Each person’s situation is different. Allow the person to express their feelings and talk about what is going on with them. While you may have gone through a similar experience or know someone else who has, it is not their experience. Let them take the lead.
You may be tempted to presume a certain outcome, positive or negative. For instance, “You’re going to be just fine.” Avoid minimizing the situation or giving unsolicited advice.
There are specific ways to help such as meal preparation, transportation, running errands, or routine chores. Your friend may not have the energy to do these things during treatment. You know what they like- provide books, magazines, music, etc.
Don’t wait for them to ask for assistance. They may not, especially if they are used to doing the giving.
Providing a joke, funny stories or movies can go a long way in bringing a smile and laughter.
Seeing your friend going through treatment can seem too difficult and you back away. Staying connected lets the individual know that in the midst of this health challenge, your relationship remains. Avoid giving medical advice. As a breast cancer survivor, I was instructed, “Let your doctor be your doctor your friend be your friend and family be your family.” It was sage advice because everyone has an opinion!