Most people don't like to talk about sad things or bring up life events like cancer - often because we don't know what to say or how to comfort the person who is dealing with a life altering change. I am the type of person who gets really awkward in uncomfortable situations. I make jokes when there is silence and I tend to avoid bringing up topics that may bring about sad emotions.

So, how do you help a friend or a family member in tough times? Blue Cross and Blue Shield has put together a list of ideas on how you can feel comfortable while trying to help your loved ones.

  • Make Time - Be available to visit and make time to help your friend feel comfort. Be a welcome happy visitor and not a grey cloud. If they have a caregiver, you could make plans to be there when they need to be away. Send messages that are uplifting or funny and make phone calls if appropriate.
  • Don't Be Intrusive - You may want to know all the details about their cancer, what the plan is, or how long they have. Avoid those questions. Your friend may open up and share that information but don't push for all the personal details.
  • Treat Them Normally - Your loved one may have cancer, but that isn't who they are. They are still your friend, family member, or co-worker and you should treat them that way. Have fun with them. Invite them to do activities if possible. Help them make their life about more than their ailment.
  • Offer To Help In Specific Ways - Anyone can say 'let me know if I can help' but to show you really care and want to help, offer to actually help. Meals, cleaning, and even running errands for them or with them will be a great help.

If you're able to step into a more active roll, they also say you can offer to be a point person. That would be like a middle man to pass on information to other friends and family. Mainly, be there for them as a positive ray of sunshine and help them in ways they need as you are able and willing.