Being a Friend to a Cancer Parent

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Parents of children with cancer are often devastated by the diagnosis. During this time, they need support and care from family and friends.

If you have a friend whose child has cancer, the best thing you can do for your friend is remain positive and optimistic. Here are six actions that will encourage and support your friend during this challenging time.

Lend Your Ear

Life can become overwhelming for parents of children with cancer. Sometimes, they need to talk to a close friend. You can support your friend by listening to concerns and fears. When your friend shares concerns with you, it is important for you to listen more than you talk. You might be tempted to try to cheer your friend up, but resist the urge to do so. Listening without interjecting your thoughts shows that you are honoring your friend's feelings.

Provide Meals for the Family

It may be difficult for parents of children with cancer to cook regular meals because their schedules are tight. You can help your friend by cooking and delivering a prepared meal to the family. This simple action takes away the stress of having to prepare meals during this busy time.

Clean Your Friend's Home

If you have mutual friends, you can enlist them to help you with this project. It is challenging for parents of sick children to focus on daily tasks. As a result, household chores may fall by the wayside. Select a day that is convenient for you to come to your friend's house and put things in order.

Spend Time with Other Children in the Family

Parents of children with cancer focus most of their energy on their sick children. In many instances, the other children in the family may not get the attention they need. By spending time with the other children, you can give them the attention that they might be missing. You can take them to the movies, park, shopping, or school events. This action will alleviate the guilt that your friend may have as a result of being unable to spend time with the other children.

Attend Doctor's Appointments

Parents may feel anxious about going to the hospital or doctor's office. They often need support while they are sitting in hospital lounges waiting for test results or treatment. Attend the doctor's meetings with your friend. You can also relieve your friend's stress by driving the family to the hospital or doctor's appointments.

As a friend of a parent whose child has cancer, there are so many ways for you to be supportive. By taking these actions, you can help your friend through this difficult time.