to the hospital for families to stay while their loved ones receive cancer treatment.  To learn more about the Hope Lodge and what you can do to help, make sure to watch the video below.

Getting the Family Involved

  • Get the whole family together and weed the yard of a neighbor who is getting cancer treatment. Your kids will learn from your example how much a little act of kindness can mean to someone in need.
  • Assemble tote bags for patients undergoing chemotherapy at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Fill the bags with fun activities like crosswords, sudoku puzzles and movies, as well as practical items like sleeping masks and rice bags to keep patient’s hands and feet warm. Learn about more ways you can help support patients at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Generous Giving

There are many opportunities to support those fighting cancer right here in Utah. Whether you are interested in donating as an individual, a family, or a business, there are plenty of great programs who could use your support. One of these great organizations is the Hope Lodge, which gives cancer patients and their families a place to stay while receiving treatments at no cost. Learn more about the new Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City by watching this video.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia commons and VSPYCC via flickr

Video courtesy of YouTube