17 things you can do for a friend in cancer treatment today

During surgery or treatment, your friend or loved one will require your help, love and support. And although there are many ways to show that you care, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to act.

First, be clear about what you can offer. It’s tempting to ask the woman you love what you can do to be helpful. Then, recognize that she may not know what she needs, or she may ask for assistance you are unable to provide. It may be more helpful to offer her a list of ways that you can help. Here are some suggestions:

  • keep her company at home, at the hospital, or during treatment
  • drive her to treatment
  • accompany her and take notes at doctor appointments
  • organize her medical and/or insurance information
  • encourage her to reach out to Sharsheret for support
  • offer to research additional support optionscancer treatment
  • organize or participate in a prayer group
  • purchase clothing that may help her feel more comfortable
  • provide her with magazines, DVDs, or other fun distractions
  • arrange a break for her husband, partner, or caregiver
  • arrange a cleaning service for her home
  • arrange for or provide meals
  • shop for groceries
  • help with laundry
  • carpool her children
  • help her children with homework
  • take her children to an activity

Keep in touch. Treatment or recovery from treatment can continue for a length of time. Remember to reach out and stay in touch with the woman you love. Check in with her to tell her you care and that you are still thinking of her. A quick note, email, or phone message saying “I’m thinking of you” will lift her spirits and help her continue to feel supported. Let her know that it’s okay if she does not return your e-mails or phone calls.

Sharsheret is a Jewish non-profit supporting breast cancer survivors and those who are at risk or have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer.


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