A doctor's pronouncement of "cancer" is among the most dreaded words anyone can possibly hear; but, coming up with encouraging words for your friend diagnosed with cancer can be just the lift they need to get them through the long, difficult road ahead.
You can't cure the illness of a friend diagnosed with such a horrible disease. What you can do, though, and what could make the difference between fatalism and despair, would be to offer the right encouraging words for a friend diagnosed with cancer.
Just a little time and love invested into the process can help you come up with the right thing to say, and maybe help your loved one over the worst of what's to come.
A diagnosis of cancer can make the unfortunate victim feel as if he's removed from everyday life. It can be a time of awful, overwhelming loneliness and a time of feeling out of control. Sometimes the most moving words the sufferer will hear are the most basic: "I'm here for you. Let me know what you need." Saying that and meaning it may be the most incredibly important act of kindness you'll ever do for your friend or loved one.
Let him scream, shout, punch the wall, shake his fist to the sky, but let him do it knowing you've got his back. He may need to just get his fury and anger out before he can respond to the diagnosis rationally and with his full attention.
Maybe what he needs is something simple like someone to go with him to chemo, radiation or other medical appointments. Just knowing that someone is waiting for him in the waiting room to drive him home can be a real boost.
Cancer's a tough disease, but it shouldn't have to be a lonely one. Let your friend know whatever he needs, however long it takes, you're going to be there for him. Those are among some of the most encouraging words for a friend diagnosed with cancer anyone will ever hear.
Of course cancer is horrible, but once your friend gets the denial and anger out of his system, he's going to need some cheering up. Send him a cheery card, but even better, make it a funny one. He probably could use a chuckle or two, and sometimes just getting your mind off "the Big C" is the best way to fight it.
If the two of you routinely joke over some incident or anecdote, and you know it always elicits a laugh, be on the lookout for similar type jokes you can relate. Cancer's deadly serious business, but neither you nor your friend will last long if all you do is act as if you're planning a funeral.
You should remember that not all cancer is fatal. As long as a patient is still alive, and where there is life, and laughter, there's hope. As long as you both can laugh, it'll give you and the cancer sufferer the kind of cheerful courage a fight like this is going to take. Fun times, like a trip for a manicure or a few minutes in the sun on a park bench may be just what's needed.
This is not a good time to research and share new options and new remedies doctors and scientists are working on. You may think you are helping the patient, but each cancer situation is so different that it is important to leave those conversations between the patient, his family and his medical team.
You can do some research about his type of cancer and treatment, and see if there are things you can do to help. Don't expect him to fully explain his cancer and how it is affecting him. You may be able to help him with some of the annoyances a patient can get from chemo or radiation, such as dry mouth or itching. There's always something that can be done to alleviate these type of nuisance side effects. Letting your friend know that his comfort is a high priority will do a lot to reassure him he's not alone in this fight.
There will always be bad days with a fight against cancer, but there will be good ones as well. Let your love one know you're there for him, even when he's crabby or in a bad mood.
Let him know you understand. Sometimes just listening anytime, day or night, is the best psychological therapy a patient fighting back against a tough disease can have.