5 Ways To Support Someone With Cancer Over The Holidays

Caregiver & Patient Support

November 27, 2019

If you have a friend or loved one who is facing cancer this holiday season, you may be wondering how to respond. Between cancer treatments and side effects, someone facing cancer may not feel like getting into the holiday spirit. With a little understanding and empathy, you can help make their season brighter. Here are 5 ways to support someone with cancer over the holidays.


Deck Their Halls

Fatigue is a common side effect of many cancer treatments. No doubt your friend or loved one may find themselves with a lack of energy or desire to decorate for the holidays. One way you can help is to offer to put up their Christmas tree. Play his or her favorite tunes and allow them to help as much or as little as they can.


Wrap Gifts

Someone facing cancer may not feel like hitting the mall to shop for gifts. However, with the ease of online shopping, they will likely still have gifts to wrap. A daunting task for anyone in the throngs of holiday stress, gift wrapping may be the last thing on your loved one’s mind this season. Offer your services for an hour or two. You’ll help eliminate one of the more stressful holiday tasks, allowing your friend to conserve their energy for more fun holiday things.


Make A List…Check It Twice

Offer to help check a few things off his or her list by offering to run a few errands. You may find yourself picking up a last minute gift or just running to the pharmacy for medications. Either way, you will help reduce their stress and allow them to focus on other things.


Be There

Don’t be afraid to just be there to offer your support or a listening ear. Folks facing cancer may miss out on some of the family gatherings. Their immune system may not allow them to be around large groups of people, and treatment side effects may make heading out difficult. Rather than facing the holidays alone, just being there will allow them to have companionship, if desired. Of course, don’t feel hurt if they just aren’t up for it. They will appreciate your offer either way.


Bring Food

Bring food – either for the person with cancer or their family. Check for dietary restrictions and preferences, then bless your loved one with a home cooked meal. Remember that your friend may be feeling nauseous. If that is the case, consider preparing bland-tasting foods and foods without strong odors.


Give a Gift

A small and thoughtful gift will bring a little Christmas cheer to someone facing cancer. You might even consider bringing something small for their caregiver to let them know you’re thinking of them too. Assembling and delivering a care package — something truly unique and special — might be the perfect solution. Of course, everyone’s journey with cancer is different. So, before you start shopping, really think about what would make your friend or loved one smile. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.


Remember, more than anything you can say or do, your loved one will remember and appreciate the support you offer. “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou