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Ways You Can Serve a Cancer Patient

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The deterioration of health is a part of life, at some point you will know someone who is suffering either from cancer or another debilitating disease. While you can’t take away their burden, you can help lift their spirits and express love. Six years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and this is what I learned: little expressions of love add up. Here are 7 ideas to help you serve a cancer patient or any person with compromised health.

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  1. Offer to drive them to appointments and sit with them during their doctor’s visits. Feeling the support of a friend can greatly reduce stress and give them courage to keep moving forward despite the outcome.
  2. Provide a homemade dinner. Cancer patients usually don’t have a lot of energy so even little tasks around the house like making dinner are a big deal. Laundry, cleaning, whatever they will let you help with–do it. You can also bring a meal over that is ready to be placed in the freezer so they have an easy meal when they need it.
  3. Do an at-home yoga session. With a low immune system and a tendency to get sick easily, many cancer patients spend most of their time at home. Doing yoga can relieve stress, invite peace and revive their energy. It’s also a great way to bond.peony-287062_1920.jpg
  4. Plant flowers in their yard and pull weeds. My mother loves gardening but didn’t have the energy to tend to her flowers while she was sick. One night, I noticed our neighbor was in our yard planting flowers and pulling weeds. It was a supremely sweet gesture and one that I know deeply touched my mother.
  5. Give a foot massage and pedicure. Depending on their health, this can be done either at a salon or at home. This not only feels great, but it will give them something to smile about. Chemotherapy and radiation can affect the skin and hair. Understandably, losing your hair is difficult, and for some it makes it hard to look in the mirror. If you’re going to be looking down, at least have cute toes to admire!
  6. Read to them. There may be days when getting out of bed is difficult, and television is their only source of entertainment. That much screen time is not only mind numbing,but it gives you a headache. In contrast, listening to a good novel or poetry refreshes the mind and spirit.
  7. If you’re short on time or resources, one of the best things you can do is write a note or text reminding them that you are thinking about them and that you care. Express your love and your support by frequent means of communication. It’s easy to become discouraged when you’re sick and incapable of doing things for yourself. Acknowledging your friend or family member’s pain and telling them how well they are managing is always encouraging. These little messages will add up. thinking-944076_1280.jpg

We all suffer in our own way, whether that is physically or emotionally. Take a moment today to help someone in your community who is in need of help. It will not only help them but make you feel happier as well. Get out there and do some good!

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