DO• Be available to listen. Cry with her, laugh with her, listen to her. Often, there’s no need for words.
• Feel comfortable about talking. Many of us find it hard to know what to say. Just be yourself.
• Phone her. However, keep in mind that, on occasion, even talking is tiring.
• Prepare nutritious home-cooked meals. Frozen meals that she can reheat and eat when she needs them are ideal. Help with housework, gardening or taking care of pets.
• Offer to drive her to appointments.
DON'T• Tell her about the latest treatment. Your friend’s medical advice is specific to her individual cancer.
• Advise her on how she should be changing her diet or lifestyle.
• Urge her to be positive. This might make it hard for her to talk honestly.
• Give up on her. Stick with her through the highs and the lows.
• Burden her with your fears and worries. Keep your own concerns under wraps—she’s already dealing with enough.
• Share horror stories with her.