Psalm 41:1-3 - Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.
How do you handles it when someone we care about learns they have cancer? We know that cancer affects the emotions as well as our physical wellbeing, but what about other people in the cancer victim’s life?
First, there’s the thought of losing someone we care about. It can be a shock and there may be denial in what we feel. This is normal, but it’s not easy.
Second, our lives as we knew them are no longer the same as it was before we found out about our family or friend who is now battling cancer. This can lead to denial of what’s happening, but it will do no good for us to stay there. This is a time when our loved ones are going to need us the most. It’s important that we find people we can talk to and let them know we’re having a hard time escaping denial and they can help lift us up.
Third, we may have questions on how we should react to the news especially if the cancer victim decides that they’re going to take what’s happening out on us. Do we accept being treated badly as something to be expected and ignore our hurt feelings? Or do we have a conversation with the person. Being diagnosed with cancer may for a season affect how cancer victims treat those around them, but it doesn’t give them the license to treat others badly. For a short season we may give our family member a break, but if it continues we may need to have a conversation with the one hurting us and let them know we care about them, but it’s not acceptable behavior to treat someone badly.
Forth, we need to be prepared to have our schedule affected by the one with cancer. There is further testing and discussing with the doctor which treatment would be the most affective. We may be called upon to go with the cancer victim to appointments.
We may also be called upon to drive a cancer victim to their chemotherapy or radiation treatments. There may also be surgery, as part of their treatment plan, and this would be a good time for us to be there for them.
Fifth, our attitude toward the treatment a cancer victim is receiving can affect their Yes, it is a very difficult and sad situation, but it’s important for us to stay positive as much as we can when we are around the cancer victim. We mustn’t focus on the possibility of the cancer victim dying. We must remind them that there are new treatments for cancer and give them hope to hang on to.
Let’s take a look at how friends and families are affected in the article, “Family Life” on cancer.net. Some of the things discussed are trying to understand the potential changes in the way a cancer victim relates to specific family members and friends in that there can be changes in the roles each play, responsibilities, physical needs, emotional needs, sexuality and intimacy, and future plans.
Though many things in our lives, whether we are part of their family or a friend, can bring changes when news of cancer being part of our lives, we can rest assured that God will not change in how he treats them or us. As the Bible verses above talks about, God has regard for the weak and he will sustain the cancer victim as they battle cancer, and he will also sustain those around them.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.