Last week, I covered ten things you can do for yourself when your mom has cancer.
This week, I’ll be shifting the focus and discussing things you can do for them.
As I mentioned in my first post, cancer is a battle you fight together. When someone in your life has cancer, they need your love and support to help them fight – and win.
From a daughter’s perspective, here are five things you can do for your mom (or loved one) fighting cancer:
1. Spend time with them
I cannot stress enough how important it is to spend quality time with your loved one when they have cancer. Cancer is so unpredictable; anything can happen, so you need to make the most out of the time you have together. They also don’t want to be thinking about their cancer 24/7, so it’s important to help them take their mind off it. These are some things my mom and I do together:
- Watch a movie
- Take our dog for a walk
- Go shopping
- Go out for breakfast
Pro-tip: when your mom has cancer, all the little things count.
2. Lend a hand around the house
You know how you get symptoms when you have a cold? Imagine having cancer symptoms – they’re a million times worse (will discuss this further in future posts). There’s going to be days where they’re in substantial pain or have low energy, and that’s where you can step in to help around the house. You can help by:
- Washing/drying the dishes
- Taking the dog for a walk
- Setting the table
- Assisting with dinner/baking (especially around holidays)
- Doing the laundry
The list continues. But it’s also important to ask them if they need any help first. Sometimes they’ll say no and that’s okay. Remember, they don’t want to feel like a cancer patient 24/7, so they may want to do housework themselves without any help.
3. Keep them in the loop with your life
- This is especially important if you’re away at school like I am. I’m living an hour away from my family and I come home at least once a month. Letting my mom know that I’m doing okay has really helped ease the stress and made her feel better. I tell her about my week at school, what I had for dinner, what my weekend plans are, etc. It doesn’t have to be much, just make an effort to talk. Like I said, the little things count.
4. Buy them a pet
- I’m serious. My mom has told me several times how owning a dog has brought so much joy to her life. If your loved one with cancer currently doesn’t have a pet, consider getting them one.
5. Don’t overwhelm them with questions
- Specifically, the question, “how are you doing?”
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask them how they’re doing but be cautious about how often you’re asking. They’re probably already feeling overwhelmed, so constantly bombarding them with questions and asking how they’re feeling could stress them out even more. As I’ve mentioned, they don’t want to constantly be reminded of their cancer, so while it’s perfectly okay to check in, just limit the number of times you ask.