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5 Ways to Support a Friend with Cancer

Posted by Arona Martin on
5 Ways to Support a Friend with Cancer


With cancer seeming to be more and more frequently diagnosed, it is likely that someone you know, a friend, family member, or co-worker, could get the terrible news.

Being the friend of someone who has cancer isn’t always easy – it can be scary and confusing. And sometimes with a cancer diagnosis, there can also be surgery, as was the case with my friend Julie. Depending on how close you are with your friend, a hospital visit isn’t always an option. So I've listed below a few things you could do or drop off. And if you are able to visit, make sure to just meet your friend or loved one where they are. Sad. Scared. Angry. Emotions can change quickly, and your only job is to be with, and love!

Tip #1: Buy a cute button up pajama set!

Lets face it, hospital gowns are UGLY. Why not buy a cute pair of button up jammies that are comfy and easy to get in and out of after surgery. It can be hard to move and lift a shirt over your head, so the buttons make it extra easy to shrug in and out of comfy clothes when the doctors come by for their check ups. There are tons of cute pajama sets out there! Surprise your friend with a cute pair to help them feel beautiful and comfortable after surgery, and also looking good for visitors!

woman cancer survivor wearing pajamas

(Victoria’s Secret)

Tip #2: Buy some fancy face wipes

You often have to wait a few days (or even longer) to shower after surgery. This helps protect the incision site and keep your wounds healing.

Bringing your friend some fancy face wipes (like these from Yes To) will help them clean up and feel fresh when they can't go through their normal routine.

Yes To face wipes
(Yes To)

Tip #3: Be Present!

Surgery is ROUGH. It's invasive and exhausting and it *hurts*. One of the best ways you can support your friend after surgery is to just be present.

And we're not talking about being there to talk about cancer or the pain or the follow-up appointments.

We're talking about being there to watch netflix or give them an update on the latest sunday brunch drama. Something that helps them feel normal. Something that gives them anything to talk about BESIDES cancer.

Tip #4: Get a cute eye mask and ear plugs!

Sleep can be hard to come by in a hospital. There are tons of loud noises, bright lights, and busy people at all hours of the day. help your friend by getting a cute eye mask and some ear plugs. she'll probably still have to wake up to get checked on throughout the night, but these little gifts will help make it easier to fall back asleep the rest of the time.

eye mask for women
(LaAugarelle Shop on Esty)

Tip #5: Please DON’T make it about you!

When someone we love gets cancer, it feels like we have it too, I get it. But right after a diagnosis isn’t the time to worry about if a phone call is returned or a text has been read. I saw this a lot with one of my friends. After she was diagnosed, lots of people reached out, and asked what they could do to help. One woman in particular, sent several wonderful, encouraging texts, and then got hurt and upset when they weren’t returned (insert eye roll here please). Cancer is overwhelming, especially right at the beginning, please don’t put the extra burden on your friend to worry about whether or not she has hurt your feelings…it's selfish. Keep loving her, keep calling and leaving sweet messages. Keep checking in and letting them know you are there for them, but its always best to end a text with something like “don’t worry about responding, I just want you to know I am here for you. I love you."

BONUS TIP: Give the Gift of Love and Art Therapy!

Gift this Love Heals Journal. It's a beautiful journal full of inspiration, stickers, coloring, decorating, writing prompts and doodling opportunities. Plus, YOU get to personalize it with surprises throughout the journal (instructions included) before you gift it. 

Love Heals Journal with accessories

Please don’t worry that you’ll do the wrong thing—just focus on all the ways you can offer support. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, and this list is a perfect starting point! #itsbecauselove

Need a few other ideas? You can always email me at for more!



Big Hug Lap Blanket with tags
Love Heals Journal






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